Wednesday, Mar 19, 2003
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By B. Muralidhar Reddy
In a statement, the Foreign Minister, Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, said: ``We continue to urge all concerned to consider all options to still endeavour to bring about a peaceful solution of this problem.''
Mr. Kasuri's statement came amidst high pitch rhetoric particularly by the leaders of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), alliance of six religious parties, against the U.S. and Mr. Bush. The Minister's statement came hours before the special session of the National Assembly.
``Pakistan was disappointed that the U.N. Security Council has not been able to reach consensus on the important issue of Iraq.''
The dramatic developments culminating in the decision of the U.S.-U.K. combine not to call for a vote on the second resolution must have come as a great relief to Pakistan. The Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, has been under tremendous pressure from the U.S. to support the resolution.
The U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, had telephoned Gen. Musharraf on Monday in a bid to persuade him to back the second resolution.
Right from the day the U.S. mooted the second resolution, Gen. Musharraf had made it clear to Washington that Pakistan could ill afford to support any resolution for war against Iraq, given the anti-war sentiments in the country.
The prevailing anti-war mood in Pakistan was evident in the two rallies organised by MMA this month. The alliance is holding another demonstration on March 23 in Lahore.
The Pakistan People's Party leader, Raza Rabbani, in a brief statement, said ``the war against Iraq which seems imminent will enhance global and regional security. It will have far reaching effects on the region and on the economy of Pakistan''.
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