Army chief General Raheel Sharif inaugurated an important section of the upcoming Central Trade Corridor (CTC) and a bridge in South Waziristan Agency, according to an Inter Services Public Relations statement.
The army chief was visiting the South Waziristan agency on Sunday to inspect the ongoing development work.
The Central Trade Corridor is a 705-kilometre road network linking Pakistan’s Indus Highway and Waziristan agencies with the Afghan Ring Road. It is a strategic road link to facilitate trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan and will help revive the local economy of Fata and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
“The CTC is being built by army engineers and is funded by friendly countries,” the statement added.
“A 76km-long Shakai – Makeen road funded through USAID is an important lateral along the CTC which connects the two main axes of trade corridor — Road Bannu – Miramshah – Ghulam Khan and Road Wana – Aangor Ada.”
DG ISPR Asim Bajwa tweeted pictures of the road inaugurated today:
According to ISPR, apart from other economic, security and strategic advantages, the newly constructed roads have reduced travelling times considerably.
“Development of Fata is a priority task being undertaken by the army as a well considered strategy. Pakistan Army has undertaken 178 projects so far in the social sector, communication infrastructure and power sector in Fata and Malakand areas,” the army chief said.
These projects will improve the quality of life in tribal areas and address the problem of militancy on a long term basis.
While addressing the tribal elders, General Raheel appreciated their support in combating terrorism and acknowledged their sacrifices in the war against terrorism. He reiterated the army’s resolve to bring peace and stability to the affected areas.
Referring to ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb against militants in North Waziristan, the army chief said that the operation is progressing successfully.
“While focusing on early completion, the army will continue with rehabilitation and reconstruction activities. A comprehensive plan in this regard has been chalked out in consultation with the government,” Gen Raheel said.
Earlier on his arrival in South Waziristan, General Raheel was received by Corps Commander Lieutenant General Hidayatur Rehman and tribal elders.