New Delhi, March 15: France has decided to freeze the assets of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and said that it would discuss putting him on a European Union list of people suspected of being involved in terrorism.
A joint statement issued by the French interior ministry, finance ministry and foreign ministry said France has always been and always will be by India’s side in the fight against terrorism. “We will raise this issue with our European partners with a view to including Masood Azhar on the European Union list of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts, based on this decree,” the statement said.
Pakistan is under pressure from global powers to act against groups carrying out attacks in India, including Jaish-e-Mohammed, which claimed responsibility for a February 14 attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama that killed at least 40 CRPF personnel.
France led a latest move to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist at the United Nations Security with the backing of the US and Britain in the wake of the Pulwama suicide bombing. The move was blocked by China on Thursday, the fourth time Beijing has done so.
A statement by the external affairs ministry didn’t name the UN Security Council member responsible for blocking the proposal on the Jaish chief but people familiar with developments confirmed that China was behind the “technical hold”.
China had said that needed more time to study the matter and it was sincere about building better relations with India.