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Abdul Rehman Makki, the LeT deputy leader, is designated a “global terrorist” by the UN Security Council.

On Tuesday, China defended its decision to lift a technical hold that prevented the designation of Abdul Rehman Makki, the top LeT leader based in Pakistan, as a global terrorist, arguing that the listing of terrorists promotes improved international counterterrorism cooperation. China also praised Islamabad for its support of counterterrorism initiatives.

Makki, the 68-year-old brother-in-law of Jamat-ud Dawa (JuD) chief and mastermind of the Mumbai attack Hafiz Saeed, was named a global terrorist by the UN after China released its hold on a joint India-US proposal to blacklist the deputy chief of the Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Makki was added to the list of terrorists by the UN Security Council’s 1267 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee on Monday as a result of years of work by India and its partners. He is now subject to an asset freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo.

When asked about China’s decision to drop its objections to India and the US move to designate Makki a global terrorist and whether Beijing will also support similar moves against four other Pakistan-based terrorists currently pending with the Committee, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin responded, “Terrorism is the common enemy of humanity.”

The listing of terrorists or terrorist organisations under the auspices of the UN is conducive to enhancing international counterterrorism cooperation in response to terrorist threats, he said, adding that the 1267 Committee (of the UN Security Council) is a crucial international counterterrorism mechanism.

“Pakistan has found guilty and sentenced the relevant parties. The listing is a recognition of Pakistan’s steadfast fight against terrorism “Without going into further detail, he stated that China, a close ally of Pakistan, made the initial decision to erect a technical barrier.

According to the principles and procedures of the committee, China has consistently contributed to the work of the 1267 Committee in a positive and responsible manner, he said.

China has worked to prevent the listing of other terrorists with a base in Pakistan, including Makki, over the years.

After Beijing dropped its objections, the UN designated Masood Azhar, the leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist group with headquarters in Pakistan, as a “global terrorist” in May 2019, giving India a significant diplomatic triumph.

China’s move to remove its objections to Makki’s UN listing comes as its new Foreign Minister Qin Gang began his tenure. Qin, who was previously China’s envoy to the US, succeeded Wang Yi.

China’s attempts to put technical holds on the declaration of Pakistan-based terrorists over the years have become a major irritant in the troubled ties between Beijing and New Delhi.

It also comes at a time India and China sought to resolve the military standoff in Eastern Ladakh through high-level military and diplomatic dialogue. The two countries have held 17 rounds of talks to work out the disengagement of troops from several points of friction in eastern Ladakh.

The designation of Makki as a global terrorist comes seven months after China blocked a joint petition from India and the US to name the leader of the political affairs arm of JuD/LeT on June 16, 2022.

Consensus is used to decide who should be added to the 1267 sanctions committee’s list of people and organisations.

China, the lone veto-holding permanent member of the Security Council, opposed Makki’s listing out of the 15 members of the Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.

Makki was officially recognised as a “global terrorist” by consensus after China finally released its grip.

Bids by India and its allies to designate terrorists located in Pakistan have regularly been delayed or blocked by China.

Makki and other LeT/JuD operatives have allegedly been involved in fund-raising, recruiting and radicalising youth to violence and planning assaults in India, notably in Jammu and Kashmir, according to a narrative summary of reasons for Makki’s designation provided by the Sanctions Committee.

In a press statement, the UN stated that Makki is the deputy Amir/Chief of LeT, also known as JuD, and the head of the political affairs wing of JuD/LeT. Additionally, he was a member of Shura and the director of the LeT’s foreign relations division (governing body).

Makki is a US-designated terrorist who was born in Bahawalpur, Pakistan’s Punjab Province.

In Pakistan, he was detained on May 15, 2019, and given house detention in Lahore. The sanctions committee said that Makki was found guilty of supporting terrorism by a Pakistani court and given a prison term in 2020.

The sanctions committee stated that while Makki held his leadership positions within LeT and JuD, LeT was either directly or indirectly responsible for a number of notable attacks, including the Red Fort attack on December 22, 2000, in which six LeT terrorists stormed Red Fort and opened fire indiscriminately on the security forces guarding the Fort.

According to the commission, the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes were the most daring attack by LeT in India.

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