ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Army has been contributing a lot for a secure and stable environment in the country, especially Balochistan to ensure the completion of the socio-economic development projects.
The Pakistan Army provided assistance and security in various projects. It established border markets in Badini, Chaman and Kech in Balochistan province to increase economic activities and employment of the locals. It also oversaw execution of 510 new clean water projects worth Rs 8.837 billion and facilitated completion of 1,320MW Coal-Fired Power Plant in Hub which is operational from 14th August 2019.
The Pakistan Army under the brilliant leadership of Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa laid the foundation stone of the desalination plant in Gwadar. The project will fulfil a long-awaited demand of the local population and will provide them with 4.4 million gallons of water per day with a capacity to increase the production to 8.8 million gallons per day. Frontier Corps Balochistan (North) and district administration actively facilitated the resettlement process of around 2,000 local families, who had been displaced by tribal conflicts and unrest, have resettled in tehsil Kahan, Kohlu district of Balochistan. Electricity provision was enhanced under the Roshan Pakistan programme from 12 percent to 57 percent and LPG from 61 percent to 100 percent of the households.
Pakistan Army also sponsored educational development projects in Balochistan. As many as 113 schools are supervised by Pakistan Army / FC and approximately 40,000 students across Balochistan are being educated in these schools. Established 12 Army Schools and Colleges, 32 FC Schools and Colleges, and 9 cadet colleges in Sui, Pishin, Mastung, Panjgur, Jaffarabad, Kohlu, Turbat, Noshki and Awaran are functional. A total of 2622 Balochistan students are currently studying in 8 Cadet / Military Colleges. Seven latest educational projects include NUST at Quetta, Quetta Institute of Medical Sciences, Military College Sui, Sui Education City, Balochistan Public School Sui, Balochistan Institute of Technical Education, Gwadar Institute of Technology, and Army Institute of Mineralogy.
The Pakistan Army is also contributing to the health sector in Balochistan. Five Combined Military Hospitals located at Quetta, Loralai, Khuzdar, Zhob and Sibbi are providing health facilities to the locals. In addition, various health facilities are being spearheaded by LEAs in the province in collaboration with the government of Balochistan. Apart from these health initiatives, Pakistan Armed Forces also provided and supervised other health facilities. Major renovation/uplift has been conducted in DHQ Turbat, Awaran, Sibbi, Zhob and Dalbandin besides medical camps/Tele Medical Centers. Since 2016, 60,000 patients have been treated in 650 free medical camps established by Southern Command / Frontier Corps. Since 2018, Tele Medical Centers are also functional which are providing medical services to far-flung areas on video link. Approximately 25,000 patients have availed this facility to date.
Apart from contributions in infrastructure, education and health sectors, the Pak Army has also contributed in establishment of Timer-e-Panjgoor Date Farming Project. It facilitated the smooth / timely implementation of projects through providing security and access in the far-flung areas.
To provide sustenance to the people of the border region of Bolan, the government has initiated establishing Border Sustenance Markets. Pak Army is facilitating the process through providing security and constant interactions with all domestic stakeholders and with Iran through military diplomacy. Once operationalized, the border sustenance markets will yield socio-eco dividends for the local populace.
In the socio-economic sector, Agriculture Park Wana, Gomal Zam and Kurrum Tangi Dam, Police infrastructure, renovation / rehab of 153 mosques, construction of 97 markets, 63 children parks and 15 sports grounds were developed. Pakistan Army through concerted efforts has enabled a secure environment to supervise execution of several developmental works.
Under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) norm, FWO has also played a pivotal role. FWO’s Construction Technology Training Institute (CTTI), situated in the capital city, is providing technical and vocational training to the youth. More than 34000 students have so far been qualified from CTTI. The FWO has sponsored 66 students from far-flung areas of GB in 2021 including Chapurson, Diamer, Kohistan and other areas.
Under the COAS Youth Employment Scheme, presently 1500 students from newly merged districts (NMDs) are studying in military and cadet colleges. Besides this over 15000 youth have been enrolled in Army /FC. As many as 72 students from NMDs are studying in military and cadet colleges across the country. In addition, 5 Cadet Colleges are currently functional in NMDs (Cadet College Mhd Ghat established in 2019); providing education to around 2000 students at a time.
Repatriation of Mada Khel Tribe (MKT), former North Waziristan, residing in Afghanistan (Khost, Patika) commenced w.e.f. 10 December 2021 and 7909 families have repatriated till date out of approximately 8,000-10,000 families. Suno FM Programme is providing infotainment in local languages and counters hostile narrative/ misperception efforts. Currently, 11 FM studios and 68 FM stations are functional in NMDs while 3 stations are under construction to expand the outreach.
Pakistan Army has also made monumental contributions in the health sector, particularly establishing free medical camps in remote areas (Sindh, KPK, Balochistan, GB and AJ&K), medical support during natural calamities and supplementing gaps in federal and provincial medical infrastructure through extending state-of-the-art medical facilities, training and material support as selfless service for the nation.
