ISLAMABAD 2 October 2020: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has inaugurated the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Road, a 42 km road in the Mohmand district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The project was implemented by the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme, UAE-PAP, and financed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, at a cost of US$29.12 million.
The opening of the road comes in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; and the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; and the follow up of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, as part of the UAE’s continuous support to Pakistan, said official news agency Wam.
Following the inauguration, the Pakistani Prime Minister unveiled the memorial plaque and led a tour of patrons and guests on the built road, bridges, tunnels and water channels. The tour concluded with a memorial photo taken of the work teams and engineers involved in the project who were also honoured with commemorative shields.
Speaking at the ceremony, Khan said, “I want to express my sincere thanks to the UAE, especially Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed,” who sponsored this road on behalf of the UAE Government.
Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, Director of the UAE-PAP, highlighted the importance of building the road, saying it is one of the largest and most important modern development projects that have been implemented in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region.
The road connects nine cities and six villages, and will be used by more than 627,000 people. Its width spans 9.3 metres, and includes a tunnel and nine intersecting bridges and a drainage system to protect against torrential waters.
Al Ghafli said that the road will contribute to improving transportation routes through a safe highway that links cities and villages that were previously unconnected due to their rugged mountainous geographical nature. It will also help to ease and speed up the transportation of goods, agricultural, mineral and animal products and building materials from the region to the main distribution centres in Pakistan, thus boosting the local economy.
He stressed the importance of providing humanitarian aid initiatives and implementing development projects for the Pakistani people in various sectors, based on the UAE’s approach to humanitarian work that embody the values of tolerance, peace, and promoting kindness among the peoples of the world.
Al Ghafli also pointed out that the road was named after Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed in appreciation for the generous humanitarian gestures and permanent development projects that His Highness has provided to the Pakistani people over the years.
He added that it took “extensive and exceptional efforts” to complete works on the road due to the harsh climate and mountainous terrain.
The opening ceremony was attended by Alam Khattak, Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal regions; Mahmood Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister; General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army; Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al Zaabi, UAE Ambassador to Pakistan; and a number of local ministers, senior commanders, Pakistani army officers, officials and representatives of government and local departments.