BEYOND MOUNTAINS

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 UAE Projects in KPK, Tribal Areas Welcomed
Syed Fakhar KaKaKhel
There were times when Arabs were often criticized by progressive Pashtun circles in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas for supporting only the traditional religious mind set in the region. But much has changed right now about that perception. Right now there are dozens of projects related to health, education and water supply both completed and ongoing which had a remarkable impact on local population from every school of thought. All these projects are funded by United Arab Emirates with the help of Pak Army.There are total 124 schemes of Education, Health and Water Supply in Malakand Division, Bajaur Agency and South Waziristan Agency with the total cost of 50 million US dollars. In Malakand Division 49 schemes for education, two schemes in health, for water supply 24 schemes.

“All these development schemes have very powerful positive impact on the locals of Malakand. It’s a visible change and real development. Honestly most of the people looking at the UAE flags picture of UAE’s head talk good about Arabs in general and UAE in particular. Those education buildings which were bombed are now rebuilt with much better standards. Pak Army along with UAE has really done a great job by looking at these projects that also includes Health and Water Supply.” Saeedur Rehman, a local journalist told Centreline.

In Bajaur Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas, UAE and Pak Army has total of 22 projects having one for Education, one for Health and 20 for water supply schemes.

In South Waziristan, UAE is funding 27 different projects. It includes three schemes in education, four in health and 20 in water supply.

“There are a lot of countries funding many projects in South Waziristan but it is quite true that the work done by UAE with the help of Pak Army are just symbols of excellence. Their location and construction is a model for the rest of project managers.” Anwar Mehsud, an activist turned journalist from South Waziristan noted.

UAE is spending 27.10 million US dollars on 53 projects of education sector, 17.6 million dollars on 7 projects of health sector and 5.77 million dollars on 64 schemes of water supply in are these above mentioned different regions.

This scribe while moving into different areas of Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa found a wide series of mega development projects funded by UAE. One such project is a tunnel at Nahaki Pass between Momand and Bajaur Agency, which always remained an issue of communication between these two tribal agencies since British Raj.

If truly there is a sense of wining the hearts, these projects of building schools, health facilities, roads and trade activities are the simple ways of heart to heart communications.

The writer is a senior journalist and Centreline’s Bureau Chief in Peshawar.