India doesn't qualify for UNSC membership, Pakistan says in General Assembly debate

Published November 17, 2020
In this Jan 2020 file photo, Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations Munir Akram addresses the UNSC. — APP/File
In this Jan 2020 file photo, Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations Munir Akram addresses the UNSC. — APP/File

Pakistan has reaffirmed its opposition to adding new permanent members to the UN Security Council (UNSC), adding that India does not qualify for a seat on the 15-member body.

India — along with Brazil, Germany and Japan — has been campaigning for a permeant UNSC membership.

Speaking to the UN General Assembly (GA) on Monday, Pakistan's Permanent Representative Ambassador Munir Akram, in an apparent reference to India, said one country has waged 20 wars since independence and fomented terrorism and instability across the region, especially in Pakistan.

“We have clear and ample evidence of this state-sponsored terrorism,” the Pakistani envoy told the 193-member GA, which is debating reforms aimed at making the UN body more representative, responsive, democratic and transparent.

Read: Specific proof of Indian terrorism in Pakistan unveiled

“It stands in violation of UNSC resolutions in occupied Kashmir,” Akram said, adding that it had deployed 900,000 troops to crush the Kashmiri people’s legitimate freedom struggle. In addition, settlers from outside Jammu and Kashmir were being brought in to transform the region's demography, he said.

“It threatens aggression against Pakistan and resorts to daily artillery and small arms fire targeting innocent civilians on our side of the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

“This country has no qualification for a UNSC membership — permanent or even non-permanent,” the Pakistani envoy added.

Full-scale negotiations to reform the council began in the General Assembly in February 2009 on several key areas. These include the question of veto, regional representation, membership, the working methods of the council and its relationship with the GA.

Despite a general agreement on enlarging the council, member states remain sharply divided over the details.

The G-4 countries have shown no flexibility in their campaign to expand the council by 10 seats, with six additional permanent and four non-permanent members.

On the other hand, the Italy and Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group firmly opposes any additional permanent members, saying that such a move will not make the body more effective and will also undermine the fundamental principle of democracy that is based on periodic elections.

The UNSC currently comprises of five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — and 10 non-permanent members.

In his remarks, the Pakistan envoy said the UfC’s proposal reflected the most suitable basis for an agreement on comprehensive reforms.

“If it is approved, it will obtain the largest possible support in the GA and the essential ratification of all the five permanent members."

The UfC proposal, he said, was also flexible and through variable arrangements, could accommodate the aspirations and interests of a majority of the UN membership, including African and other regional groups such as the Arab Group and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

"The UfC looks at Africa’s collective desire for representation differently; its absence is a historical injustice. Africa is seeking a larger number of non-permanent and two empowered permanent seats for the continent.

“The UfC is prepared to explore with the African Group how their regional approach could be adapted to enable all regions to be able to select their own candidates for membership in an expanded Security Council.”

Ambassador Akram added: “The UNSC reform must be part of a broader revival of the multilateral system as it was conceived under the Charter.

“At the same time, the balance between the council and the GA, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and other UN organs must be restored to reinvigorate the entire multilateral system," he said.

FO urges action against India over terror sponsorship

A day earlier, Pakistan again called upon the world to hold India accountable for its role in sponsoring terrorism against Pakistan and prevent it from doing so in future.

“Use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy by India makes it culpable under international law, UN sanctions regime, and international counterterrorism conventions,” the FO said in a statement, adding that it was the world’s responsibility to hold India to account and take steps against Indian nationals involved in patronage of terrorist entities.

The statement came a day after Indian Ministry of External Affairs rejected the dossier containing proof of Indian intelligence agencies’ patronage of terrorism in Pakistan as a “futile anti-India propaganda exercise” that was “fabricated” and “lacking credibility”.

Envoys of the five permanent members of UN Security Council — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and United States — too were briefed about contents of the dossier.

“We also expect the UN counter-terrorism bodies to proceed on the basis of concrete evidence provided by Pakistan and urge India to renounce terrorism as an instrument of state policy. The UN must also play its part in dismantling of the Indian terrorist infrastructure, details of which have been provided in the dossier,” the FO said.

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