Beijing against the UN: Masood Azhar is not a terrorist. The Silk Road is safe

The Chinese government uses a "technical suspension" to gain another nine months. The United States, Britain and France - under pressure from Delhi - wanted the Pakistani Islamic radical to be included in the list of terrorists worldwide. This would have allowed the freezing of his assets.

New York (AsiaNews / Agencies) - For the fourth time in a few years, China has blocked a UN Security Council request to include the name of Masood Azhar in the list of terrorists worldwide. He is the head of the Pakistani fundamentalist Islamic group Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) who on February 14 carried out the bloody attack against soldiers of the Indian army in Kashmir, killing 44. The attack brought India and Pakistan to the brink of a new war.

The request was rejected yesterday during a council meeting in New York. The initiative was promoted by the United States, France and Great Britain - under pressure from the Delhi government - which had filed the motion on February 27th. Chinese diplomats have rejected the request shortly before the deadline by placing a "technical suspension" that extends the decision for another nine months.

The Chinese delegation says it has not had enough time to examine the request and considers its veto a "responsible attitude". For its part, the government of India has condemned the Chinese position and states that "it will do everything necessary to bring the terrorist leaders involved in hateful attacks against our citizens to justice".

The inclusion of Azhar on the UN list of "sponsors of international terrorism" would have allowed the freezing of the assets of the group, an embargo on travel and buying weapons. Previously, Beijing blocked the vote on Azhar on three occasions: 2009, 2016 and 2017.

According to experts, the Chinese veto has rescued Beijing's interests in Pakistan. On the contrary, if the Chinese government had succumbed to international pressure, it could have paid dearly for the decision on the New Silk Road's infrastructure on Pakistani soil.