ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's foreign office on Friday rejected as "baseless" and "absolute fiction" the reports attributed to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari regarding Islamabad’s assurance to the United States (US) to not oppose India's bid for the permanent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) membership.
Bhutto-Zardari visited the US last month to attend a global food security conference at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. He met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on May 18 on the sidelines of the conference.
Reports emerged on social media in the last few days that the Pakistani foreign minister had assured his US counterpart Pakistan would not oppose the Indian bid to the UNSC, in exchange for Washington's support to Pakistan for the Nuclear Supplier Group membership.
The Pakistani foreign office on Friday rejected these reports and said they were wrongly attributed to Foreign Minister Bhutto-Zardari.
“The news circulating about any change in Pakistan’s position on the Indian bid for the permanent membership of the UN Security Council is totally baseless and absolute fiction,” Asim Iftikhar Ahmad, a spokesperson for the foreign office, said at a weekly media briefing on Friday.
“No discussion on this issue took place during the foreign minister’s meeting with Secretary Blinken in New York.”
He said Pakistan’s position on the UNSC reforms was "clear, consistent, and unambiguous."
“Together with its other partners, Pakistan opposed any expansion in the UNSC permanent members,” Ahmad said, adding there was no change whatsoever in Pakistan’s policy.
The spokesperson said Pakistan supported a comprehensive reform of the Security Council, which could make it more democratic, representative, transparent and accountable to the wider membership of the UN.
“Expansion in the permanent category of the membership does not conform to the principles of the reform,” he added.
Ahmad said Pakistan believed in the expansion of the non-permanent category of the UNSC membership, with periodic elections and rotation for a more representative and accountable Security Council.