By Arif Qureshi
Islamabad: The Military Attaché of United Arab Emirates (UAE) Brig Ghanem Ali Ghanem Al-Ali met with Secretary Defence Lt Gen (Retd) Zameer-ul-Hassan Shah here at the Ministry of Defense in Rawalpindi on Wednesday. UAE military Attaché appreciated the efforts and sacrifices rendered by Pakistan Army, civil security forces and Pakistani nation in war against terrorism. Both discussed matters of bilateral interest and areas of cooperation between the two countries. Brig Ghanem Ali Ghanem on the occasion said UAE highly values its relations with Pakistan and shared in details the Latest development taking place in Middle East and international arenas. He stated that there was a lot of scope of cooperation between armed forces of the two countries. Other matters of bilateral importance also came under discussion during the meeting.
Secretary Defence Lt Gen (Retd) Zameer-ul-Hassan Shah on the occasion said that Pakistan considers UAE a strategic partner because it has not only supported Pakistan on matters of strategic interest but also gave generous economic and financial assistance at times of crises especially in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). During the meeting area of cooperation in different field also came under discussion in details.
It is reminded there are several healths, education and road infrastructures projected are underway in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), under UAE Project to Assist Pakistan. UAE government already had launched seven healthcare projects at a cost of over US$17.1 million in Pakistan’s Bajaur, the key features of The 70-bed Bajaur hospital a dialysis centre, an electro encephalograph (EEG) unit, two quarantine units, two operating rooms as well as wards for chest diseases, skin diseases and emergency and outpatient clinics to serve a population of 800,000 people of the underprivileged region of FATA through UAE- Project to Assist Pakistan (PAP).
In 2015, UAE Project to Assist Pakistan completed a Cadet College in Wana, South Waziristan with the cost of $5.4 million (Dh19.8 million) which is considered largest educational project in the South Waziristan region. In 2013, then Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani inaugurated a magnificent and strongly-built 330-metre-long bridge over River Swat named Sheikh Khalifa bin Zyed Al-Nahyan Bridge.
The 40 years old bridge was swept away in flashfloods in 2011 and the whole population of the area was facing innumerous difficulties since then. The UAE government sponsored the construction of the vital bridge that was completed at the cost of US$12.6 million. General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani also inaugurated a 50km road from Wana – the main town of the South Waziristan Agency – to Angoor Adda.