UN peacekeeping missions involving Pakistan covers a long and cherished history of Pakistani involvement with the United Nations. Pakistan joined the United Nations on 30 September, 1947. Since 1960, Pakistan has been actively involved in most of the UN Peacekeeping missions and today stands at the top with 10,175 troops and observers serving in current missions. Some of the major contributions were in Somalia, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, Congo and Liberia.
Peacekeeping, as defined by the United Nations, is a way to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for sustainable peace. UN peacekeepers—soldiers and military officers, civilian police officers and civilian personnel from many countries—monitor and observe peace processes that emerge in post-conflict situations and assist ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreements they have signed. Such assistance comes in many forms, including confidence-building measures, power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, strengthening the rule of law, and economic and social development. All operations must include the resolution of conflicts through the use of force to be considered valid under the charter of the United Nations.
Congo (August 1960 to May 1964)
During the operation Pakistan provided logistic support during movement of troops to and from Congo and inland movement to the United Nation troops. Pakistan Army Supply Corps (ASC) organized the whole operation in a meticulous manner. It continued uninterrupted from 1960 to 1964 with four Independent Army Supply Corps companies, each consisting of about 100 personnel. The movement control entailed move through sea, air, rail, river and road transport. A systematic organization was created to ensure foolproof administrative arrangements for transportation of troops, weapons, equipment, stores and rations throughout Congo in unfriendly environments. Pakistani troops thus performed the assigned task with professional skill and devotion which earned them applause across the world.
West New Guinea (October 1962 - April 1963)
In the circumstances, when the world was focusing its eyes on the United Nations Security Force, the Pakistani composite force comprising 14 Punjab Regiment, two companies of 18 Punjab Regiment and supporting elements, disembarked on the coast of Sorong after completing 6000 miles sea voyage on 8 October 1962.
The Battalion Headquarters were positioned at Biak. Pakistani troops effectively prevented skirmishes between Papuans and Indonesian troops. On one such occasion Pakistani troops rushed swiftly to Kaimana area on 14 January 1963, to avoid a bloody conflict and brought the situation under control
he performance of Pakistani troops was admired by President Soekarno who said, "It was because of Pakistani troops that Indonesia and Pakistan came so close together, they were Pakistan’s best ambassadors.
" In a rare acknowledgment of good job done the Chinese Premier Chou-En-Lai remarked, "The only example in United Nation’s history, when a United Nation military force had gone in, performed its role honestly and came out, was Pakistan’s military contingent to Indonesia"
Namibia (April 1989 to March 1990)
Kuwait (December 1991 to October 1993)
Pakistan, with its long tradition and considerable experience of assisting friendly nations in need of international help, offered its services for the reclamation of the devastated land. Finally the job was separately entrusted to Pakistan and six other countries. Pakistan was assigned the most difficult area in the north of Kuwait city. It was spread over 3000 square kilometers. Subsequently reclamation of Bubiyan Island also was entrusted to Pakistan.
Haiti (1993 to 1996)
United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH), during the 1991 coup and military rule in Haiti on the request of the United Nations, Pakistan provided one Infantry battalion to form part of UNMIH. This battalion, PAKBAT, arrived in Haiti in March 1995 and was deployed in Cape Haitien. At that time this area faced extremely volatile security situation and was also reputed to be the hotbed of political restlessness. In order to improve the security situation, PAKBAT started to discharge its responsibilities with an extensive patrolling program covering north, northeast and central regions.
For humanitarian assistance, food distribution among impoverished people of Haiti was one program. While much of the food was supplied by NGOs, PAKBAT troops even distributed their own quota of rations to hard pressed population, hence earned good-will.
Mr Enerique ter Horst, United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative in Haiti while appreciating the services of Pakistani troops said, "since the arrival of Pakistan Battalion in Haiti the United Nations has realized that Pakistan Army is not only a formidable fighting force but peace keepers and peace builders in the best sense of the word. The way in which they have participated in the reconstruction and humanitarian assistance program beyond the call of duty to ensue stable environment, makes me confident that United Nations shall very soon attain the objectives of its mission in Haiti."
On the occasion of Pakistan Independence Day; the President of Haiti expressed gratitude of the Haitien people for services rendered by Pakistani troops for the restoration of democracy in Haiti. He said, "I express my deep appreciation and gratitude to the people of Pakistan, the Pakistan Army and its valiant soldiers for their manifestations filled with utmost sincerity, friendship and solidarity."
Cambodia (March 1992 to November 1993)
he Pakistani troops carried out peacekeeping operations in the most difficult and remote regions during the period May 92 - August 93. They overcame enormous logistic and operational problems and, displaying their characteristic courage and determination, defended themselves and those for whom they were responsible. Undaunted by the odds, they handled crisis after crisis and persuaded the warring factions to lay down their arms.
