China's opposition to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist by the UN runs counter to its mutual goal with the US on regional stability, according to a State Department official. As the founder and leader of the Pakistan-based JeM, Azhar "meets the criteria for the designation by the UN" as a global terrorist subject to its sanctions, Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said on Tuesday. He leads the JeM, which has been designated by the UN as a terrorist organisation and "has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and is a threat to regional stability and peace", Palladino said during a news briefing in Washington.
China has placed Azhar under its protection and vetoed moves to declare him a global terrorist that would subject him to UN sanctions. "The US and China share a mutual interest in achieving regional stability and peace, and ... a failure to designate Azhar would run counter to this goal," Palladino added. After the Pulwama suicide car-bombing by the JeM that killed more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers on February 14, France is spearheading a renewed effort with British and the US backing to put sanctions on Azhar. About these efforts, Palladino said: "The US and India work closely together on counter-terrorism efforts, and that includes at the UN."