• Sanskriti IAS - अखिल मूर्ति के निर्देशन में

China block terror tag for Lashkar leader

  • 22nd June, 2022

(Mains GS 2 : Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.)

Context:

  • Recently, China has put on “technical hold” the proposal to list Lashkar-e-Toiba’s (LeT) deputy chief Abdul Rehman Makki as a global terrorist.

Regressive stand of China:

  • India and the US jointly proposed to list Pakistan-based terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki under the UN Security Council’s Al Qaeda (Dae’sh) and ISIL Sanctions Committee, also known as the UNSC 1267 Committee. 
  • Both India and the US have already listed Makki as a terrorist under their domestic laws.
  • This is not the first time that China has placed hurdles for the listing of known terrorists as  in the past, it had repeatedly blocked proposals to designate Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of Pakistan-based and UN-proscribed terrorist entity Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Against combating terrorism:

  • Experts believe that this decision by China is extremely unfortunate given the overwhelming evidence against Makki and moreover, it runs counter to China’s claims of combating terrorism,” 
  • China should reflect on its response that signals double standards on combating terrorism. Protecting well-known terrorists from sanctioning in this manner will only undermine its credibility and risk exposing even itself more to the growing threat of terrorism.

About the terrorist:

  • Abdul Makki is part of the command and control of the UNSC-designated terror group LeT, later renamed the Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD), which is also a UN-designated terror group.
  • He was not just a member of the governing body or “Shura”; he served as the head of its “foreign relations” department, and raised funding along with this he is also a member of LeT chief Hafiz Saeed’s family (brother in law). 
  • The LeT/JuD has been prosecuted in India, the United States and even Pakistan for the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, and Makki was himself tried and sentenced by a Pakistani special court to nine years imprisonment on terror financing charges (a ruling overturned a year later).

Involved in multiple attacks:

  • India wants him for his involvement in attacks over the past two decades, including the Red Fort attack in Delhi in 2000, and, more recently, in attacks on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • He is on India’s UAPA list of designated terrorists and also the U.S.’s Specially Designated Global Terrorists with a $2 million reward for information that would convict him. 
  • Given what India and the U.S., which forwarded the proposal to put him on the UNSC’s 1267 list of terrorists linked to the al Qaeda and ISIL, have called “overwhelming” evidence, New Delhi has termed China’s move to place a hold on the process as “regrettable” and “extremely unfortunate”.

Beyond bilateral tensions:

  • While China’s actions may be motivated by growing acrimony with the U.S. and India, it is necessary to analyse the situation beyond bilateral tensions. 
  • That Beijing’s last-minute hold on Makki’s listing came even as the Financial Action Task Force was meeting in Berlin to credit Pakistan’s actions on terror financing, and begin the process to relieve it from the grey list, pending an on-site visit in the next few months, may not be a coincidence. 
  • While China defends its actions on Makki and previous designations that it blocked as “technical objections” based on “procedural” loopholes, it is clearly part of a pattern of protecting Pakistan internationally. 

Conclusion:

  • Beyond criticism and continued pursuance of the listing, it is necessary for the Government to continue to gather evidence and systematically build its case on cross-border terrorism on the international stage that cannot be derailed by political or geopolitical considerations.
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