New Delhi, Sep 12 : Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju today met the Army contingent deployed in Lebanon on an UN peacekeeping mission.
The Indian contingent comprises of nearly nine hundred personnel deployed in the UN peacekeeping operations.
Raju reviewed the contribution and role of Indian troops in the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). This is the first visit in more than five years by a Union Minister to any Indian peacekeeping mission abroad.
India has deployed one infantry battalion in Lebanon, which bears responsibility of Eastern position of South Lebanon. During the Israel-Hizbollah 34 day war in 2006, everybody praised the gallant actions of 4 SIKH battalion.
In recognition of the gallant performance, 4 SIKH was presented the UNIFIL Unit citation for its distinguished role. In addition, 73 personnel of 4 SIKH were awarded UNIFIL Force Commander's Special Commendation for outstanding performance.
India is the third largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping operations. So far, India has taken part in 43 peacekeeping missions with more than 90,000 troops participating all over the world in various countries like Korea, Congo, Gaza, Somalia, Lebanon, Sudan etc.
The first deployment started in 1950s, when India sent troops to Korea in 1953-54. Presently, India has deployed 8,875 personnel in UN peacekeeping operations worldwide.
The dedication, commitment and devotion to Peace Keeping has made the Indian soldier the most sought after peacekeeper by the United Nations.