ISLAMABAD, May 31 -- Pakistan will not retreat from the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and is prepared to send more soldiers to the embattled Balkan nation, government officials said Wednesday. Meanwhile, the government offered assurances that the 3,000 Pakistani troops in Bosnia-Herzegovina were safe, even though one Pakistani officer is among the more than 300 U.N. peacekeepers being held hostage by Bosnian Serb forces. Capt. Manzoor Ahmad of the Air Defense Command was being held by the Serbs near Sarajevo in defiance of a United Nations request that its personnel be freed, officials said.
Pakistani President Farooq Leghari said Pakistan would remain part of the U.N. force, despite risks faced by the international peacekeeping force in Bosnia. Pakistan is one of the largest contributors to the 36,000-person U.N. force in Bosnia. France and other countries have threatened to remove their troops because of threats to soldiers. Pakistan also appears willing to send more troops to confront the Bosnian Serbs, who have been fighting the mostly Muslim Bosnian government since the republic declared independence from Yugoslavia more three years ago. 'The Western policy of appeasement of the Serbian aggressors is not going to pay,' Leghari said.