UNITED NATIONS, Oct 25 (APP): Pakistani Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the UN peacekeeping chief on Thursday that the steep rise in Indian violations of the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir was ‘alarming’ amid the heightened tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi, and proposed that the UN Military Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) be strengthened and expanded to help keep peace and stability in the disputed region.
The Pakistan made the proposal during her farewell call on the Under-Secretary General for peacekeeping, La Croix, at UN headquarters in New York, according to official sources.
Ambassador Lodhi highlighted the fact that Pakistan was a host to UNMOGIP, one of the oldest missions whose role, she said, has become even more significant due to the recent Indian ‘aggressive actions’ on the LoC, especially since New Delhi’s illegal annexation of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, when New Delhi placed the disputed state under a lockdown which is still continuing.
In 2018, she added, Indian forces committed more than 3,000 ceasefire violations resulting in the martyrdom of 58 civilians while countless others sustained injuries. “This dangerous trend continues unabated in the current year; in 2019, 2608 ceasefire violations have been committed by Indian forces, causing 44 deaths”, the sources quoted the Pakistani envoy as saying.
During the meeting, she also renewed Pakistan’s pledge to remain active in a leadership role in the world body’s flagship enterprise aimed at promoting peace and stability around the globe.
As one of the world’s top contributors to UN Peacekeeping, Pakistan has since 1960 contributed 200,000 troops and served in 46 missions in 28 countries around the world.
Currently, Pakistan has 5,060 troops serving in nine missions, mostly in Africa, under the blue flag of the UN.
Ambassador Lodhi told Croix, the under-secretary-general for peacekeeping, that Pakistan was proud of it’s role which, she said, was a testimony to its consistent contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security, according to official sources.
She pointed out that 156 brave Pakistani soldiers paid the ultimate price in upholding peace and embraced martyrdom in the line of duty.
The Pakistani envoy said she felt especially gratified by the fact that it was during her tenure that Pakistan increased women’s participation in its troop contributions to the UN and Islamabad met the 15 percent target set by the UN for female participation last December.
Ambassador Lodhi was the first female to serve as ambassador to the United Nations. Her tenure ends on October 31.