Pakistan failing to complete Torkham-Jalalabad road
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Pakistan started construction work on the busy Torkham-Jalalabad's second lane six years ago, but has failed to complete the project in eastern Nangarhar province, officials said Friday.
Most small and big bridges on the road had damaged for reasons best known to the contractors, said the officials. Patients, commuters and drivers have been demanding an end to the delaying tactics in order to facilitate people of both the countries.
A Pakistani construction company launched work on the second lane six years back, but the process has been at a snail's pace. Senior Pakistani officials had pledged early completion of the project but the promise could not be honoured.
Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had assured his Afghan counterpart that the road would be completed soon to help boost bilateral trade, but Islamabad did nothing practically.
A Pakistani truck driver, Amanullah, a resident of Khyber tribal region across the border, said last year he charged 30,000 rupees in fare to take onion and potatoes from Peshawar to Afghanistan.
He would not ship goods to Afghanistan even if he was paid double fare for the same goods due to a dilapidated condition of the Torkham-Jalalabad road.
“The Torkham-Jalalabad road is bumpy throughout as we cover the day-long journey in two days. Trailer drivers are in losses,” he added.
Everyone from patients to truck drivers have been facing immense problems traveling on the road, another truck driver, Muhammad Arif, said. The road, he said, was notorious for accidents, often claiming lives.
Muhammad Hussain, a Jalalabad resident, said the road was often found blocked by heavy vehicles. The Afghan government, he urged, should take up the issue with Pakistan so that people could get a sigh of relief.
Eng. Rassoul Gul Faqirzoi, Nangarhar Public Works Director, said most bridges had been washed away because of inordinate delays in the road completion.
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