Pakistan ‘watchful, but not concerned’ as India assumes UNSC presidency for August

Islamabad hopes Delhi will abide by relevant rules and norms governing conduct of Security Council Presidency, says FO


APP August 02, 2021

UNITED NATIONS:

India, which has assumed the presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the month of August, is set to organise three high-level meetings focussing on maritime security, counter-terrorism and promotion of multilateralism, according to diplomatic sources.

India took over the presidency from France on Sunday according to the system rotation in alphabetical order of the member states’ official names in English.

The South Asian nation began its two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC on January 1, this year. This will be India’s first presidency during its 2021-22 tenure

“We will be watchful, but not concerned,” Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Munir Akram said when asked for his reaction by APP correspondent.

Read more: India takes over UN Security Council presidency for August

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will himself preside over the 15-member Council meeting — virtually — on “Maintenance of international peace and security: Enhancing maritime security — A case for international cooperation” in which member states will discuss coordination to tackle maritime crime and security issues – like piracy, drug trafficking, etc.

It is possible that at the behest of its Western friends, India may also raise issues related to the South China sea, but in that case, the Chinese envoy is expected to give a strong response.

New Delhi will also organise a minister-level meeting titled, ‘Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts’ at the end of August.

Diplomatic observers expect India to push its oft-repeated narrative of being a victim of terrorism and may even mention Pakistan. If it does, Pakistan will be ready with its response with a written statement, as allowed to non-members.

Also read: India’s ever shrinking role in Afghanistan

Meanwhile, in Islamabad, Foreign Office Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri also said that Pakistan hopes that “India will abide by the relevant rules and norms governing the conduct of the Security Council Presidency”.

In view of the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, observers believe, the issue may also come in the Security Council as well. "Pakistan will be closely watching the role India would play and would be ready to respond in a situation arose."

The Taliban have gained a lot of ground as US and Nato forces withdrew from Afghanistan.

On multilateralism, India, among other elements, is expected to highlight its bid for permanent membership of the UN Security Council in the context of the reform of the 15-member body.

Ambassador Akram said, "We will be watchful and take steps so that India does not compromise its positions" on UN reform, Afghanistan and terrorism.

"Pakistan strongly opposes any expansion in the permanent membership of the Security Council," he added.

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