Kayani initiates USAID project in S Waziristan

Published: June 19, 2012
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Army chief meeting elders of the Mehsud tribe in South Waziristan. PHOTO: ONLINE

Army chief meeting elders of the Mehsud tribe in South Waziristan. PHOTO: ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: 

Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani inaugurated a US-funded road project in South Waziristan Agency on Monday — a move that may indicate easing of tensions between the estranged allies.

The development is being seen as a significant one as the army chief has recently distanced himself from being associated with the Americans. Furthermore, Kayani inaugurated the Tank-Gomal-Wana Road amid reports that Washington had shown willingness to accept some of Islamabad’s demands, including an apology for last year’s Salala air strikes.

A Pakistani official described the development as ‘positive’ saying despite recent hiccups in relations between the two countries, the US continued to fund important projects in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

“The US is proud to partner with the government of Pakistan in rebuilding key roads and infrastructure in Fata,” said Karen Freeman, acting director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Pakistan.

“We believe our joint efforts will bring commerce, jobs, trade and long-term security to this important region of Pakistan,” Freeman added.

The road connects to the US-funded 110 kilometre Tank-Makin Road, which was completed earlier this year at Kaur. The road will provide the people of Murtaza Kot, Nilikatch, Gomal Zam, Tanai, Tiarza and Wana in the South Waziristan Agency access to Tank, DI Khan and other parts of Pakistan, a statement issued by the US Embassy said.

USAID has contributed over $260 million for roads and other key infrastructure projects in Fata.

Meanwhile, the army chief attempted to strike a delicate balance when he suggested the military was compelled to launch an operation against militants in Waziristan.

However, after flushing out terrorists in the area, the army’s focus has now become centered on maintaining peace in the area by concentrating on rehabilitation and reconstruction activities, the army chief pointed out.

In a meeting with tribal elders, Kayani insisted that no army wanted to fight within its own borders.

“The army is concentrating on health and education facilities,” he added.

He also inaugurated Spinkai Ragzai Cadet College and reviewed the security situation besides ongoing developmental work in South Waziristan.

According to APP, Kayani said the army was deployed in the area on the demand of locals and would stay till the completion of development projects.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Rana
    Jun 19, 2012 - 9:58AM

    What a great job our Army Chief is doing. Every one in the establishment is putting all efforts to please America. Well done general keep it up!! A colony is being established for Ex Generals in Washington DC, where your former boss will welcome you.

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  • ayesha_khan
    Jun 19, 2012 - 10:09AM

    “In a meeting with tribal elders, Kayani insisted that no army wanted to fight within its own borders.”

    Except when it fights outside its borders, it always loses – 1965, 1971, Kargill.

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  • Pakistani
    Jun 19, 2012 - 10:35AM

    but be aware that the big powers are only concerned with their strategic games.

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  • faraz
    Jun 19, 2012 - 10:59AM

    Developmental projects are crucial at this stage. And tribal who lost lives and property should be compensated. There are tons of stories of tribal that lost property but weren’t given a penny. South Waziristan operation cost hundreds of billions of rupees, and lives of a 1000 soldiers. It will all go in vain if development work and resettlement of tribals doesn’t happen

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  • Shakir Khan
    Jun 19, 2012 - 11:04AM

    Lamest Army Chief in history of Pakistan who sold his country for a minor extension. Bows before convicted criminals. God bless Pakistan and its armed forces of such Chiefs.

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  • Rana
    Jun 19, 2012 - 11:22AM

    Well done general we should be proud of you, you are exactly doing what you are hired for!!!

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  • shahzad
    Jun 19, 2012 - 12:33PM

    I must say Army is doing the best well done

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  • Ban
    Jun 19, 2012 - 2:02PM

    We should look at the bright side of the picture. No doubts, the tribesmen have lost a lot, but the development projects being done in the area will facilitate the same population!

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  • citizen
    Jun 19, 2012 - 3:07PM

    @Rana, @Ayesha, @Pakistani:
    I am not pro-Army….Please contribute some “suggestions to COAS” instead of criticising al the time.

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  • Hafeez
    Jun 19, 2012 - 7:22PM

    @Ban:
    All these development projects are destined to doom if the underlying institutional infrastructure is not strengthened. By this I mean extending the provincial status to FATA, or making it part of the KPK. As long as the FATA status continues, this region will always remain a play ground for our agencies and foreign agencies. The decade of 80s and 90s saw some good progress and development in FATA, but all was washed in a couple of years due to influx of Al-Qaeda and Taliban. This all happened due to absence of any institutional foundations.

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  • nasir khan
    Jun 19, 2012 - 11:28PM

    @Rana:
    Sitting in Punjab or islamabad you don’t know what is militancy,what is the menace of talibinisation and what our brave army did in FATA scarified thousands of officers and jawans.We should support our Army but some non sense people belong every action to USA.

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  • Jun 27, 2012 - 10:47AM

    @ayesha-Khan: “Except when it fights outside its borders, it always loses – 1965, 1971, Kargill.”

    That’s part of the Indian mythology. With the special exception of 1971( where Indira exploited the political follies by Bhutto and Mujib and RAW infiltrated the Awami League), Indian military has not scored any clear victories over Pakistan.

    Even in 1971, Pakistanis inflicted heavy damage on Indian military.

    http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/07/demolishing-indian-war-myths-about.html

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