UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan Tuesday criticised the priority given to a discussion on the expansion of UN Security Council in both categories - permanent and non-permanent - as the General Assembly resumed closed-door negotiations on reforming the 15-nation body. Speaking in the 192-member Assembly, Ambassador Abdullah Haroon has voiced serious concern over the move to schedule an exchange of views on an expansion in both current categories, including its different varieties. Pakistan has consistently opposed any increase in the permanent members on the council, and proposed that expansion take place only in the non-permanent category. While categories of membership is one of the five key issues, and it is certainly one of the most contentious ones, there is little justification to accord it a preferential status vis-a-vis the other issues, Haroon said adding that as the third round of the intergovernmental negotiations on restructuring the Security Council got underway. The full-scale negotiations began in the assembly in February on five key areas - the categories of membership, the question of veto, regional representation, size of an enlarged Security Council and working methods of the council and its relationship with the assembly members. Ambassador Haroon pointed out that all the five issues were equally important and interlinked. The proposed session is not on categories per se, but on a particular model of reform, which is all the more objectionable since it excludes all other proposals from the discussion, he said. Despite the general agreement on enlarging the council, as part of the UN reform process, member states remain sharply divided over the details. In July 2005, the so-called Group of Four - India, Germany, Japan and Brazil - aspired to permanent seats without veto rights on a 25-member council, with six new permanent seats without veto power, including two for the African region, and four additional non-permanent seats, he added. He was of the view that Italy/Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group opposed any expansion of the permanent members on the Security Council. It sought enlargement of the council to 25 seats, with 10 new non-permanent members who would be elected for two-year terms, with the possibility of immediate re-election. The African Unions called for the Council to be enlarged to 26 seats, one more permanent seat than the G-4 proposal. Its proposal for six new permanent seats was the same as the G-4s, except that it would give the new members veto power. The Security Council has five permanent members with veto power - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - plus 10 rotating non-permanent members elected for a two-year term. Pakistan ambassador said the two previous rounds had shown that while major differences persist on the key issues, progress had been made on several aspects. New proposals and ideas had been presented by member states in an effort to overcome the impasse. It is, however, clear that we are far from the objective of a negotiated solution, which can garner the widest possible political acceptance of the member states, he said, adding that The objective of reaching a negotiated solution cannot be sacrificed on any altar of expediency. He hoped that further negotiations would take place to accomplish the objective during the 64th session of the General Assembly, which opens in the third week of this month. The little time remaining during this (63rd) session should be utilised to reach an understanding on the continuity of the process; and reinforcing the mutual trust and goodwill that go with it, Haroon added.