Prelims Syllabus : Mains Syllabus : GS Paper 2: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
- Diplomats in Delhi and New York have begun negotiations on a new proposal to place JeM chief Masood Azhar on the ban list operated by the UNSC’s 1267 committee, the fourth such request in four consecutive years.
- The effort, that is being coordinated by France, between France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, the embassy in Delhi and the UN mission in New York, is likely to take some weeks.
- In March, by coincidence, France will also take over the presidency of the UNSC, which comprises 5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members.
- The most important meeting in this regard will come on Wednesday this week, when External Affairs Minister meets with Chinese Foreign Minister for the trilateral meeting of Russia-India-China (RIC) Foreign Ministers along with Russian Foreign Minister and then will meet both bilaterally.
- It will be critical to see what role Russia plays in this effort, not just on supporting India, but on actively convincing China to withdraw its objections to the listing.
- Beijing has vetoed each of the past three attempts to list Azhar: in 2016, 2017 and most recently in 2018.
- China agreed to the UNSC press statement that named the JeM after considerable wrangling over the wording, particularly insisting on leaving out any direct reference to Pakistan in it and objecting to any “political statements,” diplomats aware of the negotiations in New York said.
- At one point, talks nearly broke down with the U.S. and China at loggerheads, and the French delegation went in to forge an agreement on a carefully worded statement that would send a “strong signal” to Pakistan.
- The extent of the disagreement was evident from the relatively much quicker response from the UNSC to a similar attack which killed 27 Iranian soldiers in Sistan Baluchistan on February 13, a day before the Pulwama attack. Despite the U.S.’s other issues with Iran, the UNSC was able to issue its statement on February 14, while the statement on Pulwama came a week later, on February 21.
- Meanwhile Foreign Secretary is coordinating the diplomatic pressure India hopes to build on Pakistan in the upcoming weeks by meeting focused groups of Ambassadors from different regions with specific lists of expectations from each. In particular.
- European Union is being asked to add Pakistan to its own blacklist and to conduct a serious review of the GSP+ (Generalised System of Preferences) status if it fails to crack down on the groups targeting India, particularly JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba. At present the EU has put only one country, DPRK or North Korea on its blacklist. For the moment, however, the Azhar listing is top priority for the government, and the need to convince China to turn its vote against the Jaish leader high on the diplomatic agenda.
- The move is aimed after recent event of UN Security Council and the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force both issuing strong press statements on the Pulwama attacks and calling on Pakistan to act against the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM),