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Grenadiers in Sierra Leone, Mahar in Somalia, Gorkha Rifles in Lebanon are some of the many Indian regiments that have served under the UN flag with distinction.

Countries that participate in UN peacekeeping efforts need to have military expertise. But more important is political acceptability. The range of sensitive operations India troops have participated in is a testimony to the Indian Army's standing in the world community.

Soldiers of the 15 Sikh Light Infantry fist salute at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi on July 16, 2003 before their departure on a mission in Ethiopia.

Photograph: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

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