Nawaz Sharif pledges continued personnel, infantry support to UN peacekeeping missions; Says Pakistan’s troops battling for peace on difficult fronts

UNITED NATIONS: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday announced Pakistan’s resolve to continue contributing peacekeeping personnel and infantry to international missions.

“We are pledging an infantry battalion, transport, engineering and signals companies, additional utility helicopters, a level-II and level-III hospital, and a canine platoon for deployment to future UN peacekeeping missions,” Nawaz said while addressing the United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping Summit.

He said Pakistan would continue to provide the UN its best military commanders and staff officers, and contribute “highly professional peacekeeping personnel, from infantry to guard units”.

Nawaz welcomed the UN Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System initiative and recognised the critical importance of enablers.

“We will continue deployment of precious assets like utility aviation, airport management facilities, signals communication units, transport, maintenance and logistics units,” he added.

Pakistan has consistently been among the top contributors of troops to UN peacekeeping missions, Nawaz pointed out.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan’s recommendations in peacekeeping resonated in both the UN Panel and the Secretary-General’s reports, adding that these included the importance of consultations with Troop Contributing Countries, provision of better resources for peacekeeping operations, a two-phased mandate process and the principle of not using peacekeepers for counter-terrorism.

Nawaz praised Pakistani peacekeepers, saying, “Our professional, well-trained and competent peacekeepers have never shied away from mandated tasks. They are deployed in the most difficult theatres, staying the course in Liberia even during the Ebola outbreak.”

“Despite challenging circumstances, our commitment to UN peacekeeping is firm,” he said.

He said that Pakistan supports efforts of the world powers led by United Nations (UN) for peace in the world. Nawaz said that it is necessary to not let basic principles for restoration of peace go out of focus. He said that high-level panel and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s reports hold immense importance.

Pakistan salutes those who sacrificed their lives for the cause of peace in the world, he added. He vowed that Pakistan would remain by UN’s side in future for the cause.

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