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UN chief arrives in Islamabad amid escalating tensions

Ban in country to discuss disaster management, peace and education

UN chief arrives in Islamabad amid escalating tensions

UN chief Ban Kyi-moon visits a flood relief camp in Pakistan reporter, Islamabad

August 13, 2013

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Islamabad today on a two-day visit to Pakistan to discuss disaster management, peace and education.

The UN secretary-general’s visit comes amid escalating tensions between Pakistan and India that have involved deadly cross-border skirmishes over the past week.

On Monday, Ban expressed sorrow over the incidents along the Line of Control in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region and said he was reasonably encouraged by the efforts of India and Pakistan to resolve their source of conflict through talks.

“While I am saddened by the loss of lives in the course of this conflict, I am relatively, reasonably encouraged by the recent move by both sides to engage in dialogue, to resolve their source of conflict through dialogue; that I will strongly welcome and support," he told Pakistani journalists before departing for Islamabad.

During his visit, the UN chief will hold a series of meetings with the Pakistani president, the prime minister, parliament speaker, army chief and other senior officials.

He will also be briefed by the National Disaster Management Authority on the devastation caused by recent floods that claimed over 80 lives across Pakistan.

Ban will also attend the country's Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday.

In addition, the UN chief will also be inaugurating the Center for International Peace and Stability at the National University of Science and Technology in Islamabad and will attend an event on youth and education, the Foreign Ministry said.

Officials say that Ban will discuss polio eradication and the promotion of education, especially for women, with the country’s leaders.

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