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Thousands of Pakistani troops in peacekeeping role: UN.

Dubai: Pakistan is the major contributor to the United Nations peacekeeping missions out of 116 nations in the violence-prone regions of the world, said a UN official based in Islamabad.

Susan Manuel, Director, UN Information Centre, said: "At present there are 10,584 uniformed personnel from Pakistan [troops and police], who are maintaining law and order in the conflict zones all over the world under the UN's blue flag."

She said the largest concentrations of the Pakistani peacekeepers are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (3,647), Liberia (3,088), South Sudan (1,521), Darfur (614) and the Ivory Coast (1,274). So far, 107 Pakistani peacekeepers have sacrificed their lives under the UN missions.

Manuel said apart from Pakistan, 15 other countries have their peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad, Cyprus, Lebanon, Timor-Leste, and Western Sahara.

On sending a peacekeeping mission to Somalia, she said: "The Security Council has not agreed to send peacekeepers there, since most troop-contributing countries would not agree with their forces being used to fight.."

On strengthening partnership with the Pakistan peacekeeping forces, the Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations for the United Nations, Alain Le Roy, said: "We know the growing gap between the demand for peacekeepers and the available supply complicates the contributor's task and increases the burden. But we are committed to seeking practical solutions to this rising challenge".

He said the UN peacekeeping could not have advanced as far as it has without Pakistan, which is currently its largest contributor.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 10, 2009
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