SWAT: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on Friday visited Mangora, Kanju and Khwazakhela and laid foundation stone of army cantonment in Swat.
The cantonment was approved on 8th September 2015 by President Mamnoon Hussain on a popular demand by the people in view of the long term security for the region.
Speaking at the occasion, the Army Chief paid gratitude to the people of Swat for their valiant stand against the reign of terror and standing alongside the security forces to throw terrorists out of the valley forever.
General Sharif congratulated the people of Swat on this historic day and reaffirmed the army’s commitment to continue playing a solid role in bringing peace and security of Swat.
He stated that the establishment of cantonment in Swat will act as a deterrent for terrorists, and boost the confidence of law enforcement agencies,
It will also help bring a sense of security with readily available force to counter any threat to peace and also contribute to local socio-economic development for the area.
COAS said that development of FATA and Malakand is a priority task being executed as a well considered strategy. He said the Pakistan Army has undertaken over 700 projects in social sector in areas where operation was carried out, which are aimed to improve the quality of life of locals and address the problem of militancy on long term basis.
He said the whole world acknowledges Pakistan Army for completing the entire cycle of fighting terrorism from operations to reconstruction and resettling the displaced people back in the area.
He also appreciated the continued support of locals in combating terrorism and acknowledged their sacrifices in war against terrorism which became critical for success.
Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Governor Zafar Iqbal Jhagra and local elders of the area thanked COAS and Pakistan Army for establishment of the cantonment for the benefit of the people of Swat.
The Army Chief also visited the recently completed Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zaid model Hospital in Swat. He appreciated the quality of hospital and facilities and thanked UAE and its leadership for their contribution for socioeconomic development of the area.
Later COAS also visited under construction Army Public School. Earlier on arrival, he was received by Corps Commander Lt Gen Hidayat ur Rehman and GOC Swat Major General Asif Ghafoor.
Around 300,000 people lived in Mingora until the Taliban occupied the town in early May 2009 when the army first launched an offensive in Swat.
By July 2009 the army declared the region back under their control, saying the rebels had all been killed, captured or fled, but more than 20,000 troops remained in Swat and adjacent districts.