Pak struggles for non-permanent seat at UNSC

United Nations: Pakistan hopes to enter the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member, a club of 10 nations which currently includes India, when the United Nations holds annual elections to its powerful 15-nation body on October 21.

Pakistan is one of the nine countries vying for five non-permanent seats on the Security Council that will fall vacant on December 31, 2011. The candidates include Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo (from the African and Asia-Pacific States); Azerbaijan, Hungary and Slovenia (from the Eastern European States); and Guatemala (from the Latin American and Caribbean States), Director of the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council Affairs Division Ion Botnaru told reporters today.

India joined as non-permanent member of the UNSC on January 2011 and its term will end on December 31, 2012.

The two nuclear-armed neighbours have thrice before been together in the Council in 1968, 1977 and 1984. Both the Indian and Pakistani missions to the UN did not have any comment on the elections.

India`s Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri and Pakistan`s Ambassador Abdullah Haroon share cordial relations. The two envoys from the rival nations famously sat together in the US Open stands last year supporting the doubles team of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi.

China has backed Pakistan`s bid for non-permanent berth in the Security Council, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu saying Beijing attaches great importance to Pakistan`s request for a seat on the Council and is in favour of Islamabad playing a bigger role in maintaining international peace and security.