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A photo exhibition titled ‘Sprit of Peace’ to commemorate 50 years of Pakistan’s contribution to UN peacekeeping mission was inaugurated by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on July 28, 201....

Photo Exhibition of ‘Spirit of Peace’

A photo exhibition titled ‘Sprit of Peace’ to commemorate 50 years of Pakistan’s contribution to UN peacekeeping mission was inaugurated by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on July 28, 2011 at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), Islamabad. The exhibition remained open for general public from July 29 to 31, 2011. The inaugural ceremony was also attended by Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and representatives of Armed Forces, Civil Armed Force, Police, Diplomats, former senior Pakistani officials in UN Peacekeeping Missions besides UN officials, media personnel, injured soldiers, next of kin of UN Shuhada and youth from Balochistan and FATA. United Nations Peacekeeping Department is sending a special representative from New York to attend the exhibition. Pakistan permanent Envoy to United Nations Mr Abdullah Hussain Haroon will also be present on the occasion. The United Nations Peacekeeping Department also sent a special representative from New York to attend the exhibition. The exhibition will remain open for general public from July 29 31, 2011. PM Gilani said the occasion commemorates Pakistan’s selfless and valued role in the maintenance of peace and stability for over half a century under the banner of the United Nations. He said the history of the UN is replete with successful efforts to address the challenges posed to peace and security around the globe. Pakistan has substantially contributed to peacekeeping efforts by responding to humanitarian crises caused by international conflicts and natural calamities, he said. Gilani said it is his firm belief that United Nations continues to remain relevant as well as indispensable to address emerging threats to international peace and security. He said Pakistan’s participation in the United Nations Peacekeeping missions stems from its commitment to serve humanity, international peace and collective security. The Prime Minister said Pakistan’s commitment and resolve to world peace and security remains unwavering. “The practical reflection of which is our current contribution of over 10,500 personnel in eight most demanding UN peacekeeping missions across the globe. The road to peace is often paved with various perils and sacrifices including the possibility of combat.” Gilani reminded that Pakistani troops often saw combat in difficult conditions for enforcement of the UN charter. “Over the years, we have suffered 240 causalities, 126 of whom made the supreme sacrifice of rendering their lives for the cause of peace and welfare of humanity. These sons of the soils, who got martyred in the line of duty, chronicled a glorious chapter of sacrifice in the UN’s history and made their country proud. We are privileged to have the families of some of those Shaheeds with us today.” He said no one knows the value of peace more than the Pakistani nation, which has been hit hard by militancy and acts of terrorism for the last several years. “Our people have rendered immense sacrifices. We lost the precious lives of 35,000 including 5000 security personnel and incurred a damage of billions of dollars to the national economy as a result of our participation in the war on terror.” The Prime Minister said Pakistani people face acts of terrorism on a daily basis and its huge effect on the impressionable youth who are exposed to incidents of terror. Fighting militancy and terrorism is a collective responsibility. Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to United Nations Abdullah Hussain Haroon said Pakistan will stand by the objectives of the UN. Pakistan will continue to make contribution to peacekeeping missions, he added. A similar kind of photo exhibition was arranged by Pakistan Mission to the UN at UN Headquarters, New York in April this year. The UN Secretary General Mr. Bani-Ki-moon, Chief Guest on the occasion, greatly appreciated Pakistan’s significant contributions to UN Peacekeeping Missions across the world, adding that this had brought credibility to the world body. It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan has been at the forefront of United Nations efforts to maintain international peace and security by contributing significantly to UN Peacekeeping. Pakistan has hitherto participated in 41 UN Peacekeeping Missions and has been part of some of the most challenging international conflicts. Since 2006 Pakistan remains the largest troop contributing country with over 10,623 personnel presently deployed in eight peacekeeping missions. This constitutes approximately 11% of the total UN peacekeeping deployment. Till to date, 126 Pakistani peacekeepers have sacrificed their lives out of over 130,000 soldiers deployed so far for the noble cause of helping humanity, building peace and bringing stability across the regions under the banner of United Nations with almost an equal number of Pakistani peacekeepers wounded over five decades during peacekeeping assignments. Pakistan Army understands the cost of peace and is always prepared for any sacrifice for the sake of national as well as international peace and security.

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