asked the Minister of Defence what decisions were reached at the recent meeting at Karachi of the Baghdad Pact Ministerial Council which he attended as a representative of Her Majesty's Government.
The results of the discussions at Karachi were summarised in the following statement issued at the Conclusion of the three days' meeting:.COMMUNIQUE OF THE BAGHDAD PACT MINISTERIAL COUNCIL: KARACHI, 1959.The Sixth Session of the Baghdad Pact Council was held in Karachi from January 26th to 28th, 1959. The delegations from countries participating in this meeting were led by:
Mr. Manzur Qadir, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, was in the Chair.
The session was inaugurated by the President of Pakistan, General Mohammad Ayub Khan.
The greater part of the Council meetings was devoted to a free and frank exchange of views between the delegations on the international situation with special reference to those aspects which particularly affect the Pact region. These exchanges have now become a traditionally accepted part of the Pact's meetings and are among its most valuable features.
The Heads of Delegations reaffirmed the determination of their countries to protect their sovereignty and independence and emphasised the value of the Pact in providing not only for defensive military co-operation, but also for economic and technical co-operation in raising the standard of living of their peoples. The Council considered that the solidarity shown by the members of the Baghdad Pact had contributed to the increased stability which has prevailed in the Middle East since the Council met last. Nevertheless, the Council was of the opinion that the threat of direct and indirect aggression had not diminished and should be combatted by all possible legitimate means including action by the United Nations. The Council noted with concern that international Communism continued its efforts to dominate the Pact area. These efforts, the Council concluded, meant that the necessity to strengthen collective security was as great as ever since international Communism exploits points of conflict for the purpose of fomenting dissatisfaction. The Council emphasised the desirability of resolving, in accordance with the principles of justice and the United Nations Charter, all disputes and situations which lend themselves to such exploitation.
The Council considered ways and means to increase political co-operation and reinforce solidarity within the Pact. In order to facilitate continuous political consultation, it was agreed that more use should be made of the meetings of the Council of Deputies at the Pact headquarters for discussion of international affairs. It was also agreed that the Council of Deputies should co-ordinate the activities of the various subordinate committees. The Council decided that the Secretary-General would be Chairman of the Permanent Council of Deputies.
The Council welcomed the progress which had been made in the field of contacts with other free world collective security organisations in pursuance of the objectives stated at the Council meetings in Ankara and London in January and July, 1958.
The Council reviewed the work of the Baghdad Pact organisation and after discussion adopted the reports and recommendations of its Secretary-General and the Committees. The Council noted with satisfaction that the Committees had been able to carry out much solid and constructive work during the past six months, and that the Secretariat had been functioning effectively at Ankara.
In particular, the reports of the Economic Committee, details of which have been published in a separate communiqué, contained a record of substantial progress in the field of telecommunications, rail and road projects, agriculture, health and scientific co-operation. The reduction of Press telegraphic rates between area members of the Pact and the establishment of a multilateral technical co-operation fund for expanding technical facilities were welcomed by the Council as a new and promising initiative. These measures were considered valuable for increasing the supply of technical knowledge to individual countries and for further developing a sense of unity and common purpose among the peoples of the participating countries.
The Council welcomed the offer of the United Kingdom to provide equipment for a nuclear centre to be set up at Tehran. This centre will provide facilities for training technicians in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
The Council decided that the central military organisation of the Pact should be strengthened. A proposal for achieving this objective was referred to the Council of Deputies for detailed study and implementation. The Council commended the work in 1958 of the second director of the Combined Military Planning Staff, Lieut.-General Ekrem Akalin of the Turkish Army.
The Council noted that negotiations were proceeding on bilateral agreements between the United States and the three regional member countries, referred to in the London Declaration of 28th July, 1959.
The Council decided to hold its next session at the Ministerial level at Tehran in about six months' time. Meanwhile the Council will continue to meet regularly at the Deputies level in Ankara.