About the Author: Alberto Rodriguez serves as Spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.
At a ceremony today, January 12, 2011, in Peshawar, officials from the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPk) and the United States took part in the symbolic ground-breaking for the reconstruction of 25 kilometers of the Peshawar Southern By-Pass (Ring Road). The U.S.-financed project will provide $25 million in upgrades to this important provincial thoroughfare, improve security, and increase economic development in KPk.
The Ring Road upgrade is part of the broad U.S. partnership with the Pakistani people and government to assist Pakistan's economic, social, and democratic progress. Construction has already started on the project, which will improve and widen the Ring Road from two lanes to three lanes. The initiative also includes construction of service roads, green belts, center medians, and drainage on both sides.
Speaking at the event, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols said that the completed Ring Road will "reduce traffic congestion, increase trade and commercial opportunities, and improve access for law enforcement and emergency services to communities in this area."
In addition to Nichols, KPk Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti, KPk Senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour, and U.S. Coordinator for Assistance and Development Ambassador Robin Raphel attended the ceremony.
Over the past twenty years, the United States has partnered with Pakistan to construct over 900 kilometers of road in KPk and the FATA.