RAWALPINDI: A 76km long road and the largest bridge in South Waziristan agency were inaugurated Sundayby Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif to facilitate trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the military said in a statement.
The statement released by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) says the Shakai-Makeen road, funded by USAID, is an important section of the upcoming Central Trade Corridor (CTC). This road connects the two main axes of Trade Corridor which are road Bannu – Miranshah – Ghulam Khan and road Wana – Aangor Ada.
The statement describes the CTC as a strategic road link to improve trade between Pakistan – Afghanistan and will directly and indirectly contribute in reviving the economy of Federally Administered Tribal Area and Kyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Apart from other economic, security and strategic advantages, the newly constructed roads have reduced travelling times considerably, the military added. An international standard 705-km long road network is also being built by army engineers that will run through southern KPK and FATA.
General Raheel Sharif said the development of FATA is a "priority task" being undertaken by the army.
The statement also added that the Pakistan army has undertaken 178 projects so far in the social sector, communication infrastructure and power sector in FATA and Malakand areas. These projects are aimed to improve the quality of life in tribal areas and address the problem of militancy on a long-term basis.