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Pakistan to send 1700 troops to Burundi, Ivory Coast

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, May 28, IRNA -- Pakistan will send an additional 1700 
troops and other supporting personnel to Burundi and Ivory Coast that 
will take the total number of its troops to almost 10,000, a senior 
Pakistani diplomat said on Friday. 
"Today, 7697 of our peacekeepers are serving in eight 
peacekeeping missions the world over which constitute 14 percent of 
the global share," Pakistan Foreign Secretary Riaz Khokhar told a 
seminar held on the occasion of International Day of United Nations 
Peacekeepers observed in Pakistan and other countries on Friday. 
Pakistan has contributed tremendously to the promotion of global 
peace and security under the UN umbrella by contributing the largest 
contingents, Khokhar said. 
"Our peacekeepers have upheld the cause of peace in different 
parts of the world and they have earned prestige and honor for 
themselves and their country." 
He said Pakistan will continue its efforts to restore peace in 
the troubled areas by sending peacekeepers. 
The Pakistani official said Islamabad today is the largest 
contributor of peacekeepers and has, since 1960, participated in 
28 peacekeeping missions. 
"Pakistan has also the honor of hosting one of the oldest UN 
peacekeeping missions in Pakistan and India. Pakistan believes that 
the presence of the UNMOGIP itself constitutes a confidence-building 
measure for promotion of peace and stability in this region." 
Khokhar said Pakistan has proposed the establishment of a 
peacekeeping training institute in Pakistan that could be developed 
to serve as a center of excellence in the conduct of special 
training. 
Meanwhile, talking to reporters, he said that the peace process 
with India will continue and move forward positively and will help 
resolving all outstanding issues between the two countries, including 
Kashmir. 
"Both the sides will have to take positive forward movements to 
resolve the issues for a longlasting and a durable peace in the 
region," Khokhar said. 
"Pakistan and India will have to take steps to address the 
fundamental issues." 
To a question, he said that since India has a new government 
that wants to familiarize itself with the peace process, "Pakistan is 
understandably giving new time to them." 
"Originally, it was scheduled that talks at the foreign secretary 
level will be held in New Delhi in the first week of June, but the 
schedule has been a little bit delayed due to the change of leadership
in India and we are waiting for their response to be able to finalize 
the timetable. 
"If New Delhi asks Islamabad to host the foreign secretary level 
talks, we will warmly welcome this offer," the Pakistani diplomat 
said. 
Replying to another question, he said no decision has yet been 
made to send Pakistani troops to Iraq. 
TK/TSH/LS/210 
 Fri 2004-05-28 



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