China thwarts India's attempt to designate 26/11 plotter as a terrorist at the UNSC
June 21, 2023: In a disappointing move for India and the United States, China has once again blocked their joint effort to label Sajid Mir, an operative of the Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), as a global terrorist. Mir is wanted for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Both countries had sought to have Mir listed under the 1267 al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, which would subject him to travel bans, asset freezes, and arms embargoes.
China's obstruction comes after using a "technical hold" last year to impede a similar proposal by India and the US. Mir has already been designated a terrorist by both India and the US, with the US Treasury Department identifying him as a specially designated global terrorist in 2012 and offering a $5 million reward for his capture through the Rewards for Justice program.
Western nations had previously supported India's call at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for the investigation and prosecution of key terrorist leaders, including Mir and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, in connection with the Mumbai attacks that claimed 166 lives.
China has consistently blocked efforts by India and its allies, such as France and the US, to designate Pakistan-based terrorists. Notably, individuals like Mir, Shahid Mahmood, Talha Saeed (all from LeT), and Abdul Rauf Asghar (from Jaish-e-Mohammed) have been subject to China's hindrance. During its tenure as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2021-22, India had prioritized the listing of Pakistan-based terrorists.
Under mounting pressure from Western nations at the FATF, Pakistani authorities claimed that Mir had been arrested and sentenced to an eight-year prison term in 2022, reversing their earlier assertion that Mir had died. The recent revelation about Mir's status came after Western countries demanded proof of his alleged death.
According to the US Rewards for Justice program, Mir has been a senior member of LeT since 2001 and held significant responsibility for the group's external operations between 2006 and 2011. He played a leading role in planning, preparing, and executing the Mumbai attacks as LeT's "operations manager."
This latest obstruction by China further highlights the ongoing challenges in international efforts to combat terrorism and bring perpetrators to justice.