India trying to defame Pak over Masood Azhar: Pak foreign secy

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Pakistan foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry on Tuesday accused India of trying to defame Pakistan in international fora by persisting with the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar in the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee. The issue of Masood Azhar, being a big part of India’s current diplomatic engagements, featured prominently in his discussions with foreign secretary S Jaishankar.

Pakistan’s response appears to suggest there will be little ‘give’ from Islamabad on the listing of Azhar. China has placed a “technical hold” on Azhar’s designation. After India protested, China asked India to “consult” Pakistan on the issue. This was reiterated to TOI by Chinese officials in Delh i. The Azhar issue has been flagged by foreign minister Sushma Swaraj with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, and NSA Ajit Doval with his counterpart Yang Jiechi.

I n Beijing, the Chinese government clarified that status quo woul d prevail on the Azhar listing unless Pakistan allowed it. The foreign ministry spokesperson was quoted as saying that the Azhar block is “in line with Security Council resolutions and the 1267 committee’s rules of procedure for China to place a technical hold on the listing … the committee encourages communication between countries that ask for the listing and countries where individuals or entitities covered in the listing come from or live in. We encourage all parties related to the listing of Masood Azhar to have direct communication and work out a solution through serious consultation .”

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