By Amit Agnihotri
New Delhi: The publication of a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) designated list of terrorists by Pakistan today exposed its double speak on the issue of terrorism, and confirmed the charges India has been making against the western neighbour.
During a recent UNSC meet, India had exposed Pakistan over its claim of fighting terrorism, to show how the western neighbour had become a hub of global terror and terror entities, and how India has been suffering from cross-border terrorism exported by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
India had also urged the UNSC to hold such states accountable and put them under greater scanner of the Financial Action Task Force, which reviews compliance of accused nations in fighting terror and money laundering.
“As of August 18, 2020, the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee has approved the entries specified below to its list of individuals and entities subject to assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of the Security Council resolution 2368 (2018) adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,” a Pakistan government notification said.
Though the UNSC document names 259 terrorists, the list published by Pakistan had only 89 entities/organisations including Dawood Ibrahim, Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar, Fazarullah, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Noor Wali Mehsud (TTP), Fazal Rahim (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) Taliban, Jalaluddin Haqqani, Khalil Ahmed Haqqani, Yahya Haqqani and Sarajuddin Haqqani.
These terrorists will now face “assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo” as per the UNSC resolution. The move came under international pressure, as Pakistan has been in the FATF grey list since June 2018 and is desperate to avoid being put in the black list.
Pakistan faced flak over its flip-flop by first acknowledging that Dawood, the mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts in which 257 people were killed and 700 injured, was based at White House, Near Saudi Mosque, Clifton in the port city of Karachi, as per the new list, but later denied it.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued two consolidated notifications on August 18, reflecting the current status of the UN Taliban and ISIL(Da’esh) and AQ Sanctions list. These lists contain names of individuals and entities designated under the two sanction regimes established pursuant to the UN Security Council resolutions.
“The consolidated notifications are issued periodically as a routine matter. Similar notifications have been issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the past as per statutory requirements and to meet our international obligations. Last such notifications were issued in 2019,” the Pakistan foreign affairs ministry said in a statement.
“The reports in certain sections of the media about Pakistan imposing any new sanctions measures, through these notifications, are not factual. Similarly, the assertions made by some sections of the Indian media, as to Pakistan admitting to the presence of certain listed individuals (Dawood Ibrahim) on its territory, based on the information contained in the notifications, is baseless and misleading,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said.
India rejects China-Pakistan reference to Kashmir
On another note, India rejected a reference to Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in a joint statement issued after the Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi met with his Pakistan counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the southern island resort of Hainan.
After Qureshi briefed Wang on Kashmir, China reiterated the issue is a dispute left over from history between India and Pakistan, and that the matter should be resolved peacefully and properly through the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.
China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation, the joint statement said, in a reference to India last year scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution of India, which gave special status to the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state.
India carved out two Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir UT and Ladakh UT. At present, India and China are locked in a bitter border standoff along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh.
“As in the past, we categorically reject the reference to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in the Joint Press Release of the 2nd Round of China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue. The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India and we expect the parties concerned to not to interfere in matters that are internal affairs of India,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
India is also miffed over the $60-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the Gilgit-Baltistan areas illegally occupied by Pakistan. Both China and Pakistan agreed to ensure in-time completion of CPEC projects under construction.
“At the same time, we also reiterate our consistent position on the so-called ‘China Pakistan Economic Corridor’. India has repeatedly conveyed its concerns to both China and to Pakistan on the projects in so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which are in the territory of India that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan. We resolutely oppose actions by other countries that change the status quo in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and call on the parties concerned to cease such actions,” Srivastava said.
India’s parliament head counters Pakistan on Kashmir
In another India-Pakistan spat, the presiding officer of the lower house of Parliament of India (Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla) countered some references to Jammu and Kashmir from Chairman of Pakistan’s Senate Sadiq Sanjrani during the fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament.
“Jammu and Kashmir has been and will remain an integral part of India. We call upon Pakistan to end cross-border terrorism. Our overtures should not be taken as a sign for weakness,” Birla said during the conference organised by the International Parliamentary Union.
India pointed out that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had recently praised terrorist Osama bin Laden as a martyr. Birla told the conference that the UN Analytical Support Sanctions Monitoring Team too had mentioned the western neighbour was the leading exporter of terror with over 6,000 nationals currently engaged in terrorism.
Pakistan’s aggression against Jammu and Kashmir in 1965, 1971, 1999 (Kargil), attack on Mumbai and Parliament, Uri, Pulwama showed its state-sponsored policy of terrorism, which was evident from the fact that it had taken no action against terrorists like Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar and Ehsanul, Birla said.