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Pakistan Says No Demands in Exchange For Aid - 2001-09-21

Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations, Shamshad Ahmad, says his nation has made no demands to the United States in exchange for Pakistan's cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

There has been speculation that in exchange for Pakistan's cooperation, the United States would push for the lifting of U.N. sanctions against the Taleban rulers in Afghanistan. Pakistan has said those sanctions have created hundreds of thousands of economic refugees from Afghanistan who are now in Pakistan.

In addition, there have been unconfirmed reports that the United States would endorse cancellation of about $30 billion in Pakistan's international debt.

But according to Mr. Ahmad, his government has not made any demands in exchange for its cooperation with the United States. "For us, it is not a question of seeking any quid pro quos," he said. "This [cooperation with the United States] is a matter of principle. Pakistan has always adopted a policy based on dignity but, at the same time, we expect fairness and justice. So we are not negotiating any quid pro quos. The world community itself needs to make up its mind what it has to do."

Mr. Ahmad, who spoke to reporters after meeting with the president of the U.N. Security Council, stressed that the terrorism crisis affects the whole of humanity. "Terrorism is a menace and evil that afflicts every society," he said. "It has no religion and haunts us all. It stalks us all, it strikes us all. So we need to put up a resolute response on behalf of the world community together."

Mr. Ahmad said Pakistan's decision to cooperate in the war on terrorism conforms to international law and to its own national interests.

Next week, the U.N. Security Council will consider what additional action it may take to fight terrorism.