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China’s blockade in 1267 Sanctions Committee

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October 21, 2022

Why in news?

China’s recent decision to block Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commanders from terror listing have forced India to explore more such options.

What is the issue?

  • India and US have jointly submitted a proposal to list LeT commanders on the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC’s) 1267 terror list.
  • The two commanders are the LeT founder Hafiz Saeed’s son Talha Saeed and Shahid Mehmood, deputy chief of Falah I Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), a front of LeT.
  • They are wanted for procuring funds and recruitment for the LeT/ Jamaat ud Dawa, the group behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
  • China has blocked this proposal requiring more time to study and refused to allow the designations to proceed in the absence of sufficient evidence.

What is the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee?

  • The committee is a part of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and comprises all members of the UNSC.
  • It was established as the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee in 1999, after UNSC Resolution 1267 designated al-Qaeda and the Taliban as terrorist bodies.
  • In 2011, a separate committee was formed for the Taliban.
  • The sanctions committee allows any UN member state to propose adding the name of a terrorist or terror group that has affiliations to Al Qaeda and ISIS to a consolidated list, maintained by the Committee.
  • The other two committees with similar roles are
  1. The Counter-Terrorism Committee and
  2. The Security Council Committee
  • The resolution requires all UN member states to freeze the assets, prohibit the entry or transit, and prevent the sale and transfer of arms to the designated entities.

What does placing a hold mean?

  • The listing will be adopted according to a “no-objections” procedure and if any member of the Committee objects, the listing cannot be adopted.
  • As a permanent member of the UNSC, China can do this any number of times as its term doesn’t run out, and it carries a veto vote.
  • The Committee is bound to resolve these issues within 6 months and at the end of this period, the holding country has to decide whether to accept the listing or place a permanent objection to it.
  • However, in practice, many of the listing proposals have had prolonged waits.

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Does India have any other options?

  • FATF - Paris-based Financial Action Task Force in one such option.
  • Pakistan was placed on a “grey list” due to its inability to curb terror financing and money laundering from 2012-2015 and 2018-2022.
  • But the recent developments indicated that Pakistan is likely to be taken off from that list.
  • Separate List - India and the U.S. have built their own separate lists of most wanted terrorists that document the cases against them.
  • It was established with a view to eventually receiving global cooperation on banning them.

What India can do?

  • Establishing a diplomatic channel with China, that focuses exclusively on global cooperation on terrorism will be a best option to convince Beijing to reconsider its untenable position.
  • It is time for India to consider all its options with China to ensure justice for all the victims of the cross-border terrorism.

References

  1. The Hindu | Checks without Balance
  2. The Hindu | China blocks India-US proposal
  3. The Indian Express | What is the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee?
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