TORKHAM - President Mamnoon Hussain has said that completion of Peshawar-Torkham Highway is a clear indication that the enemy is retreating and the highway would play the role of a bridge connecting the countries of West Asia and Central Asia ushering in a new era of peace, prosperity and progress in the region.

The president, after inaugurating the Peshawar-Torkham Highway in Shagai area of Khyber Agency yesterday, said the project was the start of a new era as it would not only play an important role in improving the situation in the tribal and other areas of the country, but would also have a positive impact on Afghanistan.

The president noted with happiness that the highway would provide better means of communication to the people of the tribal areas and enable them to have an easy access to modern centres of health and education. The president praised the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) for building and completing this historical road within the stipulated time in line with their tradition.

The president thanked the US government on extending financial assistance in the construction of the highway. He noted that FWO had also built 680 km roads in other areas of Fata which had interconnected various tribal areas and provided modern communication facilities to the people. President Mamnoon also appreciated FWO on laying 132 kilowatt transmission line from Gomal to Wana and building a 132 kilowatt grid station in Wana.

He noted that owing to external factors and complexities the situation would have been worse, had the brave and valiant jawans and officers of Pakistan Army not confronted and halted the lawlessness and bloodshed.

The president observed that operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched only after the negotiations failed. The president stated that the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan Army had earned successes in operation Zarb-e-Azb. He added that the people stood by the armed forces of the country in their operation against terrorism emphasising that the operation would continue till its logical conclusion.

Mamnoon eulogised sacrifices of the Pakistan Army personnel who laid down their lives in the operation.

He also said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was a grand project which would benefit the entire region.