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Clock is ticking for Jaish chief Azhar: India

By The Assam Tribune

United Nations, Sep 17 (IANS): "The clock is ticking" for Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar regardless of whether the UN is allowed to act against him or not, India's Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin has warned.

"We will pursue Azhar," he said on Saturday. "Be certain about it. The clock is ticking."

By blocking UN sanctions against him, China has repeatedly come to the aid of the terrorist, who masterminded the 2016 Pathankot Indian Air Force base terror attack in Punjab that killed seven Indians.

Asked about it at a news conference here, Akbaruddin declined to directly comment on it saying the matter was pending before a UN committee and it was, therefore, the UN equivalent of "sub judice".

But he issued the direct warning to Azhar, who is living in Pakistan.

Early last month, China blocked a proposal by Britain, France and the US to designate Azhar as an international terrorist and impose sanctions freezing his assets and ban international travel.

Beijing used what is called a "technical hold" in the Security Council mandated committee to act on Al Qaeda, Taliban and related organisations and terrorists. The hold will be in place till early November.

Earlier this month, though, China joined the other members of the BRICS - India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa - at a summit in Xiamen in naming Pakistan-based terror groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad in their joint declaration that expressed concern over terrorism.

Replying to a question about the expected Pakistani campaign on Jammu and Kashmir at the General Assembly session, Akbaruddin said the issue had not been taken up by the UN for decades and it wasn't going to change. "Those who focus on yesterday's issues are yesterday's people," he said. "If this is what they want, to each his own."

India would be concentrating on an "inspirational" agenda and a "progressive vision", he said.

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