Amid changing world dynamics, Afghanistan has always been a centre point of attention for world powers due to its strategic importance. However, this part of region has never witnessed stability over the last three decades due to internal conflicts and the longest war waged by the International forces.

In this chaotic situation, no one can dare to plan any development activity in the war-torn country but it is a moment of great pride for Pakistan that an Engineering Consultancy Company has been busy in providing services for rebuilding and development projects in Afghanistan despite challenging work conditions.

National Engineering Services Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited (NESPAK) has made a major contribution to the infrastructure development of war-torn country Afghanistan. It has used its resources, manpower and technical skills to gift the Afghan nation with some of the best and state-of-the-art, health, education and road facilities. Along with NESPAK, Frontier Works Organization (FWO), National Logistics Cell (NLC), M/s Hajveri Associates, M/s AIRSS, M/s Chaudhary Mubarak Ali & Company and M/s Riaz & Sons have been the main Contractors for our projects.

Ravaged by war, Afghanistan needed immediate help from the outside world for rebuilding and rehabilitation works. The Government of Pakistan initially pledged an amount of US$ 100 million as grant for reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan under the Technical Assistance for Afghanistan Programme. Now this amount has been enhanced to US$ 300 million. NESPAK was engaged as Consultants by the Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan, for building and road projects under the Technical Assistance Programme. Thus, NESPAK Regional Office at Kabul was established in June 2003. Currently, Mr. Mukhtar Arshad, Chief Engineer NESPAK, is holding the charge of Regional Manager Afghanistan and looking after ongoing and upcoming jobs in Afghanistan.

Determined to end the tragic conflict in Afghanistan and promote national reconciliation, lasting peace, stability and respect for human rights in the country, NESPAK has been playing a key role in building state-of-the-art facilities at Logar, one of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan and other parts of the country. So far, NESPAK has undertaken a total of 29 projects in the building, road, agriculture, water resources and industrial sectors in Afghanistan.

Some mega projects where NESPAK has provided engineering consultancy services under reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan are as following:

Bakshabad (Farah Rud) Multipurpose Dam Project: The Project consists of a Dam, a Powerhouse, appurtenant structures, a barrage 60 Km downstream of the dam, left and right main irrigation canals and irrigation command area. NESPAK provided detailed design, drawings and preparation of bidding documents services for this project.

Naeb Amin Ullah Khan Logari, Hospital Logar: It is one of the most prestigious development projects, gifted by Government of Pakistan to the people of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The site is located within 6Kms of main city. Capital value of this project is Rs 936.96 million. Construction activities commenced on 18 Aug, 2011 and were completed in November 2017. The project is a 200-bed hospital that includes six blocks, having a covered area 19,400 sqm.

Rahman Baba High School: The school is located in west Kabul, Afghanistan. It was also funded by Pakistan and it is one of the best schools in Kabul. It is especially dedicated to the students of rural areas of Afghanistan.

Hostel Building for Rahman Baba High School: It is located near the School Building. It consists of four floors with basement, dormitories for 1152 students, dining hall for 248 students on each floor, seminar hall and stores in basement. Its total covered area is 18,200 sqm.

Sir Syed Post-Graduate Science Faculty Block, Jalalabad: Sir Syed Post-Graduate Science Faculty Block is one of the prestigious buildings at the Nangarhar University, Jalalabad. The building comprises ground plus two-storey frame structure with a total covered area 10,050 sqm.

Nishtar Kidney Centre, Jalalabad: This single storey hospital building is spread over an area of 75000 sqm with a provision for vertical expansion. Total covered area of the building is about 7000 sqm and it is surrounded by an adequate number of lawns and the parking area. The Project was completed in 2012 at a cost of US$ 7 million.

Liaqat Ali Khan Engineering Faculty Block, Balkh University, Mazar-e-Sharif: Financially, this project tops among the ongoing jobs in the area and will prove a breakthrough for the future development in the Northern Afghanistan. Located within 8 km of the main city of Mazar-e-Sharif, the project consists of two engineering faculty blocks having three storeys and a basement. The covered area of the two blocks is 17,000 sqm and it will cater for 2,200 students.

Jinnah Hospital, Kabul: The project comprises ground plus two-storey frame structure, having a covered area of 16,700 sqm. The building houses a casualty block, an out-patient department, a blood bank, an administration block, a dialysis centre, an intensive care unit, a constant care unit, a thalassemia centre, and gynaecology, surgical & medical wards.

Besides, NESPAK has provided services for the strategically most important Kabul-Torkham-Jalalabad Road project. The rehabilitation/improvement of the 222 km long Kabul-Torkham-Jalalabad Road was entrusted to NESPAK first in 1999 for rendering design services. Later in 2003 and 2007, NESPAK was engaged for providing design services for the 7m wide existing carriageway and construction supervision for the Torkham-Jalalabad Road.  The project road starts from the Liberty Intersection in the outskirts of Kabul and ends at the Pakistani border town of Torkham, passing through Jalalabad and Sarobi. This strategically important project comprised 700 culverts & bridges and a large number of Irish Crossings along the road. The Project was completed in 2011 at a cost of US$ 142 million. Other important projects undertaken by NESPAK in Afghanistan include On-Farm Water Management Project, Cross River and Canal Control Structures Balkhab River and Two Industrial Parks in Kabul, Rendering of Professional Services for UNO Projects, Afghanistan.

The writer is managing director of Nespak.