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Riaz Muhammad Khan exchanges views with UN chief on ambit of issues

01 October, 2007

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NEW YORK: Foreign Secretary Riaz Muhammad Khan discussed ambit of issues including Kashmir and Afghanistan with Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon here in New York.

Foreign Secretary Riaz Muhammad Khan while talking to reporters after a 30-minute meeting at UN Headquarters in New York with UN Secretary General said that he had a good exchange of views with the UN secretary-general.

The foreign secretary was accompanied by Pakistan's U.N. Ambassador Munir Akram and other senior officials.

Foreign Secretary said that he briefed the UN chief on the Indo-Pakistan peace process, saying the two countries needed to intensify their efforts for a just settlement of the decades-old Kashmir dispute acceptable to all parties, particularly to Kashmiri people.

He told the secretary-general that there was also need to involve the Kashmiri leaders in the process.

On Afghanistan, the foreign secretary informed UN Secretary General about the formation of 5-member Council of Jirga,which was mandated to reached to the opposition and bring about peace and reconciliation in the region.

He also referred to the issue of Afghan refugees and the need for helping to resettle them in their country.

The foreign secretary said he also raised the issue of a recent controversial report by the UN mission in Afghanistan claiming that suicide bombers in the war-torn country came from across the Pak-Afghan border.

Mr. Ban, he said, made it clear that the portion relating to Pakistan was not official and has been removed from the website of the UN mission in Kabul. The Secretary General has disowned the report, he added.

Riaz Khan said the secretary-general was very appreciative of Pakistan's role in the United Nations,specially with regard to peacekeeping, and also as chairman of the Group of 77 (developing countries" and in UN reform process.

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