Rule-based Diplomacy and UN Counterterrorism System
On 1st May 2019, Mohammad Masood Azhar Alvi (hereinafter Masood Azhar) was placed on the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). In response, the Government of Pakistan, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), stated:
“The UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee listing is governed by clear rules and is based on strict technical criteria. All decisions of the Committee are taken through consensus. The Committee procedures allow members to place technical holds to provide additional time for further discussions to reach a common understanding on matters under its consideration. Many members have placed technical holds on various listing proposals. Pakistan has always advocated the need for respecting these technical rules and regulations and has opposed the politicization of the Sanctions Committee. However, the earlier proposals to list Masood Azhar failed to generate the requisite consensus in the Sanctions Committee as the information did not meet its technical criteria.”
Clearly, Pakistan relied on rule-based diplomacy and the notion of the rule of law at international level, which, in turn, are based on international law. The purpose of the write-up is to explore the counter-terrorism architecture of the UN System, and to examine how far a state like Pakistan can dovetail its diplomatic and strategic efforts into the system to tackle Indian designs that try to take advantage of the architecture by relying on the US influence.
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