'Reconstruction of offensive-hit Swat will take three years'

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Peshawar, July 22 (ANI): As the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank continue with their damage assessment of the Swat region following the offensive against the Taliban, Pakistan has estimated that the reconstruction process of the militancy-hit region will take three years.

"The two financial institutions' involvement will help speed up the process to estimate the exact cost of damages and needs," the Daily Times quoted Shakil Qadir Khan, a member of the government's Emergency Response Unit, as saying.

Authorities put the cost of reconstruction and rehabilitation in Swat at 2.5 billion dollars, but that figure was described as a "very initial estimate" and the amount could increase when the final assessment report comes out.

"The 2.5 billion dollars figure is a very initial estimate. Actual figures will only be available when the final report comes out," said the ERU official, involved in the post-operation plans for the area

According to Qadir, the report, to be approved by the WB and the ADB, would be shared with donor countries and agencies.

"The verification and validation by the two financial institutions would leave nothing to doubt about the exact level of damages and needs," he said. (ANI)

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