Pakistan urges int'l contacts with Hamas gov't

Pakistan on Monday urged the international community to work with the Hamas-led Palestinian government. Pakistan's call follows decisions by the European Union, United States and other Western countries to freeze aid to the new Hamas-led government over its refusal to renounce violence and recognize Israel. "We have repeatedly said that Hamas is the elected representative of the Palestinian people and this is democracy at work and the international community must engage with Hamas," Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam told reporters in the capital, Islamabad. The Hamas-led administration is faced with a severe shortage of funds, leaving Palestinian officials wondering how they will be able to pay the monthly salaries of the government's 140,000 employees which were due on April 1.