US, Britain working for compromise on Azhar

US, Britain working for compromise on Azhar

Agency News

The US and two other UN  permanent Security Council members, France and Britain, are believed to be in intense 'good faith' discussions with China to arrive at a 'compromise' on the UN designation of Jaish chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

And if that effort does not end up in his formal designation, the three permanent members are planning to soon move a resolution for his listing in the most powerful wing of the UN which would be preceded by an open debate on the issue, according to sources.

On Wednesday, China blocked, for the fourth consecutive time, a resolution at a UN Security Council Committee on designating Azhar, head of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad group, as a global terrorist. The proposal was moved by the US, France and the UK.

India had expressed disappointment over the Chinese stance and the original co-sponsors of the resolution had warned they will consider 'other actions' to achieve their goal.

While the internal consultations of the Security Council committee remain private, this time several  members, frustrated at China’s stance to protect a terrorist, privately spoke on the negative role China is playing.

“'f China continues to block this designation, responsible member-states may be forced to pursue other actions at the Security Council. It shouldn’t have to come to that,' a UN Security Council said.

In the past 50 hours, it is believed that the original sponsors of the Azhar resolution are having intense 'good faith' consultations with China on what many describe as a 'compromise'. This probably means Azhar would be designated as a global terrorist by the UN body, but the language  would include one acceptable to China.

China is believed to have suggested 'certain changes' in the language of the designation. The US, Britain and France are believed to be currently looking at the suggestions.

It is understood that there is back-and-forth exchange of texts on the matter.

The three countries have indicated that they are willing to accommodate Chinese request as long as it does not change the substance of the resolution and it ends up designating Azhar as a UN global terrorist.

But unlike in the past, the US, France, Britain and other members of the Security Council are not willing to wait for long to conclude their discussion with China.

It is learnt that China has been informed by these countries that they are seriously looking for other options, in particular an open debate followed by a vote on a resolution to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, pretty soon.