Pakistan’s Enduring Commitment to Global Peace: A Legacy of United Nations Peacekeeping Missions

United Nations Peacekeeping Missions

Pakistan, one of the top nations that supplies troops, highly regards the crucial part that blue helmets play in preserving security and stability in several conflict-ridden regions worldwide. Despite its commitment to current anti-terrorist operations, Pakistan’s participation in UN missions highlights its commitment to global peace and security.



The United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), created to oversee the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors, was established on May 29, 1948, with authorization from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). This was the first United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission. Since then, more than one million men and women have participated in 72 UN peacekeeping missions, directly impacting millions of people’s lives and saving countless others. Global data on peacekeeping shows that 86,903 people from 121 nations are now participating in 12 peacekeeping operations. Over 3,000 UN peacekeepers from almost 120 countries have died while performing their duties.
Since 1960, Pakistan has provided 219,000 personnel to UN peacekeeping missions, and its 168 peacekeepers have given their lives for peace, which is the most significant contribution to the UN’s efforts to uphold international peace and security. Approximately, 4000 military and police personnel now deployed to UN operations throughout the world, Pakistan is the sixth-highest supplier of uniformed people to international peacekeeping operations. Additionally, Pakistan has sent 15 percent female SOs on UN missions, a significant standard. Moreover, a female engagement team, comprising 20 officers from several services and weaponry, was sent to the Congo in July 2019. 97 Pakistani peacekeepers have received the Dag Hammarskjold Medal, the highest UN honor, in appreciation for their valor.


Since 1960, Pakistan has provided 219,000 personnel to UN peacekeeping missions, and its 168 peacekeepers have given their lives for peace, which is the most significant contribution to the UN’s efforts to uphold international peace and security. 


UN Operation in the Congo–ONUC (1960-1964). In 1960, ONUC was the first UN mission in Pakistan. Pakistan Army provided logistical support for the UN troops’ interior and troop movements to and from the Congo. Approximately, 400 people were involved in the operation, organized by the Pakistan Army Services Corps and ran from 1960 until 1964.
UN Security Force in West New Guinea–UNSF (1962-1963). On October 8, 1962, a composite Pakistani force comprising 14 Punjab Regiment, the 18th Punjab Regiment, and the support troops disembarked near Sorong. Pakistani troops successfully avoided skirmishes between Papuan and Indonesian influences. Indonesia’s President Soekarno also praised the performance of Pakistani troops, stating that “Pakistani troops were Pakistan’s best ambassadors; it was because of them that Indonesia and Pakistan came close together.”
UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia–UNTAC (1991-1993). In keeping with its prior record, Pakistan was one of the 15,900 personnel from 32 countries that made up the force. Pakistani soldiers participated in peacekeeping missions in the most challenging and remote areas. The words of Force Commander UNTAC, Lieutenant General J.M. Sanderson, which best describe the performance and professionalism of Pakistan’s contingent are: “The Pakistani contingent showed professionalism, patience, determination, and compassion, which are the hallmarks of an effective peacekeeping force.”
UN Protection Force in Bosnia Herzegovina–UNPROFOR (1994-1996). Under the UNPROFOR, a 3000-person contingent comprised of Battalion Groups and a National Support Headquarters (NSHQ) was deployed. The Pakistani contingent did a great job of locating, keeping an eye on, and guarding all ethnic and minority groups, refugees, and personnel forced to leave their homes. According to the local press, “PAKBATT (Pakistani Battalion) has not only saved us from the brutal Serb offensive’s assault but has also given our lives a new spirit.”
UN Mission in Haiti–UNMIH (1993-1997). Pakistan sent one Infantry Battalion Group to the UNMIH. 31 Punjab, 17 AK, and 15 Baloch have served in Haiti. Pakistani Battalion carried out its duties with a thorough patrolling strategy that also built friendly relationships between the local populace and peacekeepers to improve security. Additionally, the Pakistani military helped with school renovation and road maintenance.


Pakistan’s involvement in UN peacekeeping missions demonstrates its commitment to world peace and belief in the brotherhood of humanity. Its contributions in this area reflect its desire to see all peoples fighting for their unalienable fundamental rights treated with the ideals of human dignity, freedom, and self-determination.


