ISLAMABAD - June 5 is observed as Pakistani Peacekeepers Day and it marks important event to pay homage to Pakistani martyrs who made supreme sacrifice in noble cause of international peace and security.
The day is being observed as Pakistani Peacekeepers Day to pay homage to 24 brave Pakistani soldiers (Army, Police and others) who sacrificed their lives while ensuring safety to the people of Somalia and UN comrades besieged by the rebels in UN Mission Somalia (UNOSOM) on June 5, 1993 in which maximum casualties occurred on a single day in "Operation United Shield". Till now, 139 Pakistanis in uniform have sacrificed their lives under UN Umbrella in different missions all over the world.
Pakistan's commitment with UN for promoting international peace stems from the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of the nation. Pakistan firmly believes in the purpose and principles of the UN charter and it has been actively participating in multinational efforts to maintain peace and order around the globe since 1960, when it deployed its first ever contingent in Congo.
Over the past 54 years, Pakistan has been the most significant and consistent contributor for the UN peacekeeping around the world. At the moment more than 7000 Pakistani peacekeepers are rendering valuable services in different peacekeeping missions of United Nations. Pakistani nation can feel proud of the men and women of their armed forces, police and other law-enforcement agencies, who have always been there to protect not only their homeland but are doing their best to keep the national flag flying high all over the world as envisioned by the Father of the Nation.
On this day, we also pay tribute to the more than 110000 peacekeepers serving in 15 missions worldwide for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage as they strive to maintain peace in some of the world's most volatile and dangerous environments.
This is also a day in which we honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace. Sadly, more than 3 100 UN Peacekeepers, also known as "Blue Helmets" have died devoting their lives to peace.
The General Assembly, in its resolution 57/129, designated 29 May as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. This is the date when in 1948 the first UN peacekeeping mission, named the "United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation", or UNTSO, began operations in Palestine.
Since its beginning in 1948, United Nations peacekeeping has evolved into one of the main tools used by the international community to manage complex crises that threaten international peace and security.