New Delhi: After much diplomatic hard work and tough behind-the-curtains negotiations, India has finally been able to get Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) Abdul Rehman Makki listed as ‘global terrorist’ under the UN Security Council’s Al-Qaida and ISIL (Dae’sh) Sanctions Committee — also known as the UNSC 1267 Committee — after China removed its “technical hold” on the process.
The development took place late Monday night India time as the Indian diplomats at the UN in New York under Permanent Representative Ruchira Kamboj continued to keep the pressure on China, which had blocked a similar move in June 2022, official sources told ABP Live.
It was in June last year when India, along with the US, presented the case to impose punitive sanctions on Makki under the UNSC 1267 Committee. Both New Delhi and Washington have already banned Makki under their respective laws.
According to official sources, Pakistan-based terrorist Makki’s main focus was to raise funds, and recruit and radicalise young men to carry out terror attacks in India, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir.
The last time when the proposal to list Makki under the UN Security Council sanctions regime was circulated to all members of the 1267 Committee under a no-objection procedure was 16 June 2022. But China placed a hold on it seeking more details and investigations into the claims in the proposal of Makki’s activities.
But India, along with the US, continued to keep the pressure on so that none of the Council members supported Beijing, including Moscow.
Finally, on Monday, the proposal was circulated once again and this time China gave in as it failed to garner any support from the members, a top-level source said.
According to another source, this time Beijing “buckled under pressure” as it could not get any support from any of the countries at the council that came in this month, after India’s tenure ended on December 31.
Currently, the five permanent members, also called the P-5, are the US, the UK, France, China and Russia, while the remaining 10 new non-permanent members are Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Switzerland and UAE. Only the P-5 has veto rights.
None of these 10 new non-permanent members of the council are believed to have supported China’s technical hold, the sources said, adding that Pakistan’s collapsing economy also helped since Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif does not want to risk inviting the ire of the US and other countries as he has been seeking financial support by way of easy loans and grants.
Syed Akbaruddin, a veteran diplomat and India’s former Ambassador to the UN, told ABP Live: “The listing of an individual as a global terrorist requires huge heavy lifting to be done because we know that other than China we can get everybody else’s support at the UN.”
He said this is not the first time that China took such a step. “Their typical style is to get some support from a handful of countries and stop the procedure. In this case, also they must have consulted the new members of the Council after we left and in the absence of any kind of support from them they came under pressure,” said Akbaruddin, who is now the Dean of Kautilya School of Public Policy.
It was during Akbaruddin’s tenure as India’s Permanent Representative to the UN when India was able to list the dreaded terrorist Masood Azhar, chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
“In this case I think China waited till we went in. They must have consulted the new members after we left and did not find any support. If they don’t get the support then it becomes very difficult because you come under pressure,” he said.
Who Is Abdul Rahman Makki?
Pakistan’s Muridke-based Abdul Rehman Makki is the deputy chief or Emir, and head, respectively, of the political affairs of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) and Jamat ud-Dawa (JuD), which itself is a UN proscribed terrorist entity.
Makki’s father’s name is Hafiz Abdullah Bahwalpuri. He is the brother-in-law of LeT/JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who is a UN-proscribed terrorist and also the son of one of Saeed’s maternal uncles.
Makki also served as the director of foreign affairs of the LeT’s foreign relations department. Besides, Makki is a member of Shura (governing body) as well as JuD’s central and proselytising team.
LeT has been responsible for and had involvement in big terror strikes on India, such as the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack; the Red Fort attack on December 22, 2000; Rampur CRPF camp attack on January 1, 2008; Karan Nagar (Srinagar) attack on February 12-13, 2018; Khanpora (Baramulla) attack on May 30, 2018; the Srinagar attack on June 14, 2018; and Gurez/Bandipora attack on August 7, 2018.
Makki is the main ideologue of the organisation and had previously taught at Medina University in Saudi Arabia. In 2004, he even came out with a book describing how ‘fidayeen’ missions work compared to suicide attacks, according to the book – In Their Own Words: Understanding Lashkar-e-Tayyaba – by C. Christine Fair.
Fair also notes in his book that Makki is second only to Saeed within the LeT.
Makki was reportedly arrested by the Pakistan Government on May 15, 2019, and was kept under house arrest in Lahore. In 2020, he was convicted of terrorism financing and was sentenced to prison by a Pakistani court.
What UN Action On Makki Means For Pakistan
The sources ABP Live spoke to said Pakistan this time would take action on Makki because it wants to avoid going back to the terror financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Pakistan came out of the ‘grey list’ of FATF last October.
Owing to Pakistan’s dwindling economic conditions, Islamabad has to seek loans from its partners and thus any kind of scrutiny under the FATF may make those costly and in some cases, implausible.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said he intends on having “serious and sincere talks” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on “burning points like Kashmir”.
In an interview with Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV, Sharif said Pakistan has learnt its lesson after three wars with India and stressed that now it wants peace with its neighbour.
“We have had three wars with India, and they have only brought more misery, poverty and unemployment to the people. We have learnt our lesson, and we want to live in peace with India, provided we are able to resolve our genuine problems,” Sharif said in the interview.