Pak Army to remain in Swat for next two years

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Peshawar, July 19 (ANI): The Pakistani Army would remain in the war ravaged Swat Valley for the next two years to help the local security authorities strengthen their capacity and to check the activities of extremists in future.

Officials said the government has allocated around 25 billion rupees for restructuring the security infrastructure in Malakand Division and carry out other development work in the region.

"We are looking to invest 24.6 billion rupees in Malakand, doubling the number of police officers and police stations there, arming personnel with state-of-the-art weapons and communication systems," officials responsible for the post-conflict needs assessment said.

They said the provincial government and the Army headquarters have agreed to keep the troops in the region for at least another two years.

The provincial government is expecting the local security infrastructure to become fully operational by the time military starts retreating, officials said on conditions of anonymity.

The government also plans to double the number of police personnel and set up at least seven more police stations in the Swat, The Daily Times reports.

Sources said Swat's status as a provincially administered tribal area may also be repealed, as officials are of the view that there should be a uniform system of governance in the country. (ANI)

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