posted on 27/05/2012: 2344 views
Swat Valley, Pakistan - UAE Ambassador to Pakistan Essa Abdullah Al-Pasha Al-Noeemi inaugurated on Friday the US$12.6 million Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan bridge over the Swat river in Pakistan which would greatly help in development of the area. The inauguration ceremony was held in presence of Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, Director of the Emirati Project to Assist Pakistan, and a number of senior Pakistani officials.
Al-Noeemi emphasised that the human dimension is an essential component in the foreign policy of United Arab Emirates. UAE stands today due to directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, President of the UAE and his brother His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al-Maktoom, Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and General His highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and follower of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, Chairman of the Red Crescent at the forefront of donor countries and the supporters of the humanitarian issues, is considered one of the most important elements of the international response to mitigate the effects of crises and disasters, due to the initiatives of humanitarian and moral commitment with the victims and affected.
He said that the completion of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bridge within a package of giant infrastructure projects, carried out by the UAE project to help Pakistan funded by the Foundation of Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for Humanitarian works, indicated that the completion of this bridge will fulfil the needs of the people of area, this inauguration fulfil their hopes, which will contribute by spending a short period of time to reach other region by pushing the wheel of economic developments and improve the living standards across the Khyber Pakhtoon Kha.
He added that that this bridge named after Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE, constitutes not only the bridge to reach between two living areas of Sawat but will bring continuation of the process of development and construction founded by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in Pakistan, pointing out that UAE is always proactive to provide help and assistance for this friendly country and other friendly countries.
It is considered as a symbol of brotherhood and friendship and a token of love and sincerity from His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates towards Pakistan.
"What we are witnessing today, the achievements of the UAE project to help Pakistan is the result of continuous efforts spending several months of planning and coordination between the Pakistani government authorities, Civilians and Project Management." He explained that the project of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Bridge represents another picture of our commitment by the implementation of infrastructure projects as pioneer in construction in the Republic of Pakistan one of the humanitarian initiatives of His Highness and in this sense after the completion of this bridge by the grace of God within limited time, the work is in progress now on the Sheikh Zayed Bridge, which is still under construction, is scheduled to open in early 2013.
Al-Noeemi praised the active role played by the Foundation of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed for Humanitarian works in the UAE project to help Pakistan through guaranteed funding for road projects, bridges, earning them experience not only at the regional level but also on the international level through the implementation of a number of vital projects that serve the human and economic development and the team of UAE deputed in Pakistan to follow up the projects and ensure to complete them in the limited period of time for each project.
He notified that Hina Rabbani, Foreign Minister of Pakistan during the meetings of the Joint Committee of the UAE and the Republic of Pakistan, held in Abu Dhabi during the session of 26th '&' 27th February, expressed thanks and gratitude to H.H. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and representative of the UAE, from the Government and people of Pakistan for the humanitarian aid which embodies the depth of historical relations between the UAE and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and translated the long distinct relationships by the joint cooperation between the two countries and stressed that the UAE was one of the first countries that have fulfilled the obligations they have made to contribute to support emergency humanitarian needs and establish construction and development projects responsive to the needs of areas and regions in Pakistan affected by the floods that swept Pakistan two years 2010 and 2011, and in different occasions.
Al Ghafli said in a speech the opening of the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Bridge on Swat River is the translation and real achievement of the generous initiatives and instructions by the UAE leadership to support and deliver human and development assistance to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and its brotherly nation.
"The name of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, The President of UAE, has been given to this important and substantial bridge to acknowledge the gratitude and admiration of the white hands of H.H. and His noble deed and generous development initiatives to assist the Pakistani nation who faced natural disasters and tragedies. It would be a historical scene connecting the bridges of channel between the United Arab Emirates and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the sectors of development, growth and progress." The Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Bridge on Swat River which was built 40 years ago and destroyed due to floods which led to isolation of villages people on the banks of the river and stoppage of the supply. The bridge is one of the most important and essential bridges in Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa province. It is also regarded one of main crossing point for people of the area and a central connection to the main road in the province. It also serves around 70 thousand populations and its length is 330 meters with 6 meters height. Its capacity is more than 5 thousand vehicles daily.
All the materials of the bridge were made in UK and it has special technical and engineering specifications which were applied during construction process and according to the international standard. It is resistant to earthquakes and floods. Along the walls of the bridge there is a block resisting water length up to 900 meters. The concrete used in the bridge is resistible to erosion, corrosion and humidity. The lighting system is operated by solar energy. All other special facilities regarding managing and operating the bridge in addition to pedestrian crossing parallel to vehicle crossing. The total cost of reconstructing is US$ 12,460,000.
Today, the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan bridge is regarded architectonic icon in the heart of Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa with its important location on the banks of Swat River so that to become an important part of the roads network in this province and a tourist goal due to its unique design which was built according to Al Maqta'a bridge. The later one is regard a historical monument of UAE and emirate of Abu Dhabi and it is an architectonic gift provided by a historical castle that is considered one of old places telling a story of forefathers. The castles and forts and old places are witnesses of brilliant history narrating an old history that has great impact on the lives of human being in UAE.
Javid Mohammed Bukhari, Director of Pakistan's Military Works, said the people of Swat have lived and suffered through the miseries of militancy. However, the great people in the valley bravely supported the operation of Pak Army and achieved decisive victory over the terrorists.
"Calm prevailed and the normalcy returned to the community life in 2009. But unfortunately the pause was short as People of Swat were struck with yet another tragedy; the catastrophic floods of July 2010 which caused unprecedented chaos and despair. The scale of destruction was enormous, especially to the communication infrastructures as all major bridges on Swat River and important road links were wiped out. Initial relief efforts did bring some respite, but there was a dire need to put in place immediate, effective and prompt rehabilitation efforts to bring life to normalcy." "In this hour of need, our brothers in UAE stepped forward to help. They proved true to the phrase "A friend in need is a friend indeed". The Royal family of UAE was quick to feel the pain of the people of Pakistan. The hardest hit facilities were quickly identified. UAE Govt. generously donated funds for rehabilitation of the facilities and infrastructure on fast track basis. People of Pakistan in general and people of Swat in particular are indebted to the President of UAE His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Govt. of UAE for quickly responding to the needs of people of Pakistan," he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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