It pains my heart to have to write this letter to the editor as I don’t intend to undermine the efforts of the Pakistan Army for their relief work in Swat. It is no secret how the army took control of the area and brought back life to normalcy for the people of Swat. But today, as a resident of Kabal, I suffer tremendous hardship day in and day out. A magnificent bridge is there right in front of my town, ready and complete since three months, but remains barricaded for any use.
Sheikh Khalifa Bridge, which has been built by the army with funding from UAE, has been complete since three months but the locals are denied access for God knows what reason. Every day I have to take a detour of 40 minutes to take my son to his school in Barikot which has also been rehabilitated by UAE. Sometimes the water level at the river Swat rises which makes it even more difficult to cross. Access to hospitals is also cut off and the only route is that bridge. The patients and their families have to go through horrendous ordeal in order to take the patient to a hospital and in the process, precious lives are lost.
Last week, the bridge opened for light traffic for a couple of days which was great news for us all but then it was shut down again. I urge the concerned authorities to please take up my plea and let us use the bridge which has been built for us. We are grateful to the donor and the Army, but this delay in opening it is causing psychological and physical pain for all of us.
AMJAD RAHIM KHAN