UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday strongly condemned a spate of deadly assaults in Pakistan, reiterating deep concern over the continued terrorist attacks and sectarian violence in the country.
In a statement issued here by his spokesperson, Ban condemned the bombing of a market on Monday in Rawalpindi that left at least 13 dead, including eight Army personnel, as well as Tuesday's attack in Balochistan on a bus carrying Shia pilgrims returning from Iran, which reportedly killed at least 28 people and injured many more, including women and children. "The Secretary-General reiterates his deep concern over the continued terrorist attacks and sectarian violence in Pakistan," the statement added. The Secretary-General also said he is deeply concerned about the recent attacks on polio workers, which have resulted in several deaths. "These unacceptable attacks are hampering efforts to eradicate the disease in Pakistan," one of the world's three countries alongwith Afghanistan and Nigeria where polio still exists.
At least four people were killed in two separate attacks on polio vaccination teams in south and northwest Pakistan on Tuesday.
Polio teams frequently come under attack by Taliban militants as they believe that the United States is using the programme as a cover for espionage and the workers associated with the campaign are potential spies.
In the statement, the UN chief expressed his heartfelt condolences to the government and the people of Pakistan, and stressed the United Nations' commitment to supporting the government in its efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism.