The Military Adviser to the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Lieutenant General Maqsood Ahmed, the senior-most Pakistani serving at the world body’s headquarters, was honoured at a dinner hosted by Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Dr Maleeha Lodhi, on Monday at her residence here.
Attending the dinner were several ambassadors and permanent representatives including India, Bangladesh, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Tanzania, Uruguay, Niger and Benin. Also present were senior UN officials, including Edmond Mullet, Chef de Cabinet to UN Secretary-General, who is currently on a tour abroad, as well as members of Pakistan Mission to the UN and the Consulate General.
After words of welcome by Dr Lodhi, General Maqsood, the first Pakistani military officer to hold this post, said that UN peacekeeping is a “noble mission” involved in saving lives and stabilising strife-torn countries. He urged all countries to support UN peacekeeping operations to strengthen international peace and security.
The general said he had tried to make a difference since taking over the UN assignment nearly three years ago, saying he had worked hard to accomplish his goals. But, he said, that was for others to judge. Overall 125,000 UN peacekeepers, including 91,000 military personnel, 13,000 police officers as well as 17,000 international civilian and national staff serving on four continents doing everything from clearing landmines and delivering aid to helping refugees and supporting free and fair elections.
Pakistan is among the leading troop contributors to UN peacekeeping operations, a world body’s flagship activity, around the world. Since its first deployment in Congo more than a half a century ago, Pakistan has sent personnel to 35 missions keeping peace in Asia, Africa and Latin America.