Monday July 04, 2022

75 years of US-Pakistan partnership marked

By Our Correspondent
June 21, 2022

Islamabad:The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has celebrated the 75th anniversary of the cordial and warm partnership between Pakistan and the United States in the infrastructure sector.

During an event here, Director at the USAID Office of Infrastructure and Engineering Philippe Accilien said his organisation had been assisting the government of Pakistan for the last 61 years, building the infrastructure needed to improve the economic enabling environment, increase community resilience and expand education and health services largely. He said the journey of the US-Pakistan friendly relations started 75 years ago and the US supported Pakistan in different sectors, including infrastructure and development, over the years.

“We have been working broadly in the infrastructure sector as we realise it is highly inevitable to Pakistan,” he said. The director said whether it was the devastating earthquake of 2005 or the 2010 floods, the US stood shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan in every difficult time. He said the USAID in the cooperation with federal and provincial governments of Pakistan, worked for a better quality of life in big cities in the country, as water, sanitation and waste management have been the major issues in these cities.

Jalilur Rehman of on the USAID flashbacked on how the US government through USAID in Pakistan, carried out tremendous efforts in rescue operations and various reconstruction/rehabilitation programs after the devastating earthquake.

“The US contributed more than $300 million, due to which 60 schools were constructed in Bagh and Mansehra, where student enrolment was more than 30,000; one tehsil level hospital was erected at Dhirkot Bagh in Azad Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. He said that USAID has a strong infrastructure programme in tribal districts, under which more than 600km of roads and 35 bridges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, including two tunnels in the Pakistan border region have been constructed and three trade routes between Pakistan and Afgh­anistan, including Peshawar-Torkham road, Bannu-Ghulam Khan Road and DI Khan-Anghoor Ada Road.

“The new roads enhanced commerce and the tollways will generate revenues to maintain them. Besides these important roads, two grid stations and some power transmission lines were also upgraded. The construction of two irrigation tube wells and the water supply of two tube wells benefitted at least two million population in the area. Some of the infrastructural projects are still in progress and are expected to be completed in a couple of years,” he said.