Pak PM speaks with UN chief, discusses current situation in Afghanistan

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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday.

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 5 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had a telephone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday and discussed the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.

This call comes as UN agencies have warned of a major humanitarian crisis looming in Afghanistan, amid uncertainty about the situation for vulnerable Afghans seeking shelter across the country's borders.

"The PM (Imran Khan) appreciated the vital role of the United Nations in delivering much-needed humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people. The PM highlighted the facilitation being provided by Pakistan to the UN in that regard including by assisting in the evacuation and relocation efforts," Pakistan Prime Minister's Office said on Twitter.

"Assuring Secretary-General Guterres of Pakistan's continued cooperation with the UN in the fulfilment of its mandate, the Prime Minister reaffirmed Pakistan's full support for the smooth operation of United Nations' humanitarian mission for Afghanistan," the Office added.

In response to the growing humanitarian needs in Afghanistan, the UN chief is set to convene a high-level conference for Afghanistan on September 13. Guterres said that Afghan children, women and men need support and solidarity from the international community.

"Now more than ever, Afghan children, women and men need support and solidarity from the international community. I will convene a high-level humanitarian conference for Afghanistan on September 13 to advocate for a swift scale-up in funding and full, unimpeded access to those in need," Guterres tweeted.

Earlier on Friday, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric informed that Guterres will travel next week to Geneva, Switzerland, to hold a ministerial meeting in response to the growing humanitarian needs in Afghanistan.

The spokesperson also said the conference will advocate for a swift "scale-up in funding so the lifesaving humanitarian operation can continue, and appeal for full and unimpeded humanitarian access to make sure Afghans continue to get the essential services they need."

Guterres, in a statement on Tuesday, had expressed his deep concern about the humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan and the threat of a total collapse in basic services.

The situation in Afghanistan has been deteriorating after the Taliban seized control of the war-ravaged country. On August 15, the Afghan government fell soon after President Ashraf Ghani left the country. (ANI)

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