Pakistan needs 3 years to recover - President
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari says it would take years to rehabilitate the country after the devastating floods, Press TV reported.
"Your guess is as good as mine, but three years is a minimum," Zardari told reporters Monday when asked how long it would take Pakistan to go through relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation after the floods.
He warned that his impoverished and volatile country is facing drastic problems.
"I don't think Pakistan will ever fully recover but we will move on," Zardari said, adding that the government was working to protect people from potential future flooding.
More than 1,600 people have lost their lives and 20 million have been affected by nearly a month of flooding which has engulfed a fifth of the country. Disaster is far from over as the country braces itself for a fresh wave of floods in the country's south.
Floodwaters have surged deeper into areas of Sindh province in southern Pakistan. More rains have been forecast for different parts of the flood-stricken country.
A Press TV correspondent reported from Islamabad that the situation in Pakistan's flood-hit areas is turning from bad to worse, particularly in the southern part of Punjab which is the biggest province of Pakistan and the food-basket of the country.
He said that 85 percent of the country's cotton crop depends on the southern belt of Punjab province which has been completely destroyed.
It is becoming very difficult for the Pakistani government to deal with such a situation, the Press TV correspondent said.
Meanwhile, the response to UN appeal for $460 million for rescue and relief operation in Pakistan rose dramatically to over $800 million by Friday.