Kayani opens new road from Bannu to Kabul


PESHAWAR – Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani inaugurated the construction of a new road between Pakistan and Afghanistan on Thursday that will go through Bannu-Ghulam Khan in North Waziristan Agency. The CoAS, along with Peshawar Corps Commander Lt General Asif Yaseen Malik, visited the border town in North Waziristan where he was briefed about the project, to be completed in a year at the estimated cost of Rs 5 billion.
Kayani, upon arrival in North Waziristan, was also briefed on law and order in the area. The new road, considered to be the third commercial and diplomatic one after Torkham in Khyber Agency and Chaman in Balochistan, could link Bannu with Kabul through Miranshah, Ghulam Khan, Khost, Gardez and Ghazni. Upon completion of the road, the distance between Bannu and Kabul could be covered in six to seven hours.
The CoAS was also briefed about the economic importance of the road, which could reduce the traffic load on both Torkham and Chaman.
Kayani was told that after loading goods from Karachi Port, trucks and trolleys could easily get access to Kabul via the new road. As opposed to the Khyber Pass and the zigzagging roads in Sarobi, most of the new road would be built on the plains of the Ghazni and Maidan Wardag provinces, Kayani was told, and the new road could also enable industrialists and traders from Punjab to easily dispatch products to consumer markets in Afghanistan and Central Asian republics.
After inaugurating the new road project, the CoAS attended a briefing in Peshawar along with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti regarding reconstruction and rehabilitation in flood-affected areas of the province. The Peshawar corps commander and a number of provincial ministers also attended the briefing. Hoti told reporters that the armed forces had extended “tremendous help and support to the provincial government” during the floods and in the war on terror.
He said terrorism had halted every sort of business and economic activity in the province, but the armed forces, making huge sacrifices, had flushed out the militants and succeeded in restoring the writ of the government and returned peace to most of the province. The chief minister commended the armed forces for their reconstruction activities in flood-hit areas across the province.