The United Nation Security Council's decision to list Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist created a flurry in political circles today, with those from the ruling BJP laying the credit at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's door and opposition leaders preferring to praise the efforts of Indian diplomats instead.
Among the first to compliment Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the achievement was Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. "India stands vindicated. Masood Azar is now a global terrorist. India is in safe hands. This marks a high point for the Prime Minister's foreign policy," he tweeted.
While BJP president Amit Shah cited this as an apt example of why India needs a "strong and decisive" leader, party spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi described it as yet another achievement by the Prime Minister in combating terrorism. "Masood Azhar a global terrorist!" her tweet screamed. "Another feather to the already heavy hat of PM @narendramodi Ji who has scored countless diplomatic victories in the last 5 years. Let this be a warning to all anti-Indian cells. Won't forget and won't forgive."
Masood Azhar's listing as a global terrorist comes 10 years after India moved a proposal in this regard at the United Nations, only to be blocked repeatedly by China. The decision will subject him to a global travel ban, freezing of assets and an arms embargo -- among other restrictions.
While some in the opposition camp congratulated Indian diplomats for pulling off the victory, others like National Conference chief Omar Abdullah and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor appeared unhappy over reports that references to the Pulwama terror attack had been dropped by the United Nations. "I congratulate the Indian diplomatic corp for the tireless work that has led to this significant victory. It is the first step in ensuring Masood Azhar pays for his crimes," said Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, under whose rule the application against Masood Azhar was first moved in the United Nations, offered only a few words of satisfaction. "I am happy that it has materialised," news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
The Congress welcomed the Security Council's decision and expressed the hope that it would bring "justice to the families of those who lost their lives". Party leader Shashi Tharoor, however, expressed disappointment over references to the Pulwama attack being dropped. "If #MasoodAzhar wasn't blacklisted at last because of Pulwama, then it logically has to be for all his previous sins. So is China admitting that they erred in shielding him for ten years & he was a terrorist pre-Pulwama too?" he questioned.
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