Islamabad, Sep 22: Sadruddin Hashwani, the owner of the five-star Marriott Hotel, has said he plans to reconstruct the hotel within the next three months at an estimated cost of over half a billion rupees.
His announcement came as a great relief to some 1,000 employees of the hotel who were suddenly faced with the prospect of becoming jobless after the hotel was destroyed in Saturday's suicide attack. ''Let me make it very clear to you that not a single employee will be rendered jobless as they will all be getting their salaries during the period of reconstruction of the hotel,'' Mr Hashwani was quoted as saying on Monday, Sep 22. He said one of the employees who died in the blast had five small daughters. ''From now onwards,'' he said, ''they are my daughters and I will take care of them.''
Mr Hashwani said that all the employees would be actively taking part in the rehabilitation of the hotel. But, he said, there was another possibility that they might be given two months leave with pay. He said he had already started working on the rehabilitation plan.
About the cost of rehabilitation, Mr Hashwani said although it was too early to give an exact amount, according to initial estimates it would cost Rs 600-700 million. He said although he had set a three-month deadline to reconstruct the hotel, his major concern would be to arrange furniture within this short time.
Mr Hashwani observed that had the fire brigade reached there on time, the hotel might have been saved from complete destruction. Asked if Americans were staying in his hotel, he wondered why this was being cited to justify the attack. He said all over the world hotels do not refuse stay to anybody and it was wrong to focus on a few Americans, as there were people from other countries present at the hotel as well.