Islamabad opposed to expansion in the permanent category

Ahead of U. S. President Barack Obama's India visit, Pakistan on Friday warned that any endorsement of the Indian bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) would have a negative impact on issues relating to peace and security in South Asia.

This view was articulated by the Foreign Office before the Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir. Asked about India's prospects in acquiring a permanent seat in the UNSC and possible U. S. endorsement for such a position, the Foreign Office representatives sought to point out that Pakistan was opposed to expansion in the permanent category and “further perpetuation of existing anomalies.”

Pakistan's contention is that endorsing the candidacy of any one of more States for a permanent seat on the UNSC would be at variance with the spirit of the U. N. Charter and infringes upon the principles of sovereign equality. “Creating a new class of privileged members, with or without veto, is not an option. The issue of the UNSC's expansion cannot be divorced from the broader questions relating to the restructuring of the global system.”

According to the Foreign Office, Pakistan has been consistent on this position. “Such decisions that impact on the global system of inter-State relations based on the Charter require consensus. The spirit and the principles of the Charter should not be compromised, and sovereign equality is a cardinal principle.”

While the Committee endorsed the government's position that India like any other sovereign State was entitled to develop its own bilateral relations in a manner it deems fit, the Foreign Office — in its briefing on the Obama visit to India — said the U. S. was informed about the need to maintain regional balance in South Asia. “It is Pakistan's considered view that anything that militates against the regional balance is counter-productive and not in the interest of the region and the world.”

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