UAE development projects in Pakistan
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