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India receives setback in securing leadership of UNSC committees

NEW YORK: India’s bid to assume the chairmanship of some of the most important subsidiary bodies of the UN Security Council could not muster support from other members of the 15-nation body.

Diplomatic sources told the state-owned news agency that India pushed for but failed to secure the chairmanship of the powerful ‘1267’ Al-Qaeda/Daesh Sanctions Committee and the ‘1540’ Non-Proliferation Committee and also become the custodian of the Afghanistan file in the UNSC.

The vast majority of council members were opposed to giving India the chairmanship of this key committee, sources said, being aware of India’s narrow bilateral agenda to utilize the Al-Qaeda and Daesh Sanctions Committee for its own purposes.

A UNSC source the news agency that India tried its utmost, until the very last moment, to get this position, lobbying intensively in New York and in the capitals of the council’s members but it failed to convince them.

According to the source, it is no secret that New Delhi’s bid for the post was designed to advance India’s own agenda, mainly against Pakistan.

“The work of the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee is too important to be given in the hands of the Indians,” an African diplomat remarked. “The work of the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee is too important to be given in the hands of the Indians”

Pakistan last year submitted four listings of Indians nationals for supporting Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) in Afghanistan. These listings were blocked by some of India’s allies in the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee.

More recently, Pakistan also conveyed information on the financing and arming of the TTP and JuA, the two terrorist groups listed on the committee’s terrorism list.

Similarly, India’s bid for the Non-proliferation Committee encountered resistance in the Security Council, diplomats said. Many Western countries considered that India was not suited to head this important panel since it is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This raises a serious question mark regarding New Delhi’s nuclear status.

India also wanted to manage the Afghanistan issue in the Security Council but even some of its close allies felt that India’s role would not be positive in advancing the Afghan peace process.

The Afghan file was given instead to two European countries, which the UNSC members consider will play a more impartial and constructive role in the present delicate phase of the situation in Afghanistan.

Indian was given the chairmanship of the 1988-Taliban Sanctions Committee, where the proposals for listing and delisting of individuals rests mainly with the US and other permanent members of the UNSC and the chair’s role is minimal.

In addition, India will head the Libya sanctions committee which is also lying dormant. According to UN diplomats, it has not been a good start for India’s much-heralded term on the Security Council.

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