COAS opens strategic section of CTC in SWA

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, on Sunday, inaugurated an important section of upcoming Central Trade Corridor (CTC) along the largest bridge in South Waziristan Agency. According to an ISPR press release issued here on Sunday, the CTC is a strategic road link to facilitate trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan and will directly and indirectly help revive the local economy of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).

The CTC which was being built by Army engineers and funded by friendly countries is a 705-km-long road network of international standard that passes through southern KPK and Fata.

The USAID-funded 76-km-long Shakai-Makeen Road which was inaugurated on Sunday is an important lateral along the CTC, connecting the two main axes of Trade Corridor ie, 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.

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.

He said that development of Fata is a priority task being undertaken by the Army as a well-considered strategy. 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 at improving the quality of life in tribal areas and addressing the problem of militancy on long-term basis.

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