UNITED NATIONS: India found itself in the dock at a resumed meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reform when Pakistan and other delegates demanded some rationale for its bid – along with Brazil, Germany and Japan – for permanent membership of the 15-member body, but it failed to come up with a response, according to informed sources. In contrast with the previous meetings of the IGN in which delegates mainly read out position papers, Monday’s closed-door session was interactive in nature. After India’s UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, speaking on behalf the Group of Four, called for Security Council’s expansion in the permanent category, delegates posed a barrage of questions mainly seeking the criteria for eligibility of new permanent members if they were to be elected. At the outset, Pakistani Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi exposed the poor logic of India and its allies, saying that the G4 formula of adding more permanent seats reflected the self-serving national ambition of a few at the expense of the world body’s wider membership. She said that the objective of the Security Council expansion should be to respond to the concerns and “aspirations of all, not just a few”. The Pakistani envoy also pointed out some serious legal and logical loopholes in the G4 position. A member of Pakistani team at the meeting then asked how new permanent members would enhance accountability of the Security Council. Also, he pointed out, the council faced a deadlock on many issues due to differences among the existing permanent members. “Will the new permanent members not cause complete paralysis of the Security Council,” he questioned. As India and its allies faced pressure, Pakistan urged India to at least be transparent about the negotiating process, and list the members of L69 group – a negotiating group of developing countries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific – seeking the council’s reform. The real purpose of India and G4, it was pointed out, was self-serving as it sought six permanent seats for six privileged countries and only four seats for 182 member states of the UN. Pakistan and the United for Consensus (UfC) countries, however, were not the only ones raising such questions, according to sources. Several other delegations recognised wide divergences on the issue of permanent seats, which prevented reform of the Security Council for more than two decades. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea strongly opposed permanent membership of Japan – another member of the G4. According to sources, the G4 countries appeared fending for themselves individually in the meeting. The Indian ambassador hardly received any help from the other three members of G4, with Germany not having intervened even once during the meeting that focused on critical issues of Security Council reform. Delegations that witnessed the proceedings acknowledged that despite G4’s aggressive campaign for an elevated status at the UN, the rationale for their position seemed untenable.