ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s army chief, General Asim Munir, has praised the United Nations for its role in preserving international peace through its peacekeeping missions and expressed his country’s ambition to foster regional harmony marked by economic prosperity, the Pakistani foreign ministry said on Friday.
Pakistan began partaking in the UN’s peacekeeping missions shortly after its independence from the British rule in 1947 and has since lost 172 soldiers to various conflicts. The South Asian country is currently contributing over 4,000 troops to various international operations carried out by the UN.
The remarks by Gen Munir came during a preparatory meeting, co-hosted by Pakistan and Japan on August 30-31 in Islamabad, for the UN peacekeeping ministerial conference in Ghana that is scheduled to be held in December.
“General Asim Munir attended the closing session of the conference as chief guest and during his remarks, he commended the role of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“[He] further highlighted that Pakistan aspires to create a region where peace prevails and trade, transit, and investment generate prosperity for all the states of South, West, and Central Asia.”
The army chief urged the UN Security Council and the UN secretary-general to push for a peaceful resolution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN resolutions, according to the statement.
The Muslim-majority Kashmir region is divided between Pakistan and India since their independence from the British rule. Both countries claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety and have fought two of their four wars over it.
Pakistan’s interim foreign minister, Jalil Abbas Gilani, also spoke at the two-day meeting and emphasized the country’s efforts to increase the presence of woman peacekeepers in its contingents.
“Jilani recalled Pakistan’s longstanding commitment to UN peacekeeping, spanning over six decades, as a tangible manifestation of its contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security,” the statement read.
The foreign minister paid a tribute to the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for the noble cause of peacekeeping, it added.