Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to acknowledge the start of construction for the United States Government-funded Mattani Bypass Road in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on March 16. The U.S. Government, through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), is providing $14.1 million to the FATA Secretariat to construct 27.45 kilometers of bypass road. The project will provide an alternate route to circumvent heavy traffic between the Indus Highway and Torkham, allowing for easy and secure access. Its planned completion date is March 2016.
In his opening remarks, Governor Khan said, “This new road will not only provide local residents with a better road network and other related facilities, but will also prove to be a major economic corridor, which will bring prosperity in the region.”
INL-Pakistan is focused on building the capacity of the government of Pakistan to provide justice and security to its people. In 2014, U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson and Pakistan Economic Affairs Division Secretary Muhammad Saleem Sethi signed a bilateral assistance agreement, under which INL agreed to provide $41.8 million to support the Government of Pakistan in improving its law enforcement capabilities and reforming its criminal justice system. INL-Pakistan is presently working on several border security projects including $10 million provided to the Frontier Corps to assist in the construction of border outposts.
To date, INL-Pakistan has constructed over 650 kilometers of roads in the FATA, which has resulted in increased access for police to ungoverned areas and enabled Pakistan law enforcement and development specialists to engage in areas that were previously inaccessible. Prior INL-Pakistan road projects include the upgrade and remodeling of the Peshawar Southern Ring Road and the Kanju Madyan Road, for which the U.S. Government provided $25 million and $15million respectively.