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Dont need a chaudhry in the region: Gilani on India

Islamabad: In a clear rebuff to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton`s stand that India should take a lead in Asia, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Saturday that Pakistan does not want a "chaudhry" in the region.

Gilani initially refused to comment when journalists asked him about Clinton`s remarks on the sidelines of an official function here this afternoon.

"That`s her point of view. You can`t impose restrictions on anyone`s thoughts," he said.

When reporters kept pressing him on the issue, Gilani remarked: "Pakistan doesn`t want any chaudhry (headman)".

The word "chaudhry" is usually used in both India and Pakistan to refer to a local leader or influential person.

During her recent visit to India, Clinton had told a gathering in Chennai that the time had come for India to "seize the emerging opportunities of the 21st century" and "to lead".

Clinton`s remarks created a flutter in Pakistan as they came at a time when relations between Washington and Islamabad have plunged to a new low in the wake of a series of incidents, including the covert American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad on May 2.

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