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General Raheel Sharif inaugurates Central Trade Corridor

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on Sunday inaugurated an important section of upcoming Central Trade Corridor (CTC) alongwith the largest bridge on this road in South Waziristan Agency today, ARY News has learnt.

According to Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), speaking on the occasion, General Raheel Sharif said development of FATA is a priority task being undertaken by the Army as a well considered strategy.

ISPR press release stated that while addressing the tribal elders, COAS appreciated their support in combating terrorism and acknowledged their sacrifices in war against terrorism. He reiterated Army’s resolve to bring peace and stability to the affected areas.

Referring to operation Zarb-e-azb, COAS said that the operation is progressing successfully as per plan. He said 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.

CTC is a strategic road link to facilitate trade between Pakistan – Afghanistan and will directly and indirectly help revive local economy of FATA and KPK. An international standard, 705 KM long road network through southern KPK & FATA, CTC is being built by Army Engineers and funded by friendly countries.

Inaugurated today, 76 KM long Shakai – Makeen road funded through USAID is an important lateral along the CTC which connects the two main axes of Trade Corridor i.e., Road Bannu – Miranshah – Ghulam Khan and Road Wana – Aangor Ada. Apart from other economic, security and strategic advantages, the newly constructed roads have reduced travelling times considerably.

Pakistan Army has undertaken 178 x projects so far in 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 long term basis.

Earlier on his arrival in SWA, COAS was received by Corps Commander Lieutenant General Hidayat ur Rehman and tribal elders.

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