China blocks move to list LeT deputy chief Abdul Makki as global terrorist

China has put on “technical hold” the proposal to list Lashkar-e-Toiba’s (LeT) deputy chief Abdul Rehman Makki as a global terrorist, sources said on Friday. India and the US had jointly proposed to list Makki at the United Nations.

Sources said India and the US jointly proposed on June 1, 2022 to list Pakistan-based terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki under the UN Security Council’s Al Qaeda (Dae’sh) and ISIL Sanctions Committee, also known as the UNSC 1267 Committee. Both India and the US have already listed Makki as a terrorist under their domestic laws.

Abdul Rehman Makki is the deputy amir/chief and head of the political affairs of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)/Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which itself is a UN-proscribed terrorist entity. He also served as head of LeT’s foreign relations department. He is a member of the shura (governing body) as well as a member of JuD’s central and proselytizing team. He is the brother-in-law of LeT/JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who is a UN-proscribed terrorist.

Sources said Makki has been involved in raising funds, radicalising and recruiting youths for violence and to plan attacks in India, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. While Makki was holding leadership positions in LeT and JuD, the LeT has been responsible for and had involvement in prominent attacks in India such as the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Red Fort attack on December 22, 2000, Rampur CRPF camp attack on January 1, 2008, Karan Nagar (Srinagar) attack on February 12-13, 2018, Khanpora (Baramulla) attack on May 30, 2018, Srinagar attack on June 14, 2018 and Gurez/Bandipora attack on August 7, 2018.

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Makki was reportedly arrested by the Pakistan government on May 15, 2019 and was kept under house arrest in Lahore. In 2020, he was convicted of terror financing and was sentenced to prison by a Pakistani court.

The proposal to list Makki under the UN Security Council sanctions regime was circulated to all members of the council’s 1267 Committee under a no-objection procedure till 16 June 2022. “Regrettably, on June 16, 2022, China placed a “technical hold” on the proposal to list Makki. This measure (which can last for up to 6 months at a time) blocks the adoption of the listing proposal till the hold is withdrawn,” a source said.

“This decision by China is extremely unfortunate given the overwhelming evidence against Makki. Moreover, it runs counter to China’s claims of combating terrorism,” the source said.

This is not the first time that China has placed hurdles for the listing of known terrorists. In the past, it had repeatedly blocked proposals to designate Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of Pakistan-based and UN-proscribed terrorist entity Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The source said, “China should reflect on its response that signals double standards on combating terrorism. Protecting well-known terrorists from sanctioning in this manner will only undermine its credibility and risk exposing even itself more to the growing threat of terrorism”.

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