Don't need a 'chaudhry' in the region: Gilani on India

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
Islamabad, Jul 23: In a clear rebuff to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's stand that India should take a lead in Asia, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said today (Jul 23) that Pakistan does not want a "chaudhry" in the region.

Gilani initially refused to comment when journalists asked him about Clinton's remarks on the sidelines of an official function here this afternoon.

"That's her point of view. You can't impose restrictions on anyone's thoughts," he said.

When reporters kept pressing him on the issue, Gilani remarked: "Pakistan doesn't want any chaudhry (headman)". The word "chaudhry" is usually used in both India and Pakistan to refer to a local leader or influential person.

During her recent visit to India, Clinton had told a gathering in Chennai that the time had come for India to "seize the emerging opportunities of the 21st century" and "to lead".

Clinton's remarks created a flutter in Pakistan as they came at a time when relations between Washington and Islamabad have plunged to a new low in the wake of a series of incidents, including the covert American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad on May 2.


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