UNITED NATIONS - Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed his heartfelt condolences on the recent deaths of two Pakistani soldiers in the line of duty while serving the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The two soldiers are Sepoy Muhammad Ishtiaq Abbasi and Sepoy Tariq Javeed. They were members of the Pakistani contingent of the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC, known as MONUSCO.

In letters to Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, the Secretary-General requested her to convey to her government and to the bereaved families of Sepoy Abbasi and Sepoy Javeed his heartfelt condolences on the terrible loss, as well his appreciation for the contribution that the two soldiers made to the UN work for peace in the DRC. “I would also like to express to you my gratitude or the valuable support that the Government of Pakistan continues to provide to this important peacekeeping mission,” he added.

Pakistan is among the top contributors to UN peacekeeping operations around the world, with more than 7,000 Pakistanis currently serving as blue helmets. More than 170,000 Pakistanis have served over the past decades and 146 Pakistani peacekeepers have made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of world peace.