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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Move to downsize peacekeeping operations to affect Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: With the United Nations set to downsize several peacekeeping operations, Pakistan’s contribution will also be affected.

Hervé Ladsous, Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations told to the local News Agencies “We are downsizing missions, including where Pakistan is playing a major role,”

He is on a three day visit to Pakistan at the head of a three member delegation, including his Pakistani adviser Lt. Gen. Maqsood Ahmed.

Pakistan is currently the largest troop contributor to peace-keeping operations with 8,266 personnel deployed. Peace-keepers from Pakistan are currently deployed in Western Sahara, Haiti, Congo, Darfur, Kosovo, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.

The operations that are being downsized include Haiti, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Darfur.
However, Mr. Ladsous said new opportunities could arise with planned deployment of a new battalion in Sudan.

A statement from the office of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, whom the United Nations official met, said he had declined to send policemen for peacekeeping postings.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was quoted as saying. “Right now we are having problems at home and it would not be possible to spare the police personnel for United Nations assignments but the policy will be revised as soon as situation improves”

The Interior Ministry said that Mr. Ladsous had specifically asked to the interior minister for sending more Pakistani women police personnel to the peacekeeping missions.

The United Nations official also met with the President of Pakistan Mr.Mamnoon Hussain and with officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The president during the meeting reiterated Pakistan’s continued commitment towards global and regional peace and security.

Talking with the local news agencies of Pakistan about his interactions with Pakistani officials, Mr. Ladsous said he had “registered a commitment and a continued commitment to United Nations operations”.

The peacekeeping chief will meet with military officials on Tuesday. He will talk to military officials about “improvements in quality of delivery of services, including standards for training and equipment, speed of deployment of units, introduction of modern technology in the missions, particularly the unarmed UAVs, shortage of armored personnel carriers and helicopters and the working conditions of deployed troops”.

In a meeting the Foreign Office said, its officials with the United Nations official acknowledged the positive role of United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan. “The United Nations Under Secretary General highly appreciated Pakistan’s contribution to the United Nations peacekeeping forces, pivotal role in the preparation of Peacekeeping Manual and adoption of the Security Council resolution 2086 on peacekeeping in January 2013 during Pakistan’s presidency of the Security Council,”.


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