Five martyred peacekeepers from Pakistan received the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal posthumously at a ceremony to mark International Day of UN Peacekeepers in New York, on Wednesday.

At the UN Headquarters in New York, the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres presided over a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of all peacekeepers, who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag in 2016. These included 117 military, police and civilian peacekeepers from 43 countries. Among them were five Pakistani peacekeepers, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of peace.

The five recipients from Pakistani were Havildar Abdul Majeed Khan and Havildar Zishan Ahmed, who served with the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); Lt-Colonel Muhammad Ashraf, who served with the United Nations Operation in Ivory Coast (UNOCI); Naik Qaiser Abbas, who was deployed with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA); and Ms Shabnam Khan who served in a civilian capacity with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Pakistan is the third largest contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping. It currently deploys more than 7,100 uniformed personnel to the UN peace operations in the Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Liberia, South Sudan, Sudan and the Western Sahara.

Acting Pakistan Permanent Representative to UN, Nabeel Munir, received the awards on behalf of the families of the fallen peacekeepers.

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