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China blocks India’s move to ban Jaish chief Masood Azhar

UNITED NATIONS: China on Saturday said it has extended the decision to block New Delhi’s appeal to the United Nations to label Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar a terrorist.

Beijing’s move to extend the ‘technical hold’ imposed in April comes a day before it was to lapse, giving Azhar – an accused in the Pathankot Indian Air Force base attack in January – another six-month breather.

Earlier this year, China, in collaboration with Pakistan, had blocked India’s bid to ban Azhar.

China argued on Saturday – as before in April – that its decision was based on facts and procedures. The latest decision brings into focus the close ties between China and Pakistan, who consider each other ‘all-weather allies’.

China’s move to extend the hold on Masood Azhar comes as tensions simmer between Pakistan and India in the wake of an exchange of fire across the Line of Control (LoC) last week ─ an incident that was termed a ‘surgical strike’ by India.

On Saturday, China also blocked a tributary of the Brahmaputra river as part of a major hydroelectric project, whose construction began in 2014, Indian media reported.

The step may be seen as cautioning New Delhi against moving too far in the latter’s current tussle with Islamabad. Agencies

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