UN chief begins Pakistan's visit
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Pakistan early Tuesday on a two-day visit for talks with senior leaders focusing on disaster management, peace and education, officials said.
Ban will meet with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other senior officials and attend the Independence Day celebrations on Aug. 14, they said.
Minister for Petroleum, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Pakistan ambassador to UN, Masood Khan, UN and Pakistani officials received the UN Secretary General on his arrival in Islamabad.
The Secretary-General is accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Ban Soon- taek and senior United Nations Officials.
During the visit, views will be exchanged on important global and regional issues, the Foreign Ministry has said.
Media says that Ban is expected to discuss the current tensions between Pakistan and India that is also a matter of concerns for the international community.
The Secretary-General will inaugurate 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.
"Pakistan attaches great significance to the United Nations and accords high importance to the visit of the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon," the Foreign Ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said in a statement.
In New York, Eduardo del Buey, deputy spokesperson for Ban, said the Secretary General will also hold discussions with the disaster management authority of Pakistan.
Ban is also expected to meet with students in the capital Islamabad to promote quality education for all, following a UN event "Malala Day" on July 12 in honor of a Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, for her heroic stand against the Taliban to ensure education for all.
State radio had earlier reported the UN Secretary will also discuss with Pakistani officials measures to eradicate polio from Pakistan.
The World Heath Organization says Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan remain polio-endemic in the world in 2013.