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'Indo-Pak peace process sould continue'

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has expressed concern over the security situation in Pakistan.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2008 20:09 IST
Tushar Srivastava

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has expressed concern over the security situation in Pakistan.

Ban, who was here on a two-day visit, said, "I am concerned over the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan." He appealed to the international community and neighbouring nations to help it improve the situation.

He expressed "deep sorrow and sympathy" to the Government and people of India for the loss of life and destruction caused by serial blasts in the North-East.

The Secretary-General called on India and Pakistan to continue the dialogue process. "India and Pakistan are two important countries in the subcontinent and they should continue to improve their relations through dialogue and cooperation," he said. He, however, ruled out withdrawal of its observer mission in both countries.

Calling India a 'leading voice' in the developing world, the Secretary-General said the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was "very much committed" to continuing dialogue and improving relations with Islamabad.

Recalling his meeting with Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on the margins of the UN General Assembly, Ban said, "I am encouraged by the commitment made by leaders of both countries." He also spoke about the opening of trade routes between the two countries calling it an "encouraging development".

The United Nations, Ban informed, was in the process of setting up a fact-finding commission to go into the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. "We are discussing about the modalities, scope and financing of this commission. But we still need some more time to finalise all the details," he said.

"Basically, we stand ready to provide necessary assistance," Ban said. Pakistan had made a request for a UN investigation into Bhutto's assassination in July. Benazir's Pakistan People's Party had also requested the UN for an independent inquiry into the assassination.

The matter had also come up for discussion when Zardari met Ban in New York on the sidelines of the UN.