Pakistan’s contribution to peacekeeping on the ground has also been recognised by its sustained engagement in policy development in peacekeeping and peacebuilding…reports Asian Lite News
On the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, Pakistan reiterated its commitment to continuing working with the UN for advancing the shared ideals of peace, stability and cooperation, the Foreign Ministry said.
Pakistan joined the international community in celebrating the special day and reaffirmed the commitment to ensuring that peacekeeping remains an effective mechanism for the maintenance of international peace and security under the UN auspices, the Ministry added on Sunday in a statement.
“As one of the top troop-contributing countries, Pakistan deeply values the vital role played by ‘blue helmets’ in maintaining security and stability in many conflict-ridden areas around the world,” said the Ministry.
It added that since 1960, more than 200,000 Pakistani service men and women have served with honour and valour on 46 UN Missions on nearly all continents of the world, Xinhua news agency reported.
“169 of our bravest peacekeepers have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty for the cause of international peace and security,” the Ministry said.
Pakistani female peacekeepers have been providing assistance in conflict and post-conflict situations, the Ministry said, adding that a team of the country’s officers is serving as the first all-female group from Pakistan on a UN peacekeeping mission, deployed in Congo.
Pakistan’s contribution to peacekeeping on the ground has also been recognised by its sustained engagement in policy development in peacekeeping and peacebuilding, according to the Ministry.
The International Day of UN Peacekeepers is observed on May 29 every year.
Taliban-Al Qaeda relations
UN report has claimed that the relationship between the Taliban in Afghanistan and Al Qaeda remains close, with the latter “renewing its pledge of allegiance to Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada”, the supreme leader of the Taliban.
The report by the UN Security Council’s Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team assessed the presence of the Al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS) terror groups in Afghanistan, reports TOLO News.
“Member State assessments thus far suggest that Al Qaeda has a safe haven under the Taliban and increased freedom of action. Ayman al-Zawahiri has issued more frequent recorded messages since August, and there is now proof of life for him as recently as February 2022,” the report said.
Al-Zawahiri has been the leader of Al Qaeda since 2011, succeeding the terror group’s former leader Osama bin Laden following his death.
The report estimated that an approximate presence of “180 to 400 fighters affiliated with Al Qaeda” from “Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Pakistan” are settled in Afghanistan’s “Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar, Nimruz, Paktika and Zabul provinces”
The Taliban government in Afghanistan has not yet reacted to the report yet.