Swat Valley Reconstruction to Cost Billions, Take Years

It took only weeks for the Pakistani military to drive virtually the entire population of the scenic Swat Valley, once a popular tourist attraction, into refugee camps. It will take at least three years, according to preliminary assessments from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, to repair the damage done in the massive offensive.

The authorities put the overall cost of the rebuilding at $2.5 billion, adding that this was a “very initial estimate” that could rise considerably before all is said and done. The three year timeline assumed all the funding necessary was made available, an open question in the nearly bankrupt nation.

The offensive has been doing on for months now, but the military just finally started allowing civilians back into the region last week, and millions remain in the refugee camps.

Despite the repeated claims that the war was almost over, violence has lingered in the region around the Swat Valley, and the military has claimed to have killed over 50 in the last two days in the Lower Dir district.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.