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US calls for restraint on n-arms, NSA to visit Pakistan

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Washington: As tensions between India and Pakistan continue to escalate, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice is expected to arrive in Pakistan on Sunday, media reported on Saturday. The US, earlier, called for restraint in developing nuclear weapons and expressed concern over recent developments as well as rising tensions between the neighboring countries. During the visit, Rice is also expected to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and her counterpart Sartaj Aziz. Rice is also expected to meet Pakistan’s political and military leadership over bilateral relations and the regional security situation, Dawn reported. A top military source also confirmed a separate meeting with the army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, where the regional security situation is likely to be discussed.

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Earlier, the US warned that speculation about the potential use of such weapons will not help reduce tensions between India and Pakistan, media reported. At a news briefing, US State Department spokesman John Kirby on Friday stressed the need for exercising restraint in developing nuclear weapons. “Obviously, we continue to urge all nuclear-capable states, including Pakistan, to exercise restraint regarding furthering their nuclear capabilities,” he said. He refused to get dragged into a media debate, claiming that some Pakistani officials had threatened to use the nuclear option if the current situation in South Asia led to an armed conflict with India. “I haven’t seen those comments, so I’d be loath to specifically address them,” Kirby said, “what we want to see are the tensions decrease”.
Asked if the US was working with Pakistan to bring it into the mainstream on the nuclear issue, Kirby said: “Obviously, these kinds of matters are matters we discuss with Pakistani leaders on a routine basis. “The nuclear issue, he said, was something that the US would continue to focus on, as it was consistent with President Obama’s vision of a world without nuclear weapons. Kirby said the US regularly held discussions with Pakistani officials on the country’s nuclear program but he refused to comment on a US think-tank report that Pakistan would have the third-largest nuclear stockpiles after the US and Russia in a decade. “I’m not going to have anything substantive to offer on the report’s findings,” he said.

The think tank report released on Thursday said that Pakistan should have the rights and obligations of a nuclear-weapon state recognized by the NPT. Countries recognized as nuclear-weapon states by the members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) are allowed to keep their weapons in return for meeting certain obligations.”It is in Pakistan’s national security interests and the interests of the international community to find ways in which Pakistan can enjoy the rights and follow the obligations of other nuclear-weapon states recognized by the NPT,” says the paper released by two think tanks, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Centre.

(IANS)

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President Ram Nath Kovind Pays His Condolences to Former UN Chief Kofi Annan

Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001 "for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world".

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India condoles former UN chief Kofi Annan's death.
India condoles former UN chief Kofi Annan's death. Flickr

India on Saturday condoled the death of former UN Secretary General and Nobel laureate Kofi Annan with President Ram Nath Kovind expressing his condolences to the former Ghanaian diplomat’s family and the UN community as a whole.

“Sorry to learn of the passing of former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan,” Kovind said on the Rashtrapati Bhavan Twitter handle.

“My condolences to his family and to the UN community,” he stated.

Annan, 80, died on Saturday in Switzerland after a short illness, with his wife and three children by his side.

“It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that the former Secretary General of the UN and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness,” his family said.

Kofi Annan
Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. Flickr

Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

He also led a UN commission to investigate the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar.

The Myanmar government led by Aung San Suu Kyi supported Annan’s recommendations on the crisis in the country’s Rakhine State.

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Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001 “for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world”.

His tenure as the UN chief coincided with the Iraq war and the HIV/Aids pandemic. (IANS)

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