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Saturday February 04, 2023

UN secretary general arrives in Pakistan

Foreign Office says that the UN secretary general visit will go a long way in expressing solidarity with the government and people of Pakistan

September 09, 2022
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar receives UN chief António Guterres at the Islamabad Airport. -Courtesy FO
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar receives UN chief António Guterres at the Islamabad Airport. -Courtesy FO

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations Secretary General António Guterres arrived here in early hours of Friday on a two-day visit to express solidarity with the government and people of Pakistan braving a colossal climate-induced natural disaster caused by unprecedented rains and floods across the country. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar received the UN chief at the airport.

Meanwhile, Pakistan thanked the international community for standing with it in the difficult time of unprecedented rains and floods across the country and noted that this support and solidarity means a lot when the entire nation – every individual, business, civil society and organisation – is coming forward in a big way to face this colossal challenge with resilience, strength and unity.

Foreign Office says that the UN secretary general visit will go a long way in expressing solidarity with the government and people of Pakistan, braving a colossal climate-induced natural disaster caused by unprecedented rains and floods across the country.

“During the visit, Secretary General Guterres will have meetings with the Pakistani leadership and senior officials to exchange views on the national and global response to this catastrophe caused by climate change,” said the Foreign Office spokesman.

The Secretary-General will travel to areas most impacted by the climate catastrophe. He will interact with displaced families in the field and oversee the UN’s humanitarian response work in support of the government’s rescue and relief efforts for millions of affected people.

“The Secretary-General’s visit will further raise global awareness about the massive scale of this calamity and the resulting loss of life and widespread devastation. It will contribute towards enhancing commensurate and coordinated international response to the humanitarian and other needs of the 33 million affected Pakistanis,” added the spokesman.

The Secretary-General’s program includes a meeting with the prime minister, a visit to the National Flood Response and Coordination Centre (NFRCC), a joint presser with the prime minister, and hold talks with the foreign minister followed by a joint press stakeout at the Foreign Office, besides other engagements, all in related to the floods response.

The dignitary is also expected to visit the most-affected areas, including Balochistan and Sindh (Sukkur, Usta Muhammad, Mohenjo Daro and Larkana) where he will meet first responders and interact with people displaced by the floods. “He will also have a press talk at Karachi airport on Friday evening having personally witnessed the situation in several flood-hit regions”, said the spokesman.

News Desk adds: Foreign Office Spokesman Asim Iftikhar said on Thursday Islamabad was always willing for a result-oriented and meaningful dialogue to address various issues between Pakistan and India.

Responding to a question during his weekly briefing, he said the Jammu and Kashmir dispute was one of the core issues in any Pakistan-India dialogue. He said Pakistan was always been open and never shies away from dialogue. “It is India that has not been willing to engage in such a dialogue with Pakistan even after the illegal and unilateral actions that India took in IIOJ&K on August 5, 2019.”

The spokesman said all subsequent illegal actions further vitiated the environment and seriously damaged the trust required for such kind of dialogue. He, however, said despite all that, dialogue is important and Pakistan has urged India to take the necessary steps, including reversal of all those illegal actions in order to create an environment in which a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue can take place.

The Foreign Office demanded of the Indian authorities to allow Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Yasin Malik to meet his family in the Indian prison in a similar way Pakistan has allowed Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his family, local media reported.

The Foreign Office Spokesman, Asim Iftikhar Ahmad, said that Pakistan has allowed Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his family. “Yasin Malik is being illegally detained by the Indian authorities and they should also allow his family to meet him as per international norms,” he said. He demanded of the international community to take notice of such an inhumane act.

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