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India Protests Block On UN Blacklisting Of Pakistani Militant Leader

Jaish-e-Muhammad leader Maulana Masood Azhar, seen in November 2003
Jaish-e-Muhammad leader Maulana Masood Azhar, seen in November 2003

India is protesting that its bid to put a top Pakistani militant leader on a United Nations terror blacklist is being blocked.

New Delhi wants the UN Security Council committee that monitors sanctions against extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and Islamic State to designate Maulana Masood Azhar as a terrorist. He is leader of the Pakistan-based group Jaish-e-Muhammad, or Muhammad's Army, which is already on the blacklist.

India has accused the group of masterminding an attack on its Pathankot air base on January 2, which killed seven Indian soldiers. The group was also blamed for a 2001 attack on India's parliament.

Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said the failure to list Azhar is "incomprehensible" and demonstrates "a selective approach to combating terrorism" which could have "dangerous consequences" for India and the world community.

UN diplomats said China put a "technical hold" on the designation. China is a permanent member of the council and has longstanding ties to Pakistan, which has said it found no evidence linking Azhar to the Pathankot attack.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters