India welcomes UNSC’s terror tag for Abdul Rehman Makki. Why it is significant.

India on Tuesday welcomed the listing of Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Abdul Rehman Makki by the UN Security Council, though people familiar with the matter said China continues to block the designation of four more Pakistan-based terrorists.

The UN Security Council’s ISIL and al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, also known as the 1267 committee, sanctioned Makki, a close aide and brother-in-law of LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, late on Monday while citing his links to a series of terrorist attacks, ranging from the 2000 Red Fort attack to the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Makki’s listing went through after China ended a “technical hold” it placed when the matter was proposed by India in June 2022. In the past, China used the same measure to block the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) founder Masood Azhar for close to a decade.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi welcomed the listing, saying it is an “effective tool” to counter terrorist threats.

“We welcome the decision of the UN Security Council’s ISIL and al-Qaida Sanctions Committee to list LeT terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki, who is also the brother-in-law of LeT leader Hafiz Saeed. Makki has occupied various leadership roles in LeT, including raising funds for the organisation,” Bagchi said.

“Threats from terrorist organisations in the region remain high and listings and sanctions by the UNSC are an effective tool to curb such threats and dismantle terror infrastructure in the region.”

India, Bagchi said, remains committed to pursuing a zero tolerance approach to terrorism and will continue to press the world community to take “credible, verifiable and irreversible action” against terror.

A “technical hold” can last for up to six months at a time under the Security Council’s procedures, and effectively blocks a listing proposal until it is withdrawn. Even now, China continues to block the designation of four more Pakistan-based terrorists – Sajid Mir, Shahid Mahmood and Talha Saeed of LeT and Abdul Rauf Asghar of JeM – by using the same measure.

People familiar with the matter said Makki’s listing was significant for two reasons – he is the first terrorist to be sanctioned on the basis of a proposal directly from the Indian side and the Security Council has cited specific terrorist attacks he was linked to. India’s proposal to list Makki was joined by the US as a “co-designating state”.

India made the listing of Pakistan-based terrorists a top priority for its tenure in the Security Council during 2021-22 and submitted five names to the 1267 committee, the people said. “Each of these five names were initially placed on technical hold by one member of the Security Council, while all other 14 members of the body agreed to their listing,” one of the people said.

China placed the technical hold on June 16, 2022 and even renewed the measure in mid-December before making the decision to withdraw it, the people said. Makki’s listing was the culmination of long-standing and persistent efforts with partner countries over several months, the people said.

Source- Hindustan Times.

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