Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pak criticises U.S. for backing India’s UNSC bid

Islamabad : Peeved over the strong backing of the U.S. for India's quest for a permanent UNSC berth, the Pakistan government on slammed Washington over the move, claiming it would have "implications" for peace and stability in South Asia.

The government on Wednesday afternoon expressed its opposition to U.S. President Barack Obama's endorsement for India's efforts to gain a seat at the high table during a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The cabinet said "politics of expediency" should not be allowed to decide the future of the international order.

"The cabinet expressed its serious concern and strong disappointment on the decision of the United States to support a permanent seat for India on the U.N. Security Council," said a statement issued by the Foreign Office following the meeting.

"This decision has grave ramifications for the direction and prospects of the system of multilateral cooperation as envisaged by the founding fathers of the U.N. Charter.

"It also has implications for peace and security and stability in Asia, particularly South Asia," the statement said.

The cabinet claimed it was "incomprehensible that the U.S. has sought to support India, whose credentials with respect to observing the U.N. Charter principles and international law are at best chequered".

As an instance, the cabinet cited what it described as India's "disregard of Security Council Resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir and gross and systematic violations of the fundamental human rights of the Kashmiri people".

The Pakistan government claimed the future of the U.N. and of "succeeding generations cannot and must not be premised on considerations of power politics, politics of expediency, bereft of morals and ideals, which must be the guiding spirit for an enlightened international order".

The cabinet contended that Pakistan, "along with a large number of members of the international community," wanted "principled" reforms of the Security Council.

"This process should be based on respect for the cardinal principles of the U.N. Charter, including the principle of sovereign equality of states," the statement said.

The Pakistan government, especially the Foreign Office, has been rattled by Mr. Obama's remarks backing India's bid for permanent membership of the U.N.'s most important decision-making body.

Shortly after Mr. Obama announced his support during a speech to the Indian parliament on Monday, U.S. envoy Cameron Munter was called to the Foreign Office, where Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir conveyed Islamabad's disappointment at the development.

Mr. Bashir told the U.S. envoy that the move would have "serious repercussions" for South Asia and reforms of the U.N., Pakistani sources told PTI.

Mr. Bashir also reiterated Pakistan's publicly stated position that the U.S. appeared to have acted "out of expediency of power politics" while setting aside India's position on the Kashmir dispute and "violations" of Security Council resolutions on this issue, the sources said.

Pakistan's military leadership, the driving force behind the country's foreign policy, is expected to take up the same concerns with Gen. David Patraeus, the commander of the U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, when he visits Islamabad on November 12, the sources said.
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