UN peacekeeping chief lauds Pakistani ‘blue helmets’ for maintaining peace in troubled Abyei

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UNITED NATIONS, Feb 23 : The head UN Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, visited Pakistani peacekeeper serving the U.N. Interim Security Force for Abyei, an area disputed by South Sudan and the Sudan, and praised their efforts to maintain peace and stability in the restive region.
He was accompanied by UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa, Hanna Tetteh, according to a press release issued by the Pakistan Mission to the UN on Thursday.
Lacroix, who hold the rank of under-secretary-general, and the Special Envoy laid a floral wreath at the martyrs’ monument, and observed one-minute silence in honour of the memory of the fallen Pakistan Army soldiers, including sepoy Muhammad Tariq, who was martyred in line of duty last month.
The Unit Commander of the Pakistani peacekeepers briefed the visiting guests about the initiatives undertaken by the Pakistan battalion to ensure peace and stability in the area, according to the press release. They were also informed about the role and tasks being undertaken by the Pakistan Battalion’s female staff in the allied areas such as healthcare in addition to peacekeeping duties.
The UN Under-Secretary General also held an interaction with the tribal leaders of the area.
Lacroix also recalled his recent visit to Wagha border, near Lahore, where he was also briefed about the efforts of Pakistan to promote religious harmony, citing the establishment of Kartarpur Corridor. The special envoy showed her keen interest in personally visiting the Corridor.
The delegation was driven through Pakistan battalion’s camp and was deeply impressed by he Army Unit band performance, the press release said. The local kids of the area organized a cultural show followed by exchange of souvenirs.
To date, 181 Pakistani peacekeepers have laid their lives during the UN peacekeeping operations around the world.