UAE ambassador to Pakistan Eisa Abdullah Al Nuaimi inaugurated the $12.6 million (AED46.27 million) Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan bridge over the Swat river in the former insurgent stronghold of Swat valley in northern Pakistan.
The inauguration ceremony was also attended by General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, Abdullah Khalifa Al Gafli, director of the Emirati Project to Assist Pakistan, and other senior Pakistani officials.
Al Nuaimi emphasised that humanitarian assistance is an essential component of the UAE’s foreign policy.
He attributed the UAE’s response to international crises and disasters to the leadership of President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Al Nuaimi also highlighted the keen interest of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the Red Crescent, who ensured prompt dispatch of relief to countries in need.
The envoy added that the completion of the bridge within a package of giant infrastructure projects undertaken by the UAE in Pakistan was funded by the Foundation of the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for Humanitarian Works. He hoped that the completion of the bridge would fulfil the needs of the people of the strife-torn area and bolster economic development and living standards across the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province.
He said the bridge represented not only a physical link between two communities of Swat but ensured that the vision of progress heralded by Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan for Pakistan was sustained.
Symbol of Brotherhood
The bridge would be considered a symbol of brotherhood and friendship and a token of love and sincerity from Shaikh Khalifa towards Pakistan, he said while adding that new infrastructure projects were the result of continuous efforts spanning several months of planning and coordination between government authorities, civilians and officials directly overseeing the project.
He also praised the active role played by the Foundation of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed for Humanitarian Works in the UAE in various projects.
The new bridge is one of the most important links to the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province. It serves a population of around 70,000 and spans 330 metres with a capacity of more than 5,000 vehicles daily.
Source: WAM, Gulf News