UNSC sanctions committee blacklists Lashkar’s Makki
20, Jan 2023
Prelims level : International Relations Mains level : GS-II International Relations | Bilateral, regional, and global groupings and agreements involving India’s interests.
Why in News?
- The UN Security Council’s (UNSC) ISIL and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee has placed a key fundraiser and planner of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist outfit named Abdul Rehman Makki, on its sanctions list.
UNSC’s 1267 Sanctions Committee:
- This Committee was set up based on resolution 1267 passed in 1999.
- The Committee oversees the implementation of the sanctions measures under resolutions 1267, 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida, and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities.
- Hence it is also called ISIL and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee.
- The Committee comprises all 15 members of the Security Council and makes its decision by consensus. i.e. it consists of both the permanent as well as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
- The Committee designates individuals and entities who meet the listing criteria set out in the relevant resolutions.
Sanctions imposed on individuals who are designated as terrorists by UNSC
- Assets Freeze: All states are mandated to freeze the funds, and financial and economic assets of designated individuals and entities.
- Travel Ban: All states are mandated to prevent the entry or transit of these designated individuals through their territories.
- Arms Embargo: All states are mandated to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer of arms and other materials such as spare parts, technical advice, and training related to military activities to designated individuals.
Background of the issue:
- Abdul Rahman Makki is the brother-in-law of LeT chief Hafiz Saeed who is also convicted as the mastermind of the Mumbai 26/11 attacks.
- Makki is wanted for a number of cases of terrorism and terror financing in India and has been designated a wanted terrorist by the government.
- The proposal to list Makki under the UNSC sanctions regime was issued to UNSC’s 1267 Committee members under a “no-objection procedure” on June 1st (2022) with a deadline of 16th June.
- However, China waited until the last day to raise objections to the listing and placed a “technical hold” on the proposal.
- Abdul Rehman Makki has now been placed under the sanctions list by the UNSC’s 1267 Sanctions Committee as China withdrew its “technical hold” that it had imposed in June 2022.
China’s technical hold:
- During its tenure at the UNSC, India has proposed the designation of five terriers under the sanctions list by the ISIL and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
- The list of such terrorists includes Abdul Rehman Makki (LeT), Abdul Rauf Asghar (Jaish-e-Mohammed), Sajid Mir (LeT), Shahid Mahmood (LeT), and Talha Saeed (LeT).
- However, China has imposed a “technical hold” on all the proposals to list all these five individuals under the sanctions list, while all the other 14 members of the UNSC supported the listing.
- India had regarded China’s decision to place a “technical hold” as “regrettable” and “extremely unfortunate”.
- India also accused China of following double standards in its claims of combating terrorism.
Views of the UNSC’s 1267 Sanctions Committee:
- The Committee has said that the main reason for placing Abdul Rehman Makki under the blacklist was his and other LET/JuD operatives’ involvement in fundraising, recruiting and radicalising youth to violence and planning attacks in India, especially in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
- The committee also considered Makki’s involvement in terror attacks such as the Red Fort attack (December 22, 2000), the Rampur attack (January 1, 2008), the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and the attack in Gurez (August 7, 2018) to add him to the list of globally sanctioned individuals.
- The Committee also added that Makki was the head of political affairs for the LeT and is also a member of JuD’s Markazi (central) team and Daawati (proselytization) teams.
- The JuD or Jamaat-ul-Dawa is the parent body of the LeT.
Analysis of the listing:
- India has welcomed the designation of Abdur Rehman Makki as a sanctioned terrorist by the UNSC.
- Experts believe that China’s move to allow the listing is a win for India.
- Further, this is the first ever instance where a listing proposal by India (co-sponsored) has been allowed to go through and it is also the first time a terrorist has been listed mainly for his involvement in the attacks in India, especially in Kashmir.
Way forward for India:
- Pakistan has still not held several terrorists accountable for their involvement in major attacks such as the IC-814 Kandahar hijacking (1999), the Mumbai attacks (26/11), Pathankot (2016) and Pulwama (2019) attacks.
- Hence, it is important for India to persevere in its task of keeping the spotlight on such terrorists in order to prosecute them.
- Experts opine that the designation of Makki under the blacklist is the result of behind-the-scenes negotiations between India-China at a time when their relationship is going through a turbulent phase due to the LAC standoff.
- The listing of the four other terrorists proposed by India will be a test of diplomacy and the relationship between India and China.