ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is seeking induction of non-combat drones in UN peacekeeping missions worldwide in an effort to enhance their operational capacity to meet the present day challenges.

This was stated by UN Military Advisor, Lt. General Maqsood Ahmed, in his address to a two-day ‘Multi-Regional UN seminar on Peacekeeping and Training (UNMUM)’ at the National Defence University, here yesterday.

Inaugurated by PM’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, the seminar is being hosted by the Institute for Strategic Studies Research and Analysis (ISSRA) of the National Defence University and is being attended by the international experts.

General Maqsood Ahmed, speaking about the ‘challenging environment of peacekeeping’ emphasized the need for using technology such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the UN peacekeeping missions in order to enhance their operational capacity.

In his inaugural address to the seminar, Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan's contribution to UN peacekeeping is a key pillar of foreign policy of the country.

He said that 150,000 Pakistani peacekeepers have served with distinction in 41 peacekeeping missions in different parts of the world.

He said Pakistan is proud of its role in notable successes of peacekeeping, including in Sierra Leone, Burundi, Timor-Leste and Liberia.

Sartaj expressed the determination to strengthen the country's partnership with the UN and member states for reforms and strengthening peacekeeping.

Earlier, Director General of ISSRA, Major General Noel I. Khokhar while highlighting the Pakistan’s contribution in peacekeeping, said that the UN is currently engaged through a high level independent panel in a strategic review to meet the challenges of international peace and security.

General Khokhar said that as part of the implementation process, multi regional UN seminars are being conducted in different parts of the world to promote a greater understanding of peacekeeping operations.

Pakistan, which has a long and cherished history of active participation in the UN Peacekeeping missions, is proud of that process, he said.

He noted that the recent decade has been productive in building doctrines, policies and guidelines for the complex nature of UN peacekeeping operations. He said that initially, the work focused on coverage at strategic and operational level, but in the recent years the void at tactical level is also being filed.

General Khokhar said that Pakistan led the working group of military experts of the UN peacekeeping missions for developing the military aviation unit manual.

The seminar was also addressed by several other experts who spoke about various aspects of the UN peacekeeping operations.

These experts included President National Defence University, Lt. General Anwar Ali Hyder, former sector commander MONUSCO and presently commanding TBC, Major General Muhammad Kaleem Asif, Capt. Herve Auffret, Chief Policy and Doctrine Team, Office Military Affairs, UN headquarters, New York, Annika Hilding Norberg, Director and Founder of Sweden-based think tank International Forum for Challenges of Peace Operations and Ambassador Masood Khan, former permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations and presently Director General of Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad.