UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon during his visit to Pakistan was effusive in his praise for Pakistan’s contribution to the UN Peacekeeping Force. He expressed gratitude as the UN Secretary General and as a “global citizen”, for what he said was Pakistan’s historic contribution to building the capability of the peacekeeping force.

It is much needed international recognition for Pakistan, which holds its contribution to the Blue Helmets as a mark of pride. The fact that Pakistan’s is the largest country contribution to the peacekeeping force is an indication of this regard and the strength of the relationship. Recognition of Pakistani troops professionalism and commitment to the cause of peacekeeping is a high compliment, and one that is much appreciated.

Secretary-General Ban has been supportive of Pakistan’s stance on drone strikes, as well as of Pakistan’s prescription of restraint for India at the LoC. The Secretary General also offered aid for flood-hit areas.

Pakistan’s contingent of nearly 8,000 UN Peacekeepers is set to swell to 10,000 soon. This force includes police, soldiers and other personnel and Pakistani men and women, both, have earned high acclaim serving as Blue Helmets.

Pakistan often demonstrates its commitment to peace as part of the global community. It is unfortunate that where we have a reputation for helping other countries overcome conflict and violence, we have been unable to succeed in applying the same formula at home.

We are proud of our brave men and women in Blue Helmets, who risk their lives to bring their country a good name – and it is a prestigious opportunity to train and serve with UN colleagues in various troubled parts of the world.