After nearly a decade of back and forth, the efforts to designate Masood Azhar Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) as a global terrorist by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have come to a close. China – which had held up the blacklisting in the past - did not object any further to a fresh move by France, the United Kingdom and the United States to get him listed. India, which had mounted a major diplomatic push to get the listing as central part of its foreign policy will undoubtedly celebrate this as a victory and a vindication of its stance. However, Pakistan has managed to get its stance vindicated as well, by procuring major concessions from the UNSC over the designation of the Kashmir issue.

As it stands, the move is less a one-sided proclamation and more of a hard-fought negotiated agreement – which sees each side walk away with its major agendas fulfilled. Which goes to show how complex and contentious bilateral issues such as the Masood Azhar listing, when broken down into their constituent parts and treated rationally, can produce workable solutions.

As part of the compromise, the movers dropped all references to Kashmiri uprising in the India-held valley, Pulwama incident and Pakistani institutions, especially those linking Kashmiri freedom struggle to terrorism. Considering that the listing was part of India’s larger doctrine of painting the Kashmiri freedom struggle as “terrorism” and referring to the separatists as “religious fundamentalists” so that it could deligitimise the Kashmiri right of self-determination, this concession is an extremely important one. Pakistan and China’s resistance to the listing has always been predicated of this nefarious agenda that motivated it, the removal of which should pave the way for progress.

Furthermore, the affirmation by the involved nations – India, France, UK, USA, and China – that the Kashmiri cause is in fact not terrorism and shouldn’t be categorized as such goes a long way to lend credence to their struggles.

The removal of this logjam should allow the UNSC to move on to other, more pressing issues in the Kashmir valley. Work can now begin on implementing the UN directives on holding a plebiscite in the region so that the people can determine their own future. Work should also being on enforcing the UN administered international law in the Valley – especially allowing the human rights observers to return to the land and holding India’s oppressive military actions in the region accountable.