On Azhar ban, Pak faces unique predicament, says MEA

On Azhar ban, Pak faces unique predicament, says MEA

Agency News

New Delhi, May 2: The government and the ruling BJP were at the same page on Thursday stating that the Pulwama terror attack did play a major role in listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

On Pakistani response after the UNSC decision was announced, MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters that Islamabad is trying to introduce 'elements' to divert the attention from a huge diplomatic setback it has suffered".

"Frankly they have no choice. They cannot welcome the decision, they cannot criticise the decision. In both cases there will be criticism at home," he said in a virtual tongue-in-cheek fashion.

Therefore, he said only option left for them is to 'pick up holes' -- which they think exist.

"But as far as we are concerned, these are all irrelevant details," the spokesman asserted.

Speaking in similar voice, both the MEA spokesman Mr Kumar and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley - at separate media conferences - said the UN notification is not supposed to be the bio data of Masood Azhar.

"The reason for which China has changed its stand; and countries like the US, France, Britain and Russia took aggressive stand - it is natural that Pulwama had a big role in all these," Mr Jaitley said.

He emphasised it certainly goes to the credit of the Modi government that UN body's nod to declare Masood Azhar was achieved though the first initiative was taken way back in 2009 during the tenure of Manmohan Singh government.

But he lashed out at opposition parties for not celebrating the glorious moment.

“If India wins, Indians win, but there are friends in opposition who are not celebrating this today fear that they may have to pay a political price for it.”

In fact, the opposition parties have tried to say "what is so big in it.”

The UN Sanctions Committee on Wednesday designated the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Azhar a global terrorist giving an endorsement to Modi government's sustained efforts especially after February 14 Pulwama attack.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that "the Zero Tolerance policy for terror has finally worked".

She said the UN listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief has become possible only due to untiring efforts of the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to isolate Pakistan.

"It's the persistent effort of our government, Zero Tolerance policy and Prime Minister's foreign visits have resulted in this," she said.

MEA spokesman made it crystal clear that since 2009 itself when India first took up the issue of getting UN ban on Masood Azhar, India's stand has been for designating Masood Azhar as a terrorist.

"The designation is not based on a specific incident (read terror strike)," he said to a question that the Pulwama reference was dropped.

However, he said the Indian government has shared related details and evidence with the members of the UNSC "linking Masood Azhar to several acts of terrorism".

"The notification by UNSC actually broadly covers all terror activities which Masood Azhar has been involved," he remarked. (UNI)