Amidst reports that Pakistan plans to field journalist-turned-diplomat Maleeha Lodhi against India's Shashi Tharoor for the UN Secretary General Post, US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice declined to commit her support for a woman candidate, saying she was "gender-neutral".
"The US has not yet decided whom to support," she told reporters on Tuesday night when asked by a Pakistani journalist whether she being an "elegant lady" would support a woman candidate for the top post.
"I'm all for women being in any and every position possible. But I think that the role of Secretary General is -- that the question of who will become Secretary General will be dealt with over the next couple of months.
Let me be very clear the United States hasn't made any decisions itself about who should hold that role," she said.
Not satisfied with Rice's non-committal reply, Kasuri stepped into state that the reporter wanted to know if you are partial to a woman Secretary General.
"I heard that", Rice replied with laughter. "And I'm gender-neutral, although obviously I like to see women in any position," she said.
The question was asked in the backdrop of reports in the media here that Pakistan was toying with the idea of fielding Lodhi to oppose India's nominee for the post.