China has blocked a bid to designate the leader of the group behind an attack which brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war a terrorist.

Masood Azhar is the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which carried out a deadly suicide bombing killing 40 troops in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The UN security council has been asked to subject Mr Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.

But China said it needed more time to examine the request, asking for a hold.

The postponement could last nine months, and it is the fourth time China – a close ally of Pakistan – has blocked attempts to have Mr Azhar designated as a terrorist.

The Indian government thanked other member states who moved the proposal, brought forward by the US, Britain and France.

It said in a statement it would continue to pursue “all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice”.

The Chinese mission to the United Nations had told reporters it was attempting to uphold a “responsible attitude” and seeking to deal “with this issue with relevant parties via thorough consultation”, news agency AFP reported.


Sources have told newswires there is a strong case for designating Mr Azhar as a terrorist and have hinted that they may pursue “other avenues” if China continued to stand in the way.


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