United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday termed the improved security situation of Pakistan as “absolutely remarkable”, noting that Islamabad, which looked like a “fortress” a few years back had now become a family station for the world body’s staff.
António Guterres answered a question regarding “Pakistan’s journey from terrorism to tourism” after a seminar at the National University of Science and Technology in Islamabad (NUST). “We are witnessing the presence of the state, both from the point of view of security […] and basic service, the development of an absolutely remarkable transformation,” he said. “I can see how Pakistan has not only opened its borders, in a world where so many borders are closed, but that Pakistanis are opening their homes and their hearts in [a huge display of generosity,” he said. referring to the influx of Afghans. refugees in Pakistan. “At the same time, I saw Pakistan’s commitment to peace, especially to support peace in Afghanistan,” he added.
Guterres also appreciated the contribution of Pakistani troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions. “Pakistan has been a lever to make peacekeeping more efficient, more accountable and with a greater capacity to protect civilians and make peacekeepers an essential force for peace.”
“I want to pay tribute to Pakistan’s very firm commitment to multilateralism and the United Nations,” he said. Earlier, at the seminar organized by NUST, he paid a rich tribute to Pakistani peacekeepers and praised their “professionalism [and] their commitment”. He congratulated peacekeepers for their efforts to bring peace to countries struck by war and violence. Before arriving, António Guterres had declared that he would express his gratitude to those who served as peacekeepers. Speaking to Twitter, he said: “Pakistan is one of the most consistent and reliable contributors to United Nations peacekeeping efforts in the world. “I am traveling to Pakistan, where I intend to express my gratitude to the #ServingForPeace people.”
The UN chief is on a four-day visit to Pakistan to attend an international conference on Afghan refugees. Earlier today, he spoke at the international conference “40 years of hosting Afghan refugees in Pakistan”, where he stressed that the world “must recognize that international support to Pakistan has been minimal compared to [his own] national efforts “for Afghan refugees.