In the words of the Force Commander UNTAC, Lieutenant General J.M. Sanderson, "the Pakistani contingent showed professionalism, patience, determination and compassion, which indeed are the hallmark of an effective peace-keeping force".
Bosnia (March 1992 to February 1996)
United Nations Protection Forces in Bosnia (UNPROFOR), recognizing the commendable performance of the Pakistan Army Contingents as United Nations peacekeepers in Somalia and Cambodia, the United Nations requested the Government of Pakistan to contribute troops to the United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. A 3000 strong contingent consisting of two Battalion Groups and a National Support (NS) Headquarters left for Bosnia and Croatia in May 1994.
The two battalion groups PAKBAT 1 and PAKBAT 2 were deployed in the towns of Dares and Durdevik (near the city of Tuzla) in Bosnia while the National Support Headquarters remained based at Split, Croatia. They were tasked to stabilize the military situation with a view to encouraging return of normalcy, improving freedom of movement by maintaining existing routes, providing protection and supporting various United Nations agencies and NGOs engaged in their relief activities and coordinate humanitarian assistance. The PAKBATs performed their military duties with total commitment. Two officers, one junior commissioned officer and three non commissioned officers laid down their lives for the noble cause of bringing peace to a war ravaged territory. Their sacrifices were duly acknowledged by United Nations Force Commander and the local population.
Pakistani Peace Keepers who were the first to respond and assist over 50,000 refugees who came over after the Serbs had over-run the United Nations declared Safe Heavens of Srebrenica and Zepa in July 95. As it was an event which had not been foreseen by the Bosnian government and the United Nations authorities, it was the Pakistani Peace Keepers who bore the brunt of the crisis for 36 hours single handedly. Food, clothing, medical treatment and shelter to these war-ravaged people was provided by the PAKBAT from their own resources before help arrived. Even after the arrival of assistance, it were the Pakistani troops who managed and coordinated the relief activities. It was duly acknowledged in an impressive ceremony organized by Tuzia Red Cross to award certificates of merit to all those who contributed in relief operations.
the Pakistani contingent lost 6 lives in this mission.
Somalia (March 1992 to February 1996)
one of the most difficult peace keeping mission for Pakistan army. we lost 39 lives in this.
a total of arounf 7200 military men served in this operation.
United Nations Operation in Somalia I (UNISOM I), during the Somali Civil War, Pakistan was the first country to respond to the call of the United Nations. On 14 September 1992 five hundred Pakistani troops arrived in Mogadishu to launch the United Nation humanitarian campaign. Deployment of the security force was preceded by the arrival of an advance party of 50 United Nation observers, drawn from different countries, led by a Pakistani Brigadier
The Pakistani troops were asked by the United Nation Force Headquarters to carry out an inspection of the weapon storage sites of Farah Aideed, to whom the date and time of inspection had been communicated in advance. Nobody at the United Nation Force Headquarters was able to foresee his reaction and his power to arouse the feelings of his followers against those who were carrying out the inspection. Even as their colleagues were engaged in distributing food at one of the feeding points, the Pakistani inspectors were ambushed by Aideeds followers. The ambushers were using children and women as human shields to prevent being fired back while the road-blocks they had set up made Pakistanis withdrawal difficult. Though taken by surprise and totally exposed, the Pakistanis fought their way back, avoiding civilian casualties. In the process twenty-three Pakistanis were killed and sixty-seven sustained injuries. The Olympic Hotel Incident of 3 October 1993 took place during one of these operations when 75 US Rangers who were attempting an arrest on high level members of Mohammad Farrah Aideed's militia became stranded. The grim battle lasted eight hours. The US Rangers suffered 17 dead and 77 injured while one U.S. Army pilot was captured by Aideed forces. The U.S. 10th Mountain Infantry Division, along with Pakistani troops, was mobilized and sent in to the hot zone to aid the U.S. Rangers in their exfiltration. The exfiltration was a success and the wounded were admitted to the Pakistani hospital at Soccer Stadium. (See BLACK HAWK DOWN
Major General Thomas M. Montgomery, Deputy Commander of the United Nations Forces in Somalia in a television interview said, "Many of the soldiers are alive today because of the willingness and skill of the Pakistani soldiers who worked jointly in a rescue operation with Malaysian and American soldiers in most difficult and dangerous combat circumstances.
" He thanked the people and Pakistan Army for sending, "such splendid soldiers to Somalia who we feel proud to serve with. Pakistani soldiers have been completely dependable even in the most difficult circumstances. They have shouldered a huge and dangerous load for UNOSOM and the Somali people.
Rwanda (October 1993 – March 1996)
Angola (February 1995 to June 1997)
Eastern Slavonia (May 1996 – August 1997)
Sierra Leone (October 1999 to December 2005)