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As salam alaikum.

I am honoured to join you in marking Pakistani Peacekeepers’ Day.

Since its first deployment to the Congo in 1960, Pakistan has been one of the most consistent and reliable contributors to United Nations peacekeeping. Through the decades, Pakistan has deployed more than 150,000 personnel to 41 peacekeeping missions in 23 countries.

Today, more than 7,000 uniformed personnel from Pakistan are serving in seven peacekeeping missions, making it our third largest troop- and police-contributor.

The pictures on display are a testament to that long and rich history.

You should be very proud – just as we are deeply grateful to Pakistan.

As we mark that service, we also remember the 142 military, police and civilian peacekeepers from Pakistan who made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives in the cause of peace.

In my travels, I have had the privilege of seeing first-hand the professionalism and commitment of Pakistani police and military personnel.

In places like Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia, Pakistani units were instrumental in the much improved political and security situation that the people of these countries enjoy today.

Pakistanis have also been actively engaged in New York to enhance peacekeeping performance – starting with our Military Adviser Lieutenant General Maqsood Ahmed.

Pakistan also played a leading role in the development of the UN Military Aviation Unit Manual for Peacekeeping Operations.

Finally, I would like to highlight the excellent performance of senior Pakistani military and police officers, serving in senior command and staff appointments in the field.

The great Pakistani poet-philosopher Allama Iqbal once reminded us that “The ultimate aim is not to see something but to be something.”

For well over half a century, Pakistani peacekeeping troops have seen injustice in far off places and been forces for a better world.

We look forward to Pakistan’s continuing contributions to international peace and security in the years to come.

Again, thank you for your contribution to International Peace and Security. Thank you very much.

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