UN Seeks India’s Nominee For Anti-Terror Panel

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New Delhi: India has been asked to send the name of its nominee for inclusion in a global team to assist a United Nations committee which decides on banning terror outfits and their leaders.

Following the request from the global body, both the Home and Finance ministries have been asked to recommend names of suitable individuals who can be part of the key team, official sources said on Sunday.

The presence of the country’s nominee on the panel may facilitate the government’s efforts to get Maulana Masood Azhar, head of Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and mastermind of last year’s Pathankot air base attack, banned, they said. India’s effort to get JeM chief listed in the UN’s sanctions list of organisations and individuals linked to Al-Qaida and ISIS has been repeatedly blocked by China.

The nominations have been sought from qualified individuals to serve on the ‘Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team’ in support of the important ‘1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee’. India had in February last year reportedly sent the name of its nominee for the team who was not selected, the sources said.

Those interested should be experts on ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and affiliated individuals and entities, their evolution, linkages and changing nature of the threat. They should have “willingness to travel extensively, including in difficult environments”.

The position requires a high level of personal commitment to the monitoring team’s mandate and to the United Nations. The fifteen members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) are on the Sanctions Committee. India is currently not a member of the UNSC and hence also not on the Sanctions Committee.

The 10-member ‘Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team’ comprising independent experts assists the Sanctions Committee. Depending on the vacancies available, India and all other member states can forward nominations of their nationals to serve on the monitoring team. The final selection of the team is made by the UN secretariat based on assessment of the individual qualifications of the candidate.

The monitoring team works in tandem with the UN Secretariat to standardise the format of all United Nations sanctions lists and also assists the Committee in regularly reviewing names on it.

Azhar’s JeM, which is said to have links with Taliban and Al-Qaida, has been blacklisted by the UNSC. Ironically, its chief Azhar, who has been behind several major terror strikes in India, has not been banned by the UN.