UN chief begins Pakistan's visit

Islamabad, Aug 13 (IANS) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Pakistan Tuesday on a two-day visit for talks on disaster management, peace and education, officials said.

Ban will meet Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other officials and attend the Independence Day celebrations Aug 14, Xinhua reported.

Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Pakistan's ambassador to UN, Masood Khan, received the secretary general on his arrival in Islamabad.

Ban is accompanied by his wife, Ban Soon-taek and other UN Officials.

During the visit, views will be exchanged on important global and regional issues, the Pakistani foreign ministry said.

Local media reports said Ban is also expected to discuss the current tension between Pakistan and India, which is also a matter of concern for the international community.

The secretary general will inaugurate the Centre for International Peace and Stability at the National University of Science and Technology in Islamabad and will attend an event on youth and education.

"Pakistan attaches great significance to the UN and accords high importance to the visit of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon," foreign ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said.

In New York, Ban's deputy spokesperson Eduardo del Buey said the secretary general will also hold discussions with the disaster management authority of Pakistan.

Ban will meet students in Islamabad to promote quality education for all, following a UN event "Malala Day" July 12 in honour of Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai, over her heroic stand against the Taliban to ensure education for all.

State radio earlier reported the UN chief will also discuss with Pakistani officials measures to eradicate polio from the country.

The World Heath Organisation says Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan remained polio-endemic in 2013.

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