Military experts from the countries represented in the South East Asia Treaty Organisation met in Washington yesterday (Friday) for a two-day conference.
Soldiers parade; Seato officers in meeting.
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Background: Military experts from the countries represented in the South East Asia Treaty Organisation met in Washington yesterday (Friday) for a two-day conference. But two delegations were missing - France, as expected, because of her opposition to the Vietnam conflict; and Pakistan, whose absence took other members by surprise.
General Earle Wheeler, Chairman of the U. S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told officers from the six countries which did attend that the alliance had now came of age.
The countries represented were the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and the Philippines. A spokesman for the Pakistani Embassy avoided the use of the "boycott", but said that Pakistan had simply decided not to participate. A press release said, however, that Group Captain Kamal Ahmed would be acting as observer.
Pakistan Embassy officials made it clear that the country still planned to attend the Seato Ministerial Conference next week with a delegation led by its Ambassador in Washington, Mr Agha Hilaly.