The UN listing of Masood Azhar, the head of Jaish-e-Mohammed, the oufit behind several terrorist attacks from the Jammu & Kashmir legislative assembly upto Pulwama that shocked the country, as a global terrorist can certainly be proudly claimed by India as its diplomatic victory, as the prime minister declared. Pakistan had never given in to the demand to rein in the terrorist leader that spread instability and unrest in the region despite India's consistent pressure. And with the Pulwama suicide attacks in February, relations built up to a warlike situation between India and Pakistan.
Now, India's diplomatic efforts to win the support of the international community to proscribe and disarm the Pak-sponsored global terrorist has met with success. Big powers US, Britain and France stood by India against the man who destroyed the peace in south Asia. America moved the resoluton seeking to declare Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN sub-committee and to impose sanctions against the terrorist organizations.
The united moves earlier by the western big powers had stumbled on China's veto, the all-weather ally of Pakistan. But the subsequent tireless efforts of India to tame Beijing became effective. With this, the international community has ratified India's charge against Pakistan as a country that nurtures terrorism in the region. And the UN resolution that isolates Pakistan in the struggle against terror becomes a big blow to that country. It is at the same time when Pak prime minister Imran Khan has been asking for proof of the role of Jaish in the Pulwama attack that it has has suffered this setback at the hands of world nations.
Although Jaish-e-Mohammed had been included in the terrorist list since 2001, its head Masood Azhar was excluded with Pak backing. In this process the main shield of Pakistan has always been China the strategically crucial ally of Pakistan. However, as a result of Indian thrust following the Pulwama terror strikes, even China started getting the feeling that its blind support to Pakistan in protecting terrorist outfits like a national asset, would weaken it, as proven by its more recent change of mind. Beijing was in fact coming down to a stand of not losing its face by damaging its relations with India and assuming patronage of terrorism.
It was only recently that the members of EU parliament came out demanding stern action against the excesses of Pakistan towards its religious minorities. The EU letter asked Pakistan to end its position of turning its back on the international agreement on religious freedom, and until that agreement is implemented it had to revisit the trade subsidies and priorities offered to Pakistan. Observers opine that when Pakistan was suffering from a distorted image as a sponsor of international terrorism, China realized it would cost it dearly in the long run if it continued being an endorser of Pakistan in the matter of Azhar. That was how China veered to a new position of showing no mercy towards Pakistan in the matter of terrorism and to brace itself for blacklisting Azhar. China had previously blocked such a resolution four times.
With the US resolution taking effect, Pakistan becomes bound to confiscate the assets of Masood Azhar and to impose travel ban and arms embargo against him. An official announcement about this was issued by Pakistan on Friday. On Wednesday itself, Pakistan foreign ministry had made it clear that it would fully implement UN Resolution No: 2368. However, Pakistan's track record in such matters does not give any guarantee that the announcement would be honured. Those who were declared international terrorists - Hafiz Saeed the leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamiyyathudda'awa - still continue to operate in the country unchecked and indulge in subversive activities.
Even earlier, there were accusations that when Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mohammed Qureshi, issued a statement that Masood Azhar was in sick bed and could not move outside home, he was in fact expressing the government's sympathy for him. During days when those leaders were held in house arrest, they were carrying on with their activities. It has been India's consistent demand until now that Pakistan should release Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar for trial in terrorism cases. Let alone getting that approved, the question is whether Pakistan will be prepared to render them irrrelevant in line with UN resolutions and disarm them, and slap embargo against them by shutting down their heqdquarters and camps. To put Pakistan under pressure to this end, India will have to persist in its untiring effort using the current momentum of international support that it has gained in the recent context.