ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has reaffirmed its continued support to the United Nations peacekeeping operations.

The commitment was renewed on Monday during a visit by Under-Secretary General (USG) for UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix. The top UN functionary was accompanied by UN military and police advisers, the Foreign Office said.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Hussain Haroon, while talking to the UN delegation, recalled Pakistan’s longstanding partnership with and contributions to the UN, especially in its peacekeeping missions across the world.

“Underscoring Pakistan’s unique role and contribution as one of the top troop contributing countries, the foreign minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support to the UN peacekeeping operations,” an FO statement said.

Mr Lacroix also called on Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters.

In a video-recorded message released by the Inter-Services Public Relations, the UN official said his visit “was an opportunity to pay tribute to 156 Pakistani peacekeepers who lost their lives serving the UN”.

“We also would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to all Pakistani peacekeepers currently serving in our missions and as well as their families. All of them are paying a price for that and we are extremely grateful,” he added.

The official said: “Pakistan Army and armed forces’ contribution to our mission is really making a difference and we think it’s an outstanding contribution to the cause of peace and stability in the world.”

During the visit, the official also called on the interior minister and visited the Centre for International Peace and Security (CIPS) and the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan headquarters.

The CIPS was established in 2013 to provide peacekeeping training to Pakistani and international peacekeepers. The centre was inaugurated by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon. Pakistan has been taking part in peace keeping operations since 1960 and has participated in 44 missions.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2018

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