We are proud of Pakistani soldiers’, a top UN official said on Monday at an exhibition of photographs celebrating 50 years of Pakistan’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations.
‘They (Pakistani peacekeepers) are a source of pride for Pakistan as well as for the United Nations’, Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told a large gathering of diplomats, UN officials and journalists at the exhibition.
Arranged by the Pakistani mission to the UN, the exhibition, which was opened in April by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the mission’s premises in New York City, has been moved to UN Headquarters to enable more people to see some historic photographs of Pakistani soldiers and civilian administrators hard at work— building peace and bringing development in conflict zones.
Pakistan’s UN Ammbassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon welcomed the visitors to the exhibition, saying where ever the world body deployed Pakistani peacekeepers, they worked with dedication and did their best to advance the cause of peace and security. In his brief remarks, Le Roy said, ‘I have seen them in action, and I have seen them performing... I am thankful for their service’.
He pointed out that with over 10,000 troops, Pakistan is the top contributor to UN peacekeeping missions around the world. Noting that the first Pakistani peacekeeper served in the Congo 50 years ago, Le Roy said Pakistan’s contribution has been consistent ever since, having served in 35 missions worldwide.
‘They are involved now in nine of our services with large contingents in Congo, Sudan, Ivory Coast and Liberia’, he added.At last month’s opening ceremony of the exhibition, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid glowing tributes to Pakistani peacekeepers for their service in hot spots around the world and in upholding UN values and goals.