Islamabad: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif inaugurated USAID funded 84 km long Bannu-Miranshah-Ghulam Khan Road constructed by FWO, on Tuesday during his visit of North and South Waziristan. US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale in his message congratulated the people of Pakistan, the FATA Secretariat and the Frontier Works Organization on the opening of the Bannu-Miran Shah-Ghulam Khan road on Tuesday. “This road symbolizes and is a benefit of the partnership between Pakistan and America. Together, we are helping to fulfill the Pakistani goal of restoring public infrastructure in remote communities. These partnerships demonstrate our long-term commitment to Pakistan’s people, prosperity, and stability,” a press release of US embassy quoted as saying.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on Tuesday visited North and South Waziristan and reviewed pace of stabilization operations, return of temporarily displaced persons (TDPs) and development works in FATA. According to Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the COAS expressing satisfaction on the progress of return of TDPs, commended the efforts of everyone involved in ensuring their smooth and timely return with dignity and honor. He directed them to complete the return of remaining TDPs within stipulated time before end of 2016. As part of a comprehensive rehabilitation and reconstruction effort, significant rehabilitation projects were commissioned.
This would become the shortest trade route to Afghanistan wherein travelling time between Bannu and Ghulam Khan Border Post will reduce from 6 hours to only 1.5 hours. With opening of this road, 705 km long strategic central trade corridor to Afghanistan has been completed for all kind of moves across the border up to Central Asia. The COAS also inaugurated state of the art Younus Khan Sports Stadium with a packed crowd of viewers watching the inaugural match played between FATA Eleven and Younas Khan Eleven.
The COAS expressed the hope that enormous talent of FATA youth would be honed with upcoming educational and sports facilities and with no dearth of talent, their aspirations to rise at the international level would be accomplished. Addressing Jirga of tribal elders, General Raheel Sharif said that Operation Zarb-e-Azb had irreversibly eradicated terrorist networks from FATA.
The COAS assured the tribesmen that Pakistan Army and Government were determined to ensure all promises made for their socio-economic development were delivered, to open avenues of prosperity and socio-economic turnaround. “We will give a secure and prosperous Pakistan to our future generations,” he added. Tribal elders thanked the COAS for cleansing their area from terrorists, bringing peace and ensuring a quality reconstruction work.