CNBC TV18: Masood Azhar's designation as global terrorist a win for India, but will it stop his shenanigans?
In a development that pleased India and perplexed Pakistan, the People’s Republic of China finally lifted ‘hold’ on the request made by the US, the UK and France on a revised resolution to include Masood Azhar in the Terror List before the United Nations Security Council ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee (hereafter referred to as UNSC Resolution 1267) on May 1, 2019. Technical aspects aside, Masood Azhar, a much sought-after religious preacher located in Pakistan and responsible for masterminding many acts of terror in India and South Asia (the latest being carried out in Pulwama, which killed 40 Indian para-military soldiers recently), is now a UN designated terrorist. This designation would invite sanctions as per the resolution, which would include travel ban, assets freeze and arms embargo on him and his groups/entities.
The whole episode of demands for designation, held up process and final decision on Azhar entails several implications for terror menace in general and India as a victim in particular.
Two important questions, among many others, draw our attention here: a) Is Azhar’s new title by the UNSC a diplomatic victory for India?; and b) Will sanctions on Azhar have material or related impacts and in the process help states deal with terrorism from a better position?
Leading counter-terror expert Animesh Roul, Executive Director at the Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict (a New Delhi-based think tank), remarks: “India must celebrate the latest diplomatic victory, but must be watchful of the so-called Maulana, his gang members and most importantly, agencies of his state Pakistan. Azhar is not in his best of health, hence he need not travel afar to preach; he uses his close relatives and trusted lieutenants (none of who are under sanctions) for perpetration of violence; and his entities can change colours to wear different religious, business and other names, which in the process can dodge enforcement and investigative agencies. India must watch every move of Azhar from now and contemplate suitable options”.