Pakistan, as a member of the United Nations, has always made significant contributions to uphold the principles and purposes of the United Nations charter, in particular, the promotion and maintenance of international peace and security. Of all such endeavors, Pakistan's contributions to United Nations peacekeeping is one such glorious chapter. Beginning with the peacekeeping mission in Congo in 1960, Pakistani peacekeepers have been deployed in far-flung missions around the world, leaving their mark in what were once the world's major conflict zones through their presence and commitment to the peacekeeping duties. Until now 200,000 Pakistani soldiers (5082 peacekeepers presently deployed) have participated in 46 missions in 28 countries. As many as 156 peacekeepers including 24 officers have been martyred in their service to humanity during their efforts to restore peace in the turbulent regions, and despite that, their dedication and determination hasn't wavered. This undeterred spirit of service and sacrifice is precisely why Pakistan remains one of the top contributors to the peacekeeping missions.
Pakistan's participation to the peacekeeping missions and the promotion of international peace take its inspiration from the vision and policy statement of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in February 1948, "Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world. We believe in the principle of honesty and fair play in national and international dealings and are prepared to make our utmost contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity among the nations of the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending its material and moral support to the oppressed and suppressed people of the world and in upholding the principles of the United Nations Charter."
Pakistan's role in the peacekeeping missions has been acknowledged and the efforts have won praise from the United Nations leadership. The United Nations Secretary-General Ant6nio Guterres hailed Pakistan's peacekeeping contributions under the banner of the United Nations around the world, saying: "It was inspiring to meet some of the brave women and men who are #ServingForPeace around the world. Thank you for your service and sacrifice!" In 2013, acknowledging Pakistan as the leading troops contributing country to the UN Peacekeeping, United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon also appreciated Pakistan's constructive and positive role in the United Nations since 1947.
To remain at par with the gender equality principle of United Nations peacekeeping, Pakistan has achieved the goal of deploying 15 percent female peacekeepers and nearly 400 women have served in different countries across the globe. During his visit to Pakistan last year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appreciated the contribution of Pakistani women in peacekeeping as he said, "Pakistan is a leader in championing women peacekeepers and an example for other troop contributors."
During the COVID-19 crisis, around the globe, the armed forces have extended support to the governments that are struggling to respond to the scale and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and 'Pakistan Armed Forces' is one such shining institution that rendered all out support to the government and people of Pakistan in their fight against the pandemic. Pakistan Armed Forces have always been at the forefront whenever natural and man-made disasters struck, and provided logistic and material support to the people of Pakistan. Not only have such efforts been carried out at home, but our peacekeepers deployed far beyond the country also render the same in their mission areas.
At the United Nations peacekeeping missions, the Pakistani contingents have played a significant role in normalizing the war-torn situations and maintaining law and order in what were once the world's major conflict zones. Pakistan has always upheld the cause of peace at the regional and world level, and shall continue to support all such efforts in the future.
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