Pakistan has issued an official order to freeze the assets of and impose a travel ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar after the UN declared him a “global terrorist”. Pakistan-based Azhar is also banned from selling or purchasing arms and ammunition.
The UN sanctions committee on the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda on May 1 had announced the designation of Azhar, leader of JeM, over its ties to Al-Qaeda. The JeM has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama suicide attack that killed 40 CRPF soldiers and led to a spike in military tensions between India and Pakistan. Pakistan’s foreign ministry, in a notification issued on May 1 said, “The Federal Government is pleased to order that the Resolution 2368 (2017) be fully implemented” against Azhar. The government directed officials to take actions “as appropriate for the implementation of sanctions” against the JeM chief, according to the notification.
The UN designated Azhar as a “global terrorist” after China lifted its hold on a proposal by the US, the UK and France to blacklist him. The US, the UK and France 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 deadly Pulwama terror attack carried out by the JeM in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan foreign office spokesman Mohammad Faisal on May 1 said Pakistan would “immediately enforce the sanctions” imposed on Azhar. A veto-wielding permanent member of the UNSC, China was the sole hold-out in the 15-nation body on the bid to blacklist Azhar, blocking attempts by placing a “technical hold” and asking for “more time to examine” the proposal.