UAE de­vel­op­ment projects in Pak­istan

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIAL & COMMENTS -

WHEN Pak­istan talks of all-weather friend, the UAE’s name comes to mind first. Not only is this country home to thou­sands of Pak­istani ex­pa­tri­ates, it is also a ma­jor aid provider to the South Asian country. The 72-km Friend­ship Road in­au­gu­rated on Sun­day, which links the south and north of Waziris­tan re­gions bor­der­ing Afghanistan, is a commendable achieve­ment; an­other sign that bonds be­tween the two coun­tries are only grow­ing stronger.

Apart from its strate­gic sig­nif­i­cance, the road has been built at a cru­cial time in his­tory when this restive re­gion in Pak­istan is limp­ing back to nor­malcy. The road will bring peace div­i­dends as the Pak­istani army suc­cess­fully ex­ter­mi­nates the ter­ror nexus in the re­gion. It will usher in an era of de­vel­op­ment and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for De­vel­op­ment at a cost of $60 mil­lion, it is one of the big­gest de­vel­op­ment projects in the tribal re­gion. The road link in the rugged moun­tain­ous re­gion adds to 416 sim­i­lar de­vel­op­ment projects in Pak­istan funded and sup­ported by the UAE. The Project to As­sist Pak­istan, known as UAE-PAP, has so far im­ple­mented 164 hu­man­i­tar­ian and de­vel­op­ment schemes worth $353 mil­lion. The anti-po­lio cam­paign will vac­ci­nate 25 mil­lion chil­dren in Pak­istan, and a gen­er­ous do­na­tion of around Dh440 mil­lion has been ear­marked for it. Under the slo­gan ‘Health for All Bet­ter Fu­ture’, this country played a piv­otal role in erad­i­cat­ing the epi­demic in back­ward and re­mote ar­eas of Pak­istan and Afghanistan. The UAE is keen to sup­port the peo­ple of Pak­istan by de­vel­op­ing poverty elim­i­na­tion pro­grammes, up­grad­ing ed­u­ca­tional and med­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture, and work­ing for com­mu­nity wel­fare in the ne­glected ar­eas of the country. It demon­strates the fra­ter­nal spirit and shared vi­sion of the two coun­tries to work for the col­lec­tive bet­ter­ment of the peo­ples of both coun­tries. — Khaleej Times

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