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India, France move UNSC to designate two Pakistanis as global terrorists

Ahead of French foreign minister Catherine Colonna’s first visit to the country next Wednesday, France is co-sponsoring a proposal with India to declare Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists, Mohiuddin Aurangzeb Alamgir and Ali Kashif Jan, globally designated terrorists by the UNSC 1267 sanctions Committee. Making her first trip as minister, Colonna will be in Delhi on September 14-15 and meet the top leadership of the country.

According to officials familiar with the matter, Aurangzeb Alamgir alias Mujahid Bhai and Ali Kashif Jan alias Jan Ali Kashif were designated terrorists under the UAPA, 1967 by the ministry of home affairs on April 12. Alamgir, resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan was the key conspirator, fund raiser and infiltration commander responsible for the 2019 Pulwama terror strike in which 40 CRPF men were killed by a JeM suicide bomber. Alamgir is also responsible for infiltrating Afghan terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir as well as coordinating terror attacks in the Valley, the officials said.

Ali Kashif Jan, resident of Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is operational commander and part of the core planning committee of the Bahawalpur based JeM group run by the Masood Azhar Alvi family enterprise, the officials added. Jan was the handler of the terrorists involved in the 2016 Pathankot Air Force Station attack and is a prime accused in many cases under investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). One of the key commanders of JeM, Jan operates from the Sialkot sector across the Line of Control in Jammu and launches infiltrators under covering fire from the Pakistan Army into India.

While France and India have moved this proposal before the 1267 Committee, the two Pakistanis will be only designated as global terrorists if none of the five permanent members of the UNSC exercise a veto. While China has traditionally blocked all such proposals moved by India and its allies, the US is expected to the support the designation. The UK and Russia could swing either way as Moscow is the new “no limits” ally of China and the UK has very close links with Pakistan.

Foreign Minister Colonna’s visit will further cement strategic ties between the two countries and take forward the decisions taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron after the former visited Paris on May 4. The India-France relationship has strong political as well as strategic content with the two countries forging a web of trilateral relationships involving UAE, Australia and Southeast Asia, parallel to the QUAD grouping.

While France is a close ally of the US, it exercises strategic autonomy in the Indo-Pacific through its anchor in India. The two countries are involved in a variety of activities including ocean bed mapping, dark shipping, maritime domain awareness, and space security. France is a willing partner in defence with India and is willing to offer full transfer of technology—from aircraft frame to engines—for the twin engine AMCA project. It is also ready to partner with India in development of advanced submarines including nuclear powered ones as well as joint development of missiles, loitering ammunition, and aircraft engines under the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” initiative. However, the defence aspect of the relationship is handled by the national security advisors of the two countries.

According to senior officials, Minister Colonna will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and NSA Ajit Doval and discuss the critical situation in Ukraine, Taiwan and the terror and radicalization threat from the Af-Pak region. The French minister will also discuss the Indo-Pacific, cyber security, cyber defence, the civil nuclear power station being set at Jaitapur, and space cooperation.

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