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Pakistan moves to freeze assets of Masood Azhar

May 4, 2019

The government of Pakistan has issued an official order to freeze the assets and impose a travel ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar. This comes after the United Nations declared him a global terrorist.

In a notification, the foreign ministry of Pakistan said, "the Federal Government is pleased to order that the Resolution 2368 (2017) be fully implemented". The government has told officials to take actions "as appropriate for the implementation of sanctions" against Azhar.

Azhar is also banned from selling or purchasing arms and ammunition. In a major diplomatic victory for India, the United Nations designated Azhar, who is based in Pakistan, as a global terrorist after China lifted its hold on a proposal by the United States, the United Kingdom and France to blacklist him.

The three countries had moved the proposal to designate Azhar as a global terrorist in the UN Security Council''s 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee in February, just days after the Pulwama terror attack carried out by the JeM in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to source based information, once China decided to lift its hold on Azhar's listing, it told Pakistan to prepare a story that the action was part of the country's action plan against terrorism, and that it was not giving up on teh core issue of Kashmir.

This is why the Pakistan's Foreign Office briefed the media just before Azhar was declared a global terrorist. According to senior Indian government officials:

A narrative was sought to be created that India had to compromise on the Pulwama attack and the Kashmir linkage to get the listing through, but the fact remains that New Delhi has been after Azhar since 2009, with the Narendra Modi government assiduously following up the issue in 2016 and 2017 after the Pathankot airbase attack. - Indian government sources

On Thursday, a high-level meeting was chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and attended by top intelligence chiefs to discuss this development.

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