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UN lists JeM chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist after China lifts hold: Here's what experts have to say

Updated : May 02, 2019 09:44 PM IST

A day after the UN Sanctions Committee designated Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, the government has called it "a win for all Indians."

"India stands vindicated. Masood Azhar is now a global terrorist. India is in safe hands. This marks a high point for the prime minister's foreign policy," senior BJP leader and finance minister Arun Jaitley said.

Calling it a "historic success" for India, the BJP used one of its Lok Sabha election slogans, 'Modi hai to mumkin hai' (It is possible if Modi is there), as it reacted to what is being seen as a major diplomatic win for the country.

Later, Jaitley told reporters that the current dispensation succeeded in an attempt the country has been making for the last 10 years, "but then they (opposition) says 'this is trivial, what is big in it'."

Addressing a press conference at the party office, he said there was a tradition in the country to speak in one voice on issues such as external affairs and national security but there has been a departure from it in the last few years.

Emphasising that the labelling of Azhar as a global terrorist is a "great diplomatic achievement for India", the finance minister said, "If India wins, Indians win, but there are friends in opposition who are not celebrating it as they may have to pay a political price for it."

Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was accompanying Jaitley at the press conference, attributed the success of sanctioning of JeM chief to the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Terrorism shall not be tolerated and this declaration from the UN is noteworthy. It is the result of persistent measures taken by the external affairs ministry, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," she said.

While BJP leaders rushed to give credit to the government, some opposition leaders, including Shashi Tharoor of the Congress, referred to reports that references to the Pulwama terror attack and terrorism in Kashmir were dropped by the UN.

"Well, that kind of deflates our satisfaction. If Masood Azhar wasn't blacklisted at last because of Pulwama, then it logically has to be for all his previous sins. So is China admitting they erred in shielding him for 10 years and he was a terrorist pre-Pulwama too?" Tharoor said.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, "Is this true that the listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist was only possible because all references to Pulwama & terrorism in Kashmir were dropped?"

To discuss all the developments, CNBC-TV18 spoke to Nirupama Rao, former foreign secretary; Kanwal Sibal, former foreign secretary; Suhasini Haidar of The Hindu; Sunetra Choudhury, editor, national politics at Hindustan Times and Brahma Chellaney, author.

(With inputs from PTI)
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