Diplomacy before democracy: ‘Pakistan should have supported China in UN Syria vote’

Published: February 12, 2012

Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari is seen leaving the UN Security Council meeting to discuss a European-Arab draft resolution endorsing an Arab League plan calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up power in New York February 4, 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

PESHAWAR: In the United Nations Security Council’s vote on Syria, Pakistan should have supported China keeping in view its brotherly relations with the neighbour, Senator Salim Saifullah has said.

Saifullah, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters at his residence in Peshawar on Sunday that when China vetoed the resolution on Syria, the Pakistani envoy should have supported China instead of voting against Syria. He said that as the committee chairperson, he would call a meeting and discuss the matter with other panel members.

The senator also spoke about the US Congressmen’s hearing on Balochistan, saying his party the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (Likeminded) condemned the move as it amounted to direct interference by the US in Pakistan’s affairs. He also took the opportunity to reiterate condemnation of drone strikes, calling them in complete violation of international rules, and reaffirming the view that Nato supplies must remain suspended until drone attacks are halted completely.

However, he used US as a positive example when discussing election of the president and Senators. Saifullah also suggested that to avoid “horse-trading”, presidential and Senate polls should be reformed and the ordinary Pakistani should be given the opportunity to elect the president and members of the Senate, similar to the pattern followed for general elections.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Nadim Rahimtullah
    Feb 12, 2012 - 7:30PM

    Sen. Salim Saifullah, obviously, does not understand the key elements that characterize a country’s foreign policy. The entire world, including Syria’s “Arab brothers” (the quotes intended to pun on Mr. Saifullah’s mention of Pakistan’s “brotherly” relations with Syria) has unanimously criticized and condemned Syria for its military crackdown on its own civilian population. By following China’s behaviour at the UN (China’s veto was widely condemned by the world, including the USA), Pakistan would have been in the company of its “all-weather friend” but it would have had to pay a heavy price and have been despised by the universe (as it generally is much of the time). AS far as Baluchistan is concerned, Saifullah is, apparently, oblivious to or ignorant of the mass violations of human rights and other issues that plague that region. He has to only read what Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and even Pakistan’s own home-grown civil rights’ groups have to say. It is hardly surprising that the Baluchis do not consider themselves as Pakistanis.

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  • Cautious
    Feb 12, 2012 - 8:46PM

    Both China and Russia have egg on their face and both probably wish they had taken another tact by now. Things will continue to deteriorate in Syria and the slaughter of the Syrian civilians will gain more publicity. Assad will probably fall and if not he will be a perpetual pariah and reminder of China and Russia’s indifference to slaughter. The Senator’s view implies that China would somehow reward Pakistan for it’s vote which I think is an absurd position. The reality is that China didn’t request nor need your vote to defeat the UN proposal.

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  • Aniq
    Feb 12, 2012 - 8:49PM

    @Nadim Rahimtullah:
    Amnesty international and co are all American based NGOs and have 0 credibility
    Their only job is to set the ground work for us media misinformation . Every side has 2 stories

    Pakistan should’ve abstained not voted with the gulf Arabs or gone against china and Russia . If Pakistan was not filled with CIA agents and weak rulers we should support Syria even more it’s a shame we did so little to help gaddafiRecommend

  • iTriPk
    Feb 12, 2012 - 10:58PM

    Pakistan and China are friends. However, China is not arrogant enough to control Pakistan’s foreign policy. From what happened to Libya with that UN vote, Russia and China believes this UN vote is just a thin guise for western military to attack Syria and Russia and China believe peaceful diplomacy is still the way to go. Syria’s interest and sovereignty should be protected from outsider manipulations.

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  • Jaffar
    Feb 12, 2012 - 11:31PM

    Syria is being desablized by al Qaeda who are coming from Iraq and the CIA crates free Syrian army

    Look what happened in Libya 10000s of black people in prison and tortured site destroyed anyone town who the rebels dont like thy accuse of being pro gaddafi and destroy

    Russia is clever and not falling for CIA properganda Arabs are weak and Shame on them none of them are democracies but tab league talks of democracy in Syria .

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  • Wahab
    Feb 13, 2012 - 5:57AM

    U.S. is also after Pakistan just two days ago U.S. held a hearing on Balochistan and can also use the U.N. against Pakistan some day. Pakistan should have supported China UN vote. China is Pakistan’s only true friend.

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  • Friend of Pak
    Feb 13, 2012 - 8:13PM

    Pakistan did it right on this tactically. The fact is that both China and Russia would not need any other support to veto the bill. By casting its veto vote, Pakistan did not alter the course of the result, rather it put itself in a position of not antagonizing any Western and Arabic nations unnecessarily. Thumbs up from China!

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  • Feb 17, 2012 - 7:09AM

    Pakistan did the right thing. Pakistanis’ and Chinese interests do not always align on every issue. In this instance, Pakistan’s interests are better served by joining its Arab allies in the Arab League.

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  • Abdul Majeed
    Feb 18, 2012 - 12:35PM

    Arab Allies? Arab lies,

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