Merged districts in Pakistan flourish as stability returns to former conflict zones

PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s merged districts are witnessing a betterment of life and development. The tribal communities in these areas, once affected by terrorism, are now experiencing a wave of positive change.

The second phase of the revival of returning tribes in the Rajgal Valley of Khyber District has been completed.

During the second phase in Rajgal, from September 25, 2023, to November 10, 2023, 1,280 families in three villages have returned.

After the formation of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in 2007, a wave of terrorism emerged in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Following the TTP’s rise, the country witnessed numerous attacks, bombings, and the tragic loss of innocent lives, acknowledging responsibility for thousands of casualties.

However, due to the relentless efforts and sacrifices of the Pakistani armed forces, a sustained atmosphere of peace was restored.

In the war against terrorism, over 87,000 individuals sacrificed their lives.

Pakistan’s security forces timely countered these threats, also devised a robust strategy to prevent the wicked objectives of the enemy.

After securing the national borders, the Pakistan Army, in collaboration with the government, initiated the provision of essential facilities and the rehabilitation of these “merged districts.”

As peace was restored in these districts, the Pakistani military launched new and modern development projects for the well-being of the local population, encompassing education, health, infrastructure, and transportation.

In compliance with the directives of the Pakistani government, the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) commenced the construction of infrastructure.

During the construction of roads, several bridges and connecting roads were also built.

Inaccessible regions were connected with the rest of the country through a vast network of 32 roads and bridges.

Various packages were introduced in these districts to enhance educational and government institutions and to ignite the professional skills of the people, especially the youth.

Additionally, an Agricultural Park was established in Wana to promote local and international markets, comprising 1,344 markets and processing zones.

Projects like the Maari Petroleum Project, Lucky Marwat Gas Exploration, and the Copper Mining Project in Mohmand Khel were initiated to harness hidden treasures and natural resources for developmental work.

To ensure a clean and safe water supply, more than 100 water treatment plants and a sanitation system were established.

The Pakistani armed forces also played a crucial role in improving public health services by constructing new hospitals such as Para Medical Institute in Swat, Tehsil Headquarters Mir Ali, and DHQ Mamad Gat, among others.

Efforts were made to provide quality education by establishing eight Cadet Colleges in the merged districts, contributing to the development of the people.

In South Waziristan, the establishment of the Wana Institute of Technical Training aimed to empower local women by offering various free-lancing courses.

Special emphasis was placed on sports and physical activities for children, providing opportunities for their holistic development.

In Bajaur, the first-ever International Special Persons Wheelchair Cricket Tournament was organized, featuring wheelchair races and hand wrestling competitions.

After the establishment of peace and security, the Frontier Constabulary and Levies received new equipment, standard weapons, and special attention to infrastructure to enhance the capabilities of approximately 13,899 police personnel.

Through joint efforts of the Pakistani government, Pakistan Army, and Frontier Corps, significant measures were taken to facilitate the rehabilitation of these families.

Under the Community Engagement Program of Frontier Corps, returning families were provided with essential items for life, including dry rations, tents, warm blankets, and other necessities.

In the first phase in the Tirah Valley, 15,690 families have already returned during 2021 and 2022.

Expressing gratitude to the Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps North authorities, the returning families in the region stated that they are very happy to be back in their areas.

The success, progress, and the journey towards happiness in the new integrated districts were impossible without the sacrifices of the people of Pakistan and the security forces.

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