Pak finds US backing India UNSC seat ‘incomprehensible’

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government has condemned the US backing for a permanent seat for arch-rival India on the UN Security Council as “incomprehensible”. A federal cabinet resolution “expressed its serious concern and strong disappointment on the decision of the United States to support a
permanent seat for India on the UN Security Council,” a foreign ministry statement said.

“It is incomprehensible that the US has sought to support India, whose credentials with respect to observing UN charter principles and international law are at best chequered,” the resolution said.

Addressing the Indian parliament earlier this week, visiting US President Barack Obama received rapturous applause when he said he looked forward to welcoming India as a permanent member of a reformed UN Security Council.

Islamabad and Washington are allies in the war against terrorism, but their relationship is strained, while nuclear-armed Pakistan and India are entrenched rivals.

They have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

The resolution passed by the cabinet at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, accused India of “disregard of Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir and gross and systematic violations of the fundamental human rights of the Kashmiri people”.

A string of decades-old Security Council resolutions call for a referendum to allow the Kashmiri people to choose between India and Pakistan, but have never been implemented.

Obama on Monday backed India’s quest for a permanent Security Council seat, inviting the world’s largest democracy to take its “rightful” place at the summit of global power.

Obama also said that the United States could not “impose” a solution on India and Pakistan’s dispute over Kashmir — the trigger for two wars between the South Asian rivals.

India has an estimated 500,000 troops in Kashmir, which is split into Indian- and Pakistani-administered parts. There has been a separatist insurgency in the Indian zone for 20 years.

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