International Day of Pakistani Peacekeepers Marked in Liberia
Special Representative of the Secretary-General lauds Pakistan for its contributions
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Liberia, Farid Zarif lauded the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for its contribution to peacekeeping worldwide on 4 June, at a ceremony in Monrovia marking the International Day of Pakistani Peacekeepers.
“Fifty-six years ago you first stepped into peacekeeping operations in Congo. Since then, you have deployed to 41 peace operations in 23 countries around the world. You have shown dedication throughout those years, served in the harshest and the most challenging environments, and you have performed professionally,” said the UN envoy.
The SRSG acknowledged the ultimate sacrifice that Pakistani peacekeepers have made in the cause of peace. “You have lost 142 of your peacekeepers, including three civilians. The UN owes a huge debt of gratitude to Pakistan – as do all the nations that have benefitted from the service of your peacekeepers.”
The Contingent Commander of Pakmed-13, which runs the Mission’s level II hospital, Lieut.-Col. Muhammad Ijaz explained the significance of the day. “This day was institutionalized after the martyrdom of 24 Pakistani peacekeepers on 5 June 1993 in Somalia during Operation United Shield that helped the UN to restore peace in Somalia at that time,” he said.
The program on 4 and 5 June which included cultural performances, flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies, was also attended by Acting UNMIL Force Commander, Brig. Gen. Alef A. Mahmoud Attia, and UNMIL military Chief of Staff, Col. Muhammad Tasawar Sattar, who is the senior Pakistani military officer in UNMIL.