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Pak may field candidate for top UN post against Tharoor

Source: PTI
Last updated on: July 21, 2006 21:06 IST
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Pakistan may field its own candidate for the post of United Nations Secretary General if India's Shashi Tharoor makes it to the final stage of the selection process.

Islamabad would field its candidate only if Tharoor remains in the race, reported The Nation daily, which had earlier speculated that Pakistan planned to field its journalist-turned diplomat Maleeha Lodhi against Tharoor.

The paper said Pakistan was expecting Tharoor to withdraw but would wait till a final list of contestants emerges. Islamabad may field its candidate in September if Tharoor reaches the final stage of selection process, it said.

Under the UN Security Council procedure, a candidate can be introduced anytime before it makes the final selection.

The report said said Pakistan did not regard Tharoor as a serious contender as it believed that India had fielded him "half heartedly." Pakistan has been backing Thai Deputy Premier Surakirat Sathirathai for the top UN post and has assigned former Foreign Secretary Riaz Khokhar the task to campaign for him.

Khokhar would be campaigning for Sathirathai in the next three months, the paper said. There is, however, no official confirmation here to suggest that Khokhar has been appointed to campaign for the Thai candidate.

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