United Nations, Oct 31: Pakistan has taken pot shots at India's bid for a permanent seat on the Security Council, calling it "selfish" and a claim to "self-arrogated right to a privileged and unequal status" but did not directly name it.
In a General Assembly debate on equitable representation on the Security Council, Pakistan's Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi said: "Rigidity and blind pursuit of national ambition is the real reason for our persisting failure to achieve a more democratic, accountable, transparent and effective Security Council."
Pakistan along with its ally, Italy, struck the discordant note at the debate, where there was broad support for adding permanent seats on the Security Council and several countries firmly backed India's candidacy for one.
"A few countries have sought to promote their self-arrogated right to a privileged and unequal status," Lodhi said. "Pakistan opposes the creation of new permanent seats as it is contrary to the universally agreed principles of our of time -- accountability and transparency."
Sounding a contradictory note, Lodhi said Pakistan "always respected African nations' declarations calling for two permanent seats for countries from that continent even as she opposed expanding the Security Council.
"Pakistan distinguishes between the demands motivated by selfish ambitions and the collective demand of an entire continent," she added.
Pakistan is a member of a 13-member group calling itself Uniting for Consensus, (UfC) which is led by Italy. The group steadfastly opposed the creation of a negotiating text for reform talks saying there should first be a consensus. However, without a framework document, negotiations could not take place, much less reach a consensus.
In a setback to UfC and others trying to derail efforts to add permanent members, the General Assembly last month adopted a negotiating text that would kickstart meaningful discussions on reforms.
Speaking on behalf of the UfC, Italy's Permanent Representative Sebastiano Cardi blamed others for the stalled negotiations. "The past has demonstrated that divisive approaches and initiatives complicate our process even further, distancing us from reaching our commonly shared goal of reform."
Reiterating the UfC's opposition to expanding the permanent membership, he made a dig at India and other countries seeking permanent seats.
"Today we will still hear voices in favor of adding new permanent members, new veto powers, all while pursuing the same goal of making the Council more effective," Cardi said, adding: "No one has asked them to forfeit their willingness to play a greater role in the Council."
He said UfC was suggesting longer-term seats with the possibility of an immediate re-election. "These seats would not be reserved to a select group of countries," he said. "All UN member states willing to make a bigger contribution to the work of the Council would have the right to run for a longer-term seat."