DESCRIBING the UN designating JeM chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist as a great diplomatic victory for India, the BJP on Thursday said Opposition parties are reluctant to celebrate the achievement because they feel they may have to pay political price for it. The UN Sanctions Committee on Wednesday designated the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Azhar a global terrorist after China lifted its hold on a proposal to ban him. Senior BJP leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters that the current dispensation succeeded in an attempt the country has been making for the last 10 years, “but then they (Opposition) says ‘this is trivial, what is big in it’.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here on Thursday said the classification of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was “a big victory” for India and its diplomacy under the Narendra Modi Government. The Pulwama terror attack and subsequent air strikes played a role in changing China’ stance, it added. Addressing the media at the BJP central office, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Prime Minister Modi’s zero-tolerance policy on terror had borne fruit. Jaitley said the core issue was Azhar had been declared an international terrorist. “And he and his country bear consequences of that,” he said. He said the change in China’s attitude was a result of “recent developments including Pulwama attack” and the air strikes by India on terror camps at Balakot in Pakistan.
“The global community has been persuaded by all the material that India had put forward and circulated,” he said. Jaitley said Azhar had been targeting India for a long time and was involved in several terror acts. The JeM also claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF troopers were killed. The process to get Azhar blacklisted started in 2009, but India could not succeed due to China’s technical objections during three earlier attempts, he said. Sitharaman said persistent measures by the Ministry of External Affairs under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi had led to Azhar’s blacklisting. “Under international pressure and effect of India’s diplomacy that hurdle was removed yesterday (Wednesday) and it has come as a big opportunity for India in its fight against terrorism,” she said. “Terrorism shall not be tolerated and this declaration from the UN is noteworthy.
It is the result of persistent measures taken by the External Affairs Ministry, under leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” she said. Sitharaman said as per the publicly available data, more than 35 declared terrorist organisations were located in Pakistan and the JeM was one of them.The Finance Minister also took a dig at the Congress claim of conducting surgical strikes. “The Congress has been stating that it conducted surgical strikes.
They were unknown, invisible surgical strikes,” he said. He said suspicions were raised after successful air strikes in Balakot and the blacklisting of Azhar was seen as no big deal. “Such trivial response comes. The tradition was that the country spoke in one voice on foreign and security policy. But it was destroyed in the past.” Referring to the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, Jaitley said a former service chief had then said they wanted to retaliate but the then Prime Minister said, “no”.