With the Indian contingent of police personnel preparing to return home from their deployment with a UN support mission in Haiti, they expressed confidence that the Caribbean country has the potential to become one of the best tourist destinations in the world that will help it in its economic growth and development.
Currently, two Indian Formed Police Units (FPUs), comprising 140 police personnel each, are deployed with the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH). With operations at the mission set to drawdown by October 2019, one Indian Formed Police Unit will soon return home while the other is slated to depart by October next year.
The Indian contingent stressed that with proper developmental planning, Haiti's natural and cultural resources can contribute tremendously to attracting tourists from across the world to the Caribbean nation.
"If these natural resources and landscapes are better preserved and developed efficiently with proper planning and vision, combined with improved law and order, I'm confident that Haiti will be one of the best destinations for tourists," Shukla told PTI through video call from Haiti.
He said he hopes to visit Haiti again, not as a peacekeeper, but as a tourist.
Inspector Navin Kumar Singh, who is the Section Commander, echoed similar sentiments, saying he too would like to visit Haiti in future as a tourist. "Tourism will flourish here. I hope that tourism is developed further in Haiti. Some day, I would like to come as a civilian and enjoy the beauty of Haiti, he said.
The Indian police contingent, thousands of miles away from their home country and families, brought their culture closer to Haitian people through cultural programs and by commemorating special occasions, as they diligently carried out their duties in the mission.
Singh said he will return home with fond memories of Haiti, especially the respect with which women are treated. He said now that it is time for them to head back home, they will miss Haiti, its culture and its people.
The first Indian contingent had arrived in Haiti in October 2008, with the current contingent arriving in April this year. The tenure of the Indian contingents, comprising 140 personnel and officers, has been for one year each and currently the 10th contingent is deployed in the mission. Currently, India is the top police contributor to MINUJUSTH, with 280 personnel.
Through a resolution, the Security Council had affirmed its intention to consider the withdrawal of MINUJUSTH and transition to a non-peacekeeping presence in Haiti beginning no sooner than October 15, 2019.
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