In touch with UN for early repatriation of Pakistani peacekeepers’ bodies from Congo: FO


ISLAMABAD, Mar 30, (APP): The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations New York are in constant touch with the UN authorities to facilitate and expedite early repatriation of the mortal remains of Pakistani peacekeepers martyred in a helicopter crash.

A Pakistan Army helicopter deployed on peacekeeping duties with the United Nations Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) crashed during a reconnaissance operation on March 29.

There were eight UN peacekeepers including six Pakistani troops on board, none of whom survived the unfortunate crash.

In a statement, the Foreign Office Spokesperson said that as the exact cause of the incident is yet to be ascertained, the foreign ministry and the Mission in New York were in contact with the UN authorities to ascertain the details and cause of the helicopter crash.

“We would like to extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of maintaining international peace and security,” the spokesperson said.

He said 157 of Pakistan’s bravest peacekeepers had already fallen in the line of duty while serving in UN missions.

As one of the top troop-contributing countries, Pakistan deeply values the vital role played by the “blue helmets” in maintaining security and stability in many conflict-ridden areas around the world, the spokesperson added.

He said Pakistan was proud of its long-standing and consistent contributions to UN peacekeeping spanning over six decades.

Since 1960, over 200,000 of Pakistani servicemen have served with honour and valour in 46 UN Missions in almost all continents of the world.

Through their professionalism and dedication, our peacekeepers have always distinguished themselves in every mission they have participated, he remarked.