India riled after China blocks UN resolution on Pakistan terror group listing

India was riled after China blocked a United Nations move to list the leader of a militant organisation in Kashmir as a global terrorist.

Beijing put a last-minute "hold" on a proposal by New Delhi on Wednesday, supported by the US, UK and France, to designate Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist" under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.

Azhar is the founder and leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed, an insurgent group in Pakistan administered Kashmir. The group was behind the recent suicide bombing that brought New Delhi and Islamabad to the brink of war. 

He has been on India’s most-wanted list for nearly 20 years, and was taken “into custody” by Pakistan after militants attacked Pathankot Air Force base in Indian Kashmir in 2016, but Indian officials claim Azhar is being protected by its regional rival.

China said it needed "more time to examine" the proposal, a diplomat at the UN told the Press Trust of India news agency.

"This is the fourth time that China has placed a hold on this listing. China should not prevent the Committee from doing the job the Security Council has entrusted it to do," the diplomat said.

"If China continues to block this designation, responsible member states may be forced to pursue other actions at the Security Council. It shouldn’t have to come to that.”

China and Pakistan are believed to be all-weather friends, and not condemning Azhar could be a way to please Islamabad in the perennial battle for regional supremacy in Asia.

India said it was "disappointed" after the Chinese move, and vowed to continue to pursue "all available avenues to ensure that “terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice”.

New Delhi also thanked "all countries who supported the bid to designate Azhar as global terrorist". An unprecedented number of countries going into the "double digits" had backed the proposal against Azhar.

Germany pledged to be a co-sponsor to the proposal, and a US diplomat told PTI that Beijing "should not protect terrorists from Pakistan or any other country".

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which represents 70 million traders, said it would burn Chinese goods on March 19 to "teach a lesson" to China.

"The time has come when China should suffer due to its proximity with Pakistan," CAIT said in a statement. "The CAIT has launched a national campaign to boycott Chinese goods among the trading community of the country, calling the traders not to sell or buy Chinese goods."

A UN blacklisting would subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo. China has blocked similar moves by India against Azhar three times before.