RAWALPINDI: A Sepoy of the Pakistan Army embraced martyrdom while four others participating in the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission sustained injuries in the attack in Abyei, the disputed area between Sudan and South Sudan, ARY News reported citing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
According to the military s media wing, a convoy of Pakistani peacekeepers was ambushed in Abyei while escorting two local patients to a hospital.
Pakistani peacekeepers responded effectively and forced the militants to retreat. However, during the exchange of fire, Sepoy Muhammad Tariq, the resident of Badin, embraced martyrdom while four individuals including two officers were injured.
The ISPR maintained that Pakistan’s peacekeeping contingents have always distinguished themselves by virtue of their professionalism and devotion to duty.
“Pakistan remains committed to its role as a responsible member of the international community and will continue to contribute towards global peace and stability under the auspices of the United Nations,” the military s media wing read.
So far, 181 Pakistani peacekeepers have laid their lives while serving the cause of peace around the world.
In May 2023, the United Nations honoured at a solemn ceremony 103 military, police and civilian personnel from around the world, including eight Pakistani peacekeepers, who lost their lives serving under the UN flag last year.
The special ceremony, presided over by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, marked the 75th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping at which the Dag Hammarskjold Medal was awarded posthumously to the peacekeepers, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of peace, during the preceding year.
Pakistan s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Aamir Khan, accepted the awards on behalf of the families of the fallen Pakistani peacekeepers — Havildar Muhammad Ismail, Major Faizan Ali, Lt. Col Asif Ali Awan, Naib Subedar Sami Ullah Khan, Major Muhammad Saad Nomani, and Lance Havildar Muhammad Jamil Khan — the six martyred while serving with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) when their helicopter crashed on March 29, 2022.
In addition, Havildar Babar Siddique lost his life while also serving in MONUSCO and Corporal Rana Muhammad Tahir Islam, who was working with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
Pakistan is currently the 5th largest contributor to UN peacekeeping with nearly 4,200 military and police personnel serving in Abyei, the Central African Republic, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, South Sudan and Western Sahara.