Issue Brief on “UN Peacekeeping Missions: Pakistan’s Soft Power”

Joseph S. Nye, in his article published in Foreign Policy in Feb 2006, argued that military power is a hard power asset but the context in which this asset is used can turn it into a soft power asset. In UN Peacekeeping missions, competence of the peacekeeping troops win admiration from the international community. Admiration and attraction create soft power. In this way, United Nations Peacekeeping missions are a source of soft power. They provide an opportunity to enhance a state’s participation, presence and influence in framing issues of international importance and, particularly, issues related to humanitarian crises. UN peacekeeping missions are, indeed, an invaluable soft power asset for a leading troops contributor like Pakistan. By contributing immensely and consistently to the missions, Pakistan has established one fact: Pakistan stands for peace not for war and, therefore, it has the potential to establish itself as an international peacekeeping and peace building facilitator.

Since 1960, Pakistan has sent more than 160,000 troops to 42 missions. Currently, Pakistani men and women are serving in seven UN peacekeeping missions. With over 8,000 troops in these missions, Pakistan becomes one of the highest contributors to UN peacekeeping Missions. An overview of the peacekeeping missions in Latin America, the Balkans, West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, and Southeast Asia reveals Pakistan’s persistent commitment to international peace and security. In these missions, Pakistani troops went beyond the call of duty in providing humanitarian assistance and even laid down their lives for rescuing people.

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