Pakistan joins India in UNSC
IANS NEW YORK PAKISTAN narrowly won a hotly-contested seat to the UN Security Council, joining India for a two-year term on the 15-member decisionmaking organ of the world body. India, which is already serving as a non-permanent member for the 2011-2012 term, is believed to have voted for Pakistan, as their positions are similar on many international issues, except for Kashmir.
Pakistan, which just about scraped through on Friday securing 129 out of 193 votes in the UN General Assembly, exactly the two-third majority required to win the seat, begins its two-year term Jan 1, while India’s term ends Dec 31, 2012.
Manjeev Singh Puri, India’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, embraced Haroon after the vote and said that he warmly welcomed the election of Pakistan. “Pakistan and India share common perception on so many global issues, and we look forward to working with them,” Puri said.
Pakistan’s principal opponent in the Asia-Pacific region, Kyrgyzstan, won just 55 votes. This would be the seventh time Pakistan would serve on the Security Council, and the fourth time its term would overlap with India.
India won its latest two-year term by securing a landslide 187 votes.
Pakistan’s ambassador, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, said he expected to work well with his Indian counterpart as he received a congratulatory call from Indian envoy Hardeep Puri while talking to journalists.
“We hope to play our usual role of taking on matters which affect the underdog, so as to speak,” he was quoted as saying by CNN.
With regard to India, Haroon said that both countries “have been beneficial in starting dialogue” and avoiding “usual tendencies.” The elections replace five of the 10 temporary members of the council every year. Guatemala ran unopposed and Morocco won easily, but Togo’s victory took three rounds and the fifth seat is still contested.
Reacting to the news, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday said his country’s election to a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council “effectively rebuts allegations of Pakistan’s isolation”.
“It is a proof of Pakistan’s support in the comity of the nations and effectively rebuts allegations of Pakistan’s isolation as claimed by some circles,” he said, referring to opposition criticism of his foreign policy.
Pakistan took the Asia- Pacific seat, getting 129 votes, the minimum required, to 55 for its only rival Kyrgyzstan.
The two-year term begins on January 1, 2012. Arch rival India will also remain on the council through 2012.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in a separate statement said the UN vote also “reflects the importance and respect that Pakistan enjoys in the international community”.
It comes after Pakistan-US relations deteriorated dramatically over the May 2 American special forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden near Islamabad.
The US also insists that Pakistan break up militant groups operating across the border in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan will take its seat on the UN Security Council at a time when the world in general and our extended region in particular is witnessing developments of far-reaching implications,” Khar said.
“As in the past, Pakistan will play its constructive role in the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.” Pakistan has been on the council six times, according to official media, 1952-53, 1968- 69, 1976-77, 1983-84, 1993- 94 and 2003-04.
India and Pakistan have shared terms on the Council in 1968, 1977 and 1984.