India's bid to designate the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's chief as a global terrorist suffered a setback with China on Wednesday putting a technical hold on a proposal to ban him following the Pulwama terror attack.
In a statement soon after, India's Ministry of External Affairs said it was disappointed by the outcome but that it was grateful to "member states who moved the designation proposal and the unprecedented number of all other Security Council members as well as non-members who joined as co-sponsors".
The proposal to designate Masood Azhar as global terrorist under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the United Kingdom and the USA on February 27.
The Indian government thanked other member states who moved the proposal, brought forward by the US, Britain and France.
India has expressed disappointment over China's decision but said it will "pursue all available avenues" to bring to justice terrorist leaders involved in attack on Indians.
The proposal against Azhar was initiated by France and backed by the USA and the UK.
The proposal was the fourth such bid at the United Nations in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist.
"Pakistan has quite often depended on China to protect it from the listing of Pakistan-based terrorist groups and individuals in the United Nations 1267 sanctions committee", the diplomat said.
China blocking Masood Azhar's designation as global terrorist reaffirms Chinese position of being an inseparable ally of Pakistan. Azhar financially supported Jaish-e Mohammad since its founding.
Mr Azhar reportedly met with the former Taliban leader Mullah Omar and with al-Qaeda head Osama Bin Laden when he was in the country.
India on February 26 claimed to have staged an air strike on a camp inside Pakistan that it said belonged to JeM, but Islamabad denied that any such facility had been targeted.
More recently, India has blamed JeM for an attack on its Pathankot airbase near the Pakistani border in January 2016, which left three security forces dead.
China on the other hand has said that it has adopted a responsible attitude and followed the rules and procedures of the UNSC Resolution 1267 sanctions committee.
The Feb. 14 attack that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police, making it the deadliest in Kashmir during a 30-year-long insurgency, increased tensions between Pakistan and India.
JeM has however attacked Pakistani military targets and even made an attempt on former leader Pervez Musharraf's life in 2003, despite India's accusations that Pakistan harbours the group.