The Pakistan Army Medical Corps remained first responder during the natural calamities. During the earthquake of 2005, medical sub camps handled almost 1,13,030 cases in Kashmir and treated approximately 28,976 individuals with major surgeries. During the earthquake in Balochistan in the year 2013, the hospitals treated 20,009 affected in Awaran, Mashkey, Gashkre and Mangoli areas. Moreover, during floods of 2010, medical support was also provided to more than 20m affected populations. During the Tharparker drought in 2019, Pakistan Army Medical Corps treated a total of 47,507 civilians including 18,893 children. As medical support for Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) a total of 378,330 patients were treated through establishing field hospitals in Mardan, Jalozai and Dera Ismail Khan from 2009 – 2011. Additionally, approximately 16000 civilian patients are treated annually as indoor patients and approximately 700,000 treated as outdoor patients at the country’s CMHs. Pakistan Army Medical Corps has always remained the largest contributor for peace since 1960 and provided medical setups in Somalia, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Congo and Mali. Fauji Foundation (FF) has 74 health facilities country-wide, treating over 2m patients annually.
Since Pakistan is amongst the world’s top countries affected by pollution, FWO’s “Green Motorways Initiative” has aim to plant one million saplings along motorways and highways. Frequent free medical campuses in remote areas of the country especially in GB are also steps towards FWO’s contributions. During 2021 – 22, more than 1500 patients have been given free medical treatment in different areas of GB.
Pakistan Armed Forces educational setups are not only imparting quality and modern education but also contributing immensely to the national cause by imparting education to 759,426 students up to HSSC level (2% of the 39.58m student population) and 71,411 students of higher education level (3.25% of 2.18m student population). Army Public School and College System (APSACS) is the largest contributor to national integration, maintaining country-wide footprint and imparting uniform, quality education to students of varied socio-eco background at affordable costs.
APSACS is contributing with 200 institutions providing education to 258,316 students (46% belonging to non-military background and maintaining 23 schools in border regions). The system is sustained through Pak Army resources with approximately Rs 831 million annual expenditure on the pretext of cost effective education vis-à-vis comparative education systems.
The public sector federal education system is spread all over the country in military cantonments with the vision to provide purposeful and quality education at very low cost. FGEI’s major contributions include a total of 355 institutions educating 201,367 students. FGEI has a national spread including less developed areas such as Zhob, Sui, Chaman, Khuzdar, Loralai, Bagh, Landikotal and Parachinar. The system is supported by the Army with an approximately annual subsidy of Rs 150 million as only 20 percent of the required funds are provided by the federal government.
As a philanthropic initiative for children with disabilities, Pak Army has also established 25 special education schools all over Pakistan, having 4000 students on its roll with 80 percent from non-military background. National University of Science and Technology (NUST) constitutes 5 colleges and 20 constituent institutions. The university ranked 358th in global ranking, 76th in Asia and 1st in Pakistan. NUST is educating 18,144 Pakistani and 531 foreign students per year (85% from non-military backgrounds). National University of Modern Languages (NUML) is a fully autonomous body with 9 regional campuses offering education to 22,301 students per year. National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) was established as a federal public sector university in October 2015. The University is backed up by an extensive network of 45 military hospitals, 12 Single Specialty Institutes, 10 Medical Colleges and 4 Nursing Colleges making it the country’s largest healthcare provider in terms of trajectory and patient volume. Constituent institutions, AMC Rawalpindi and CMH Lahore Medical College were declared with A+ grading (best grading in respective category) in Pakistan by PMDC in the year 2019. NUMS impart education to 5400 students per year (80% students from non-military background).
Rangers and Frontier Constabulary are also contributing to the education cause by running 176 schools in underdeveloped and remote areas of Pakistan, imparting education to a total of 58,298 students, mostly from non-military background. Pakistan Coast Guards (PCG) are running GEIs comprising 3 schools (up to SSC level) and 2 Colleges (HSSC level) in Karachi. The system is educating a total of 4,313 students. Approximately Rs 4m subsidy (school fee exemption) is being provided on an annual basis due to Covid-19 pandemic. The Pakistan Navy is also contributing in education development. Bahria colleges have 14 purpose-built campuses in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore, imparting up to HSSC level education to a total of 33,770 students. In order to provide affordable and quality education in coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan, 5 Bahria Model Colleges up to HSSC level have been established. Pakistan Navy is educating a total of 2,197 students.
Pak Air Forces established Fazaia colleges to promote education in the country. Fazaia colleges have 26 institutions all around Pakistan, imparting up to HSSC level education to a total of 62,000 students. Brilliant student scholarships amounting to Rs 37m and cash prizes for top positions holders amounting to Rs 3.7m are being extended annually.
The Pakistan Army has always remained at the forefront during natural calamities like floods, earthquakes, droughts, pandemics, etc. The Army’s rescue efforts have always been much greater than mandated / asked for. Pak Army has also supported National Anti-Polio Efforts since 2014. The Pakistan government launched a comprehensive polio eradication programme with the assistance of the international community. Intelligence agencies carry out investigations/ intelligence assessment of threats to polio workers and staff and implement necessary precautionary measures to thwart these threats. Since the virus situation escalated swiftly in March 2020, NCOC was established the same month to leverage the combined resources of the civil and military apparatus and Pakistan Army fought on the frontline in Covid pandemic under the able command of Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. Under the directions of the COAS, Covid testing labs were established at major military hospitals across the country, with a central facility set up in Rawalpindi.