attack on Iraq |
Islamabad, March 20, IRNA -- Pakistan on Thursday deplored US attack
on Iraq, hoping that the war will be limited and that civilian
casualties will be avoided.
"Pakistan deplores the initiation of military action against
Iraq," Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri told a news
conference in Islamabad .
"Pakistan had consistently called on Iraq to fulfill its UN
Security Council disarmament obligations fully and speedily," the
Foreign Minister said.
"We regret that President Saddam Hussein did not consider all
options to save the Iraqi people from death and destruction," Mr.
He said Pakistan had stressed that the search for a peaceful
solution should remain a priority and that all avenues must be
explored and exhausted since the use of force is envisaged in the UN
Charter only under extreme situations.
"In the Security Council and outside, we had urged the Permanent
members evolve a consensus, as this was their traditional
responsibility, to ensure the unity of the council, which would have
been the best solution for resolving the Iraq crisis," he said. He
said it was unfortunate that a "P-5" consensus could not be reached,
and that the efforts of the non-Permanent members, including Pakistan,
who tried their best, were not able to bridge this divide.
He affirmed that priority must be given to avert a humanitarian
disaster for the Iraqi people and that civilian casualties, and
infrastructure damage, particularly to the civic services and the
holy places, must be strictly avoided.
Mr. Kasuri stressed that military action should not prolong,
adding that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq must be
preserved, and its rights over its natural resources.
"The fundamental rights of the people of Iraq, including over
their governance, should be respected".
He said the Security Council must resume its primary
responsibility, under the UN Charter for the maintenance of
international peace and security, in order to ensure these pressing
objectives with which the international community is not faced.
"This course of events should not be considered as setting any
precedent in the conduct of inter-state-relations. Pakistan firmly
believes in preserving the centrality of the United Nations,
observance of Charter of principles by all states, and the
implementation of the resolutions of the Security Council without
selective of discrimination".
The Foreign Minister said the Security Council must uphold
international legality equitably. It must implement all Security
Council resolutions including those on Jammu and Kashmir, and also
Palestine, whose peoples have been struggling and dying for over fifty
"Pakistan will continue to work within the Security Council and
elsewhere towards these international objectives and towards the
restoration of peace and security in Iraq and the region," Kasuri
He said Pakistan is ready to send humanitarian assistance to
Iraq, as our contribution to meet the humanitarian challenge with
which the international community is now faced with, adding that the
need of the hour is to help the Iraqi people. Pakistan will not be