UN Operations in Somalia–UNOSOM I & II (1992-1995). Protecting the seaports and airports for relief flights and ensuring the availability of humanitarian aid fell to a Pakistani contingent that arrived in Somalia on September 14, 1992. The mission was renamed UN International Task Force (UNITAF) and ultimately UNOSOM II after peacekeeping forces from 24 other countries arrived. Pakistani soldiers showed professionalism and willingness to put the interests of peace ahead of their safety. When 43 Pakistani soldiers gave their lives for the sake of peace, that is where Pakistan Army sustained the majority of its overseas casualties.
On October 3, 1993, the Operation Black Hawk Down Olympic Hotel incident occurred. When they became encircled, a combined force of U.S., Pakistani, and Malaysian troops had to rescue 75 U.S. Rangers. The bloody conflict continued for eight hours. The rescue effort would not have succeeded, and the imprisoned U.S. soldiers might have died if it weren’t for the Pakistani forces’ bravery and tenacity. Major General Thomas M. Montgomery, Deputy Commander of UN Forces in Somalia, had this to say about Pakistan’s contingent: “Many of the [U.S.] soldiers are alive today because of the willingness and skill of the Pakistani soldiers who worked together in a rescue operation. We are grateful to Pakistan’s people and army for sending such outstanding soldiers to Somalia, alongside whom we are honored to serve. Pakistani soldiers have always been trustworthy, even under the most trying conditions. They have carried a heavy and dangerous load for the Somali people and UNOSOM.”
UN Mission in East Timor–UNAMET (1999-2002). Pakistan provided UNAMET with an Electronic Warfare Company, a Signal Battalion, and an Engineers Battalion. The Pakistani contingent significantly aided the war-torn nation’s rehabilitation and transition into an independent state.
UN Assistance Mission in Sierra Leone–UNAMSIL (2001-2005). In June or July 2001, the Pakistan Army Contingent (PAKCON) joined UNAMSIL after the Indian contingent left. It comprised various supporting forces, including three infantry battalions, an engineers battalion, and an artillery regiment. Patrolling, Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) of rebels, the administration of presidential and chiefdom elections, the installation of medical camps, the winning hearts and minds campaign, and recreational activities were among the responsibilities of the Pakistani contingent.
UN Mission in Liberia–UNMIL (2003-March 30, 2018). In November 2003, Pakistani soldiers joined the UN mission in Liberia. In an area that served as the stronghold and administrative center for Liberian United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), one of the main warring parties in Liberia’s civil war, a large garrison of 3000 soldiers was stationed. Pakistani forces conducted Special Border Crossing Point patrols to monitor the security situation at the border with Cote d’Ivoire.
UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) (2004-June 30, 2017). The UNOCI contingent from Pakistan, stationed in the Ivory Coast, ensured the peaceful conduct of the presidential elections in November 2010. Pakistani peacekeepers evacuated diplomats from conflict-ridden areas as the security situation in Abidjan deteriorated.
UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo–MONUC (2003-2010). One infantry battalion from Pakistan Army was deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in September 2003 as part of the Ituri Brigade. Later, Pakistan sent three army battalions to Bukavu to support the South Kivu Brigade. During the first-ever general elections in the DRC, units under MONUC provided military training to newly recruited Congolese Army soldiers and oversaw extensive security measures in Bukavu.
UN Operation in Burundi–ONUB (2004-2006). 2,370 peacekeepers from Pakistan contributed to the effort, including members of the 35 AK Regiment, 6 Sindh Regiment, Aviation Squadron, Engineer Company, and Level II Hospital. The mission was completed on December 31, 2006.
UN Mission in Sudan–UNMIS (2005-2011). In March 2005, a Pakistani contingent that included an infantry battalion and support personnel was sent to Sudan. The detachment ensured that local civilians were protected and continued to work hard to win over the locals’ hearts and minds by setting up free medical clinics and providing them with the necessities.
UN African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur–UNAMID (2007-December 31, 2020). In addition to providing two infantry battalions, an engineering company, and a level-III hospital for UNAMID, Pakistan Army joined the mission in 2007. Pakistan Engineers Company has completed numerous projects relating to building and maintenance.
UN Stabilization Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) (2010-present). Four infantry battalions, a sector headquarters, and an aviation flight, were provided by Pakistan Army for the mission.
Pakistan’s foreign policy includes participation in UN peacekeeping operations, which gives Islamabad an ideal chance to increase its profile abroad. Pakistan, one of the top nations that supplies troops, highly regards the crucial part that “blue helmets” play in preserving security and stability in several conflict-ridden regions worldwide. Despite its commitments to current anti-terrorist operations, Pakistan’s participation in UN missions highlights its commitment to global peace and security. Pakistan’s involvement in UN peacekeeping missions demonstrates its commitment to world peace and belief in the brotherhood of humanity. Its contributions in this area reflect its desire to see all peoples fighting for their unalienable fundamental rights treated with the ideals of human dignity, freedom, and self-determination.

Courtesy by Omay Aimen – Hilal English

Omay Aimen

Omay Aimen is a researcher, with an interest in national security, international politics, hybrid warfare & geopolitics. She can be reached at manahil.jaffer786@gmail.com

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