INTERNATIONAL

Responsibility on Saddam: Pak.

ISLAMABAD Jan. 28. Pakistan, non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), today said the Iraqi crisis should be resolved peacefully and added that a "heavy responsibility" rested on the shoulders of the Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein, to ensure implementation of U.N. resolutions. Amid growing domestic unrest on a possible U.S. attack on Iraq, the Pakistan Foreign Office deemed it necessary to outline the country's response to the report the U.N. inspectors presented to the Security Council on Monday. As a frontline ally of the U.S.-led coalition in the so-called war against terrorism and facing a mounting criticism by religious parties on the issue, the Pervez Musharraf-Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali Khan government is caught in a dilemma on the Iraq situation. It's joining the UNSC as a non-permanent member for a two-year period beginning January 1 has only accentuated the difficulty. This was best illustrated in the projection of the ongoing Gulf tour of the Prime Minister, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali. Senior functionaries of the Government kept redefining the objectives of his visit. Initially it was projected as an effort for a `coordinated' action plan. However, the Foreign Office quickly sought to emphasise that Iraq was one of the issues on the agenda of Mr. Jamali in his talks with Gulf leaders. Just before boarding the special aircraft that took him on his Gulf sojourn, Mr. Jamali committed a faux pas of sorts by declaring that Pakistan had never sided with `oppressors'. As it dawned on the mandarins of the Foreign Office that the statement amounted to virtual endorsement of the Bush Administration goal for regime change in Iraq, once again the Foreign Office got into act to undo the `damage'.

In a statement here, it said that Pakistan's "principled position" on Iraq continued to be based on a peaceful resolution and preventing the further suffering of the Iraqi people must constitute the main objective.

It said the UNMOVIC and the IAEA are carrying out an important exercise to ensure that Iraq remains disarmed of weapons of mass destruction potential, and they should be permitted to continue their work.

``In the interests of the Iraqi people, regional and international peace and security, Iraq's President has a heavy responsibility to ensure that the Iraqi authorities cooperate to fully implement the Security Council Resolutions related to disarmament in Iraq.

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