There will be no negative repercussions of UN’s designation of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”, Pakistan’s ambassador to the US has said, asserting that the move only reinforces Islamabad’s commitment with the international community to fight terrorism.
The United Nations on Wednesday designated Pakistan-based Azhar as a “global terrorist” after China lifted its hold on a proposal to blacklist him.
China removed its hold on the proposal, which was moved by France, the UK and the US in the Security Council’s 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee in February just days after the February 14 Pulwama terror attack carried out by the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan, who is on a rare visit to Houston this week, noted that the United States also appreciated Pakistan’s commitment in its first reaction to the designation on Thursday, the Dawn reported.
Before the adoption, China and Pakistan worked jointly to delink the designation from the Kashmiri struggle for freedom and the Pulwama terrorist attack, it said.
The delinking allows Pakistan to continue to support the Kashmiri movement, it added. “I see no reason why this designation should have a negative impact on our relations with the United States or China,” said the ambassador while talking to the media after his address at the World Affairs Council in Houston on Thursday.
“It reinforces our commitment to fight terrorism,” Khan said.In his address to the council, the ambassador also spoke about improvements in the US-Pakistan relations after a recent dip.
“This is a very important and consequential relationship. We are keen to have a strong partnership,” Khan said. The ambassador also spoke about Pakistan’s role in promoting US-Taliban talks in Doha and asserted that Islamabad helped in the formation of a powerful Taliban delegation for the talks.
“Without this, there could not be a significant progress in the talks,” he said. Ambassador Khan said that while Pakistan’s role was important, other regional actors must also play their part.
Pakistan also supported US efforts for a broad-based intra-Afghan dialogue, which should include the Afghan government and the Taliban, he said.
Khan hoped that the progress in the Afghan peace process would improve Pakistan’s relations with the United States. Underlining Pakistan’s efforts for better ties with India, the ambassador noted that in February the two nuclear states had the first dogfight.
“This is very dangerous but unfortunately India seems more interested in whipping up differences for domestic political gains than in resolving disputes,” he said.