ISLAMABAD - Emphasising the need for comprehensive reforms in the UN Security Council, Pakistan Thursday said it was waiting for a briefing from the US about details of President Obama’s recent visit to India and agreements signed between the two countries.

“We haven’t had a briefing from the US side to know exactly what issues were raised. But as we have been saying, it is our expectation that the US would play a role for peace and stability in this region,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said at weekly press briefing.

Commenting on Indo-US trade deal, Tasnim said, “It is a bilateral issue between the two countries while Pakistan has its own relationship with the US that is our major trading partner and also a big investor in Pakistan.”  “We pursue our relations with the US independent of any other country. We do not see bilateral relations in terms of ‘either’ ‘or’,” she added.

She went on to say that a new round of strategic dialogue with the US commenced this month. So Pakistan was determined to continue working with the US to promote and expand bilateral relations which were based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

About US offer to India for UNSC slot, the spokesperson said, “India does not qualify to become a full member of the United Nations Security Council given its record of violation of UN resolutions particularly pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir.”

She said Pakistan had always advocated effective and feasible reforms of the UN Security Council and its working methods on the basis of consensus among the UN members. The spokesperson said the UNSC reforms should make this vital organ for peace and security more democratic, effective and responsive to the aspirations of the member states. A reformed UNSC should reflect interests of wider membership of the UN.

She, however, warned that the idea of new permanent member seats in the UNSC will create only new centers of powers and privileges, and could make the Security Council even more undemocratic.

Answering questions about the recent US-India defence pact, the spokesperson said the pact could only add to the conventional asymmetry and undermine the regional stability.

She voiced concerns over India’s massive acquisition of conventional weapons saying this would further complicate stability in the region. She said India had increased its defence spending by 12 percent in 2014-15. Its defence budget stands at 38.3 billion dollars. India has for the last three years been top buyer of conventional weapons. To a question, Tasnim Aslam said China was a global power and was significantly contributing to regional stability.

About the visit of Chinese president, she said it will take place. However dates had not been finalised as yet.

About counter-terrorism operations, the spokesperson said Pakistan was pursuing a comprehensive strategy to deal with the menace. The international community should also devise such a strategy for elimination of terrorism.

Responding to a question about supporting Chinese membership to SAARC, the spokesperson said China as observer had been playing important role in SAARC, adding that China having borders with three SAARC countries was a global player and contributing in the stability, peace and development in the region.

Earlier in her opening remarks, the spokesperson said the Pakistani embassy in Baghdad had been directed to immediately look after and address complaints and issues being faced by Pakistani pilgrims in Iraq.

PAKISTAN COMMITTED TO CURB TERRORISM: AZIZ

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security, Sartaj Aziz, Thursday said that Pakistan is committed to counter terrorism in the interest of regional peace and stability.

Addressing a seminar on US President Barack Obama’s visit to India and its implications for Pakistan here, he said that the National Action Plan (NAP) was launched after consultations with all the political parties. He spoke about ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb and said action is being taken against all the terrorists without any discrimination.

Sartaj Aziz was of the view that terrorism is such a challenge that needs cooperation of international community. He said that relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have improved after the new government assumed the charge. He said a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan.

The seminar organised by Strategic Vision Institute (SVI) and was also addressed by former Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi and nuclear expert Brig Naeem Salik.