Reconstruction of North Waziristan will take two years: NDMA chief

Published November 13, 2014
Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Maj Gen Mohammad Saeed Aleem.    — Photo coutesy of www.ndma.gov.pk
Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Maj Gen Mohammad Saeed Aleem. — Photo coutesy of www.ndma.gov.pk

ISLAMABAD: Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Maj Gen Mohammad Saeed Aleem has said that the reconstruction of installations damaged during the ongoing operation against militants in North Waziristan tribal region would take two years to complete and costs Rs75 billion.

The NDMA chief said that the rehabilitation of people and reconstruction in North Waziristan would take place in separate phases, according to a BBC Urdu website report published Thursday.

He said, "In the first phase, the urban areas would be made hospitable, which includes construction of houses and markets and the repair of roads, schools and hospitals. Large-scale reconstruction of the region would take place in the second phase."

Gen Saeed added that the first phase would take six months while the complete reconstruction would complete in two years.

The NDMA chief also participated in a donours' conference held recently in Islamabad for the affectees of North Waziristan during which several agencies gave detailed briefings over the recovery and reconstruction work in the region.

While referring to the conference, Gen Saaed gave details of the damage and said that large-scale destruction had taken place in North Waziristan which had disrupted the infrastructure system and businesses of people.

"First militants had caused damage to schools and hospitals during their activities in the region, then military action against the militants had also damaged North Waziristan's installations," he told BBC.

View pictures here| Miramshah in pictures: After the troops march in

Responding to a question about the assessment of losses he said that the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (Safron) and Federal Ministry of Treasury and Finance had collaborated with the Fata Secretariat established in Peshawar to estimated the losses caused in the region.

He added that, "But given the special security situation these estimates would greatly depend on the reports submitted by military officers deputed in the region."

The NDMA chairman said that various government agencies and the armed forces would participate in the reconstruction of North Waziristan.

"No single department or agency can undertake this huge task which would require different departments to jointly address this important and difficult endeavour," Gen Saeed said.

He said that as soon as an area is cleared of the militants, phase-wise recovery of the area would be initiated.

Pakistan's military launched a long-awaited offensive named as 'Zarb-i-Azb' in June, aimed at wiping out longstanding militant strongholds in the North Waziristan tribal region, which borders Afghanistan.

The operation followed failure of peace talks between the government and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan negotiators and a brazen Taliban-claimed attack on Karachi's International Airport.

More than 800,000 people had fled a major military offensive against the Taliban in a Pakistani tribal area, officials said Wednesday.

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