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UN chief mourns death of Pakistani soldiers in Congo

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his “heartfelt condolences” on the recent deaths of two Pakistani soldiers who were killed during a UN peacemaking mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The two soldiers, Sepoys Muhammad Ishtiaq Abbasi and Tariq Javeed, were members of the Pakistani contingent of the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC, known as MONUSCO.

In a letter to Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, the secretary-general conveyed his sympathies to the Pakistani government and to the bereaved families of the soldiers.

He also lauded the soldiers’ contribution to the UN efforts for peace in the DRC.

“I would also like to express to you my gratitude for the valuable support that the Government of Pakistan continues to provide to this important peacekeeping mission,” he wrote.

Pakistan is among the top contributors to UN peacekeeping operations around the world, with more than 7,000 Pakistanis currently serving as blue helmets.

More than 170,000 Pakistanis have served in UN peacekeeping missions across the world in the past decades, and 146 soldiers have lost their lives.

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Azhar Hashmi

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