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6a-Swat Smiles Yet Again

6a-Swat Smiles Yet Again

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Published by Xeric

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Xeric on Aug 24, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/13/2014

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SWAT SMILESYETAGAIN
The floods left the Swat Valley in ruins. The units of Pakistan Army were alreadydeployed at various places for operations against terrorists. These units started the relief operations immediately without waiting for any orders. Within moments the troops wereout rescuing the stranded people and evacuating others from the threatened areas.Therewas a call to honor.After hectic efforts, the army saved thelives of over 1,500 persons inNingolai,Charbagh, Nall, Daroshkhela, Koray and Dadpanai areas in Swat.The Pakistani army with its meager aviation resources started with the relief effort. Since all bridges on Swat River have been destroyed, the entire relief and rescue activities werecarried out by helicopters in the initial phase of operation. Where helicopters were unableto access, troops carried relief goods onmules ortheirownbacks and were able to reachthose in need. Army distributedthousands oftons of food amongtheflood-affected families.31,000 stranded people, including 10,000 tourists, were rescued. By the order of Chief of Army Staff all the army camps were declared as relief centers and army swiftly took chargeof relief efforts keepingtoits traditions.The biggest task was the restoration of infrastructure which lay in ruins. The armyengineers deployed inSwatwereanimated by the challenge.First of all the rear link from
 
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Malakand to Khawazakhelawas restored in the first few days then focus was shifted on re- building the bridges vital for sustaining the population on the west of River Swat. BaghDheri site was selected and after hectic efforts of 23 days and nights the first bridge wasopened for all sorts of traffic-an act which saved the stranded people form starving. Twenty-eight out of 34 kilometers ofroad from Bahrain to Kalam was restored and the maintenanceand restoration work continues till today. More than twenty bridges were restored in ashort period. By end September the road was opened tillKalaam.Meanwhile army units deployed started reconstruction efforts in their areas of responsibilities. Prices of daily used commodities especially fuel were kept under checkthrough constant monitoring and persuading the local traders through jirgas and meetings.The stocks were maintained through dumpingbythehelicopters. In the initial days of floodspatients and emergency cases were evacuated by helicopter.Temporary relief camps were established where flood affectees were provided with boarding, lodging, medical and other basic facilitates. A surveyto access the devastation of floods was carried out by army in collaboration with civilian administration.In order toprovide instant medical relief and prevent outbreak of epidemicsField Hospitaland teamswere deployed at all significant population centers.More than 100,000 patients weretreated at these facilities.
 
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The Army initiated a plan to construct more than 200 houses with a room, a kitchenand a bathroom for the flood-affected people. All ranks of the army donated one-day salaryto the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for the flood-affected people.The other department of State machinery also worked side by side with Army.Civilian administration,Staff of Water and Power DevelopmentAuthority (WAPDA),telephonedepartment andpublic works all worked day and night to restore normalcy.A very well deserved tribute is owed to the NGOs and civil society. The NGOs werevery forthcoming with their expertise and resources. The continuous help and engagement by them and UN agencies has helped immeasurablyin mitigating and managing the effects of floods. However, the story will not be complete without mentioning a very valued helpinghand extended by the US military aviation. Their dedicated and professional crews helped tosustain the relief effort at theoptimal level.The reconstruction efforts continue till today. With the NGOs and civil societymobilized, the army is focusing on long term measures to restore the paradise.Realizing the importance of quality education “CadetCollege Swat” has beenplannedon the directionsof Chief of Army Staff which will provide best available education to theyouth ofregionpreparing them for the future challenges.Spread over one hundred acres thecollege will provide boarding and lodging facilities for the fivehundred students form 8
th

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