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Pak out of UN race?

india Updated: Jun 24, 2006 12:43 IST

Pakistan is unlikely to go for a tit-for-tat nomination on India's bid for the post of UN Secretary-General, media reports have said.

The Dawn newspaper said while reports from the UN headquarters in New York suggest that Indian diplomats are trying to explain the move to declare Shashi Tharoor as India's candidate for the Secretary-General's slot as a response to an anticipated declaration by Pakistan of its own nominee, Islamabad is nearing a decision not to put forward a name.

Instead, taking the multilateral route, Islamabad is likely to work actively to promote a consensus candidate for the UN top post.

New Delhi's nominee, who is currently UN under-secretary for Communication and Public Information, is not seen as a strong Asian contender by Islamabad.

Also, as some policy-makers point out, Pakistan's policy on India is no longer a blindly reactive one, the paper claimed.

"Pakistan has a national agenda, not an anti-India agenda. We will make our own decisions looking at various factors," a Pakistani official said.

Interestingly, of the three names tipped as Pakistan's possible candidates, one is Prime Minster Shaukat Aziz who apparently wants to retain the PM's post till 2012.

The other, Munir Akram, Pakistan's leading diplomat at the UN in New York, is also not up for an early departure from his Permanent Representative position.

Increasingly it seems that Pakistan will support either Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Suriakiart Sathirathaith, who is ASEAN bloc's consensus candidate, or Sri Lanka's top diplomat Jayanatha Dhanapala.

The fourth official contender from Asia is South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon, the newspaper said.

The post of UN Secretary-General falls vacant on December 31 when the incumbent Kofi Annan's second and final term ends.