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Tuesday, 3 December 2013


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has stopped sending its police personnel on the United Nations peacekeeping operations, putting home security on her priority list, The Express Tribune has learnt. If Islamabad continues ban on sending peacekeepers on UN Missions by March 2014, Pakistan will slip to second position from first in list of 117 states which offer their services to UN to help countries torn by conflict create the conditions for lasting peace. Interior ministry spokesperson Omar Hameed Khan confirmed the development by saying that the decision was taken “because of [country’s] internal security situation.” Currently, Pakistan is at top of the list of states with 8,285 civilian, police and military personnel serving for UN maintaining peace in various countries, official data revealed. It earns tens of millions of dollars in reward of services annually. 

        India is the second largest country with 7,864 peacekeepers for UN operations while Nigeria ranks third with 4,000 of its troops forming part of 98,311 peacekeepers. Reliable sources said that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has passed instructions to higher authorities to ban foreign postings of policemen, and not even send them on foreign trainings. Despite resistance from several senior officers of the departments concerned, interior minister stopped sending some 232 policemen who were waiting for their postings since 2011. In 2011, 392 police officials qualified for UN duty and were to be deployed within a period of 16 months, but till date only 160 have been deployed in Haiti, Liberia and Darfur, sources said. If they are not sent by end of this year their chances will expire under UN rules. This will also lead to loss of $1.8 million worth of foreign exchange the country could earn from the remittances of these policemen. “Hundreds of police individuals are waiting for deployment due to Pakistan’s weak position at UN and absence of interior ministry’s desk at UN for effective coordination,” said a senior official. 

         Another senior official urged the interior minister to allow UN deputation for police and fulfill international commitment. He also claimed that Interior Minister took some extraordinary step to make this process fair with the change of relevant officers which has put the ministry at right footings. Some 50 policemen will be coming back to Pakistan next month while other 270 will return next year, sources further revealed. Only three of 101 officers of Pakistan police succeed to get professional positions filled through international competition among the officers of 195 member states, they added. Meanwhile, sources claimed that some seven dozen military personnel could not leave for UN peacekeeping operations from Pakistan due to engagements in some bordering areas. However, a military spokesperson did not reveal the reason as saying “there has never been a move to stop sending military personnel on UN peacekeeping missions.” Vittorio Cammarota, Director United Nations Information Centre Islamabad, told The Express Tribune that “we don’t have that information at this stage but can do investigation and get back to you.” To another question, he said that “Pakistan is actually the largest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions working in many countries of the world.” Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2013.


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