US, allies pushing Pakistan to vote against Russia at UN

US, allies pushing Pakistan to vote against Russia at UN

Islamabad: The United States and its allies are seeking Pakistan’s support for the resolution to be tabled at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) next week against Russia for invading Ukraine, Express Tribune reported.

The US and its western allies are set to move a resolution at the UNGA, condemning the Russian invasion and seeking withdrawal of Russian forces from the Ukrainian territories, Express Tribune reported.

In order to garner maximum support, the US is particularly eyeing support of the countries, which abstained from voting in March on the similar resolution, the report said.

Pakistan at the time joined China, India and other countries to stay away from voting, something that drew strong reaction from European countries and the US.

They termed abstention as equal to backing the Russian invasion. Pakistan defended its move, insisting that siding with either side would deny the country a role of a possible peace broker.

Pakistan has maintained delicate balance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It did express concerns over the humanitarian situation in Ukraine but stopped short of denouncing Russia.

However, the US and other European countries want Pakistan to take a clear stance, Express Tribune reported.

Ahead of the expected voting on the resolution against Russia, many western countries are in contact with Pakistan to seek its support.

Since the change of government, there have been visible exchanges between Pakistan and the Western countries. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session met several European leaders, including from France, Germany, Spain and others.

There has also been a flurry of meetings between Pakistan and the US in recent months.

While Sharif held a brief interaction with US President Joe Biden, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa made back-to-back visits to Washington.

It is believed that in these interactions, Russia has remained one of the main talking points between the two sides. Diplomatic sources said the US is certainly keen that Pakistan abandons its policy of “neutrality” on Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Foreign Office sources told The Express Tribune that Pakistan is unlikely to change its stance because it doesn’t want to become party to the conflict between big powers.

Nevertheless, officially Pakistan is tight-lipped and is not ready to reveal its strategy before the UNGA voting.

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