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A Divided Comity
Pakistan’s UN ambassador Munir Akram is fast becoming an untouchable. He has earned more ill-will for Islamabad in a year than many of his predecessors combined, because he just can’t get beyond India-bashing. He misused even the rare Security Council tenure last week and managed to rile half the world, the US, India, and Muslim countries included. His vitriol against India boiling over, the dark side got the better of Akram and he undermined that holiest of holies for any Muslim country—the Palestinian cause—when he forced Kashmir into an annual UN resolution on self-determination. He turned a generic resolution unanimously adopted for more than two decades into an electric rod, forcing countries to scatter hither and thither. An otherwise positive issue for all the democratic-minded, it became a full-fledged cat fight. Consequently, it was adopted by only 88 votes with 64 abstentions and 3 against. Five co-sponsors withdrew when they learnt of Akram’s plan, while many delegates simply chose to stay away. Islamic countries conveyed their "regrets" to India over this dangerous mixing of the Palestinian issue
with Kashmir. Many voted for it because they hadn’t checked the text carefully.
Then, Akram used language against India that would make a hood blush. "It was a real deterioration, the incredible language this gentleman used. It is the opposite of what is happening in the region," commented a US diplomat. Most of the West, including the US and EU, abstained indicating their changing attitudes towards the subcontinent. India’s permanent representative Vijay Nambiar said the vote was "a slap in Pakistan’s face". It is the lowest margin of votes for this stock resolution. So disliked is Akram in the UN, he lost a post-retirement job he lobbied hard for to a Japanese candidate. He even skipped the UN’s fact-finding trip to Afghanistan to lobby full-time in New York. Does Pervez Musharraf know how his man is squandering whatever goodwill Pakistan has? And we won’t even go into Akram’s boorish ways with women.