UN chief backs action against Taliban

May 13th, 2009 - 5:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban New York, May 13 (IANS) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has backed Pakistan’s fight against the Taliban and expressed his “deep concern” about the plight of half a million people who have been displaced by the ongoing military action against the militants.
“I expressed my deep concern and I expect President Zardari to take all necessary care to protect the civilian population,” Ban told reporters after the two leaders met at the United Nations Tuesday evening.

“The UN is ready to stand by to provide the necessary humanitarian assistance,” Ban said, urging Zardari “to facilitate the smooth delivery of humanitarian assistance and the protection of humanitarian workers”.

“It is a very serious situation,” Ban added of the human tragedy caused by the military operation to flush out the Taliban from three districts of Pakistan’s troubled North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

Addressing reporters, Zardari said: “We’re appealing to the world, myself and the secretary general, to draw attention to the human catastrophe that is taking place.

“They (civilians) are losing their crops, they’re losing their earnings, their livelihood and their homes, so we want the world to help us,” the president added.

According to Zardari, Ban “has been kind enough to accept our appeal to him and he is going to appeal to the world with us jointly to help Pakistan”.

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