August 3, 2020

USA proposes in the UN to sanction the leader of the group that tried in Kashmir



USA proposed on Wednesday to the UN Security Council a draft resolution to sanction the leader of the Pakistani-based insurgent group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), responsible for last February's attack in Indian Kashmir that triggered a crisis among the two countries

According to diplomatic sources, the US proposal has the support of France and the United Kingdom and would impose an arms embargo on Masood Azhar, an asset freeze and a ban on travel to other countries.

Washington has previously tried to get the United Nations to sanction Azhar, but its initiative in a sanctions committee of the Security Council was blocked by China, a close ally of Pakistan.

That committee works unanimously but a resolution in the Security Council does not require it, although Beijing could paralyze the initiative using its veto power.

For now, the Security Council has not established any date for the vote on the draft resolution in the United States.

The JeM, which as an organization is already subject to sanctions by the United Nations, claimed responsibility for the attack on February 14 in Indian Kashmir, in which 42 policemen were killed.

The attack provoked an Indian bombardment against an alleged JeM camp in Pakistani territory and the consequent reaction of Pakistan, which in a similar action gave way to an air combat in which fighters were shot down and an Indian pilot arrested.

The crisis led to a sharp escalation of tension and echoes of war between the two countries, which have atomic weapons.

The attack by JeM, a group that seeks accession to Pakistan of Indian Kashmir and has had links with al Qaeda, was the worst in the region in three decades.

In recent weeks, India and Pakistan have eased the tension, especially after the arrest on Pakistani soil of dozens of people with extremist ties, including two relatives of Azhar.

India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of supporting "cross-border terrorism" and of permitting and sponsoring the operation on its territory of terrorist groups aimed at attacking Indian objectives and stirring up the separatist mood among the Kashmiri population.

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