UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon arrived in Pakistan

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Islamabad on a two-day visit to have discussions on disaster management, peace and education. Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Pakistan’s ambassador to UN, Masood Khan received him on his arrival. He will meet Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for talks as Pakistan and India trade accusations over clashes along the Line of Control, the de facto border monitored by UN observers that divides the disputed Himalayan territory. He will also attend the Independence Day celebrations on August 14.

un_sec-gen-pakistanThe secretary general expressed he would expect the Indian and Pakistani leadership to “continue their dialogue, to create some confidence-building measures”.

Despite the Kashmir tensions, the UN said his visit would focus on education efforts and he is due to meet Pakistani students.

“In line with Malala Day last month he will meet with students in Islamabad to discuss efforts to promote and expand quality education for all,” a UN statement said.

The day was declared in honour of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani teenager campaigning for girls’ education who survived a gunshot to the head from Taliban extremists in October 2012.

The 16-year-old gave a moving speech at the UN in New York last month in which she vowed to continue to work for gender equality in education.

Nearly half of all children in Pakistan and almost three quarters of young girls are not enrolled in primary school, according to UN and government statistics.

During Ban’s visit officials of Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority will brief him about the floods in the country, where annual monsoon rains from July to September bring misery to thousands and inundate towns and villages.

Monsoon rains triggering floods have killed 84 people across Pakistan and affected more than 80,000 others this month, and officials have warned of further downpours.

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