Pak stand on UNSC reform not to affect ties with India: Abdul Basit

Pakistan on Monday claimed that its ties with India have no bearing on its position on reforms of the U.N. Security Council, even as it insisted that it opposes expansion of the world body's top organ in the permanent category, where New Delhi is seeking a berth. Reacting to a media report about the apparent lack of clarity in Pakistan's position on the reforms of the U.N. Security Council, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said: "Pakistan's relations with India have no bearing, directly or indirectly, on its principled position on UNSC reform." The media report had referred to India's bid to become a permanent member of an expanded Security Council and the possibility of the U.S. backing the candidature of New Delhi, Japan and Brazil. Mr. Basit said "there is no ambiguity in Pakistan's position" on the reforms of the Security Council. He said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had made it clear that Pakistan "opposes expansion in the permanent category of membership of the Security Council as it would perpetuate the centres of privilege and would run counter to the objectives of reforming the Council to the changing realities." He denied that there is any "flexibility" in Pakistan's position, which "is anchored in principles and is not country-specific." Mr. Basit said Pakistan strongly believes that any proposal for reforming the Security Council should be "equitable, fair and democratic." "It should provide for enhanced representation from the developing world; correspond to the legitimate position of Africa and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference; and provide for a greater role of the regions in determining their representation in the Council," he said. Pakistan will continue working with like-minded countries within the framework of 'Uniting for Consensus' and in coordination with friendly nations to pursue the objective of a "democratic and effective Security Council, Mr. Basit added.

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