Seven Pakistani peacekeepers honoured with UN medals posthumously

United Nations: The United Nations at a solemn ceremony has honoured 128 military, police and civilian personnel from 38 countries, including seven Pakistanis, who lost their lives while serving in peacekeeping operations during 2017.

Friday’s ceremony marked the annual International Day of Peacekeepers during which the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal was awarded posthumously to the peacekeepers who have given their lives for the cause of peace, during the preceding year.

This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of UN Peacekeeping, the world body’s flagship enterprise described by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as “a proven investment in global peace, security and prosperity.”

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, accepted the awards on behalf of the families of the seven fallen Pakistani peacekeepers.

They are: Sepoy Hazrat BILAL, Naik Abdul GHAFOOR and Naik Muhammad ALI who were deployed with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA); Sepoy Muhammad Ishtiaq ABBASI, Sepoy Tariq JAVED, and Naik Atta Ur REHMAN who served with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); and Sepoy Yasir ABBAS from the African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

Pakistan is one of largest contributors of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping. It currently contributes nearly 6,000 military and police personnel to the UN peacekeeping operations in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Western Sahara.

In his remarks, the secretary-general, who led a moment of silence to remember the fallen peacekeepers, expressed his “deepest condolences and appreciation” to the family members and friends of those who died, as well as his “deepest sorrow and greatest appreciation” to the countries that contributed the troops and police officers.

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