Business owners often felt insecure because of the proximity of the tribal belt, especially when they were carrying out cash transactions, and also feared kidnapping for ransom.

The various colours of Mohmand's marble is famous both in Pakistan and internationally.

The shawl industry, which was nearly wiped out by militancy, is associated with 80% of the population of the Swat Valley village.

A 40% hike in the development budget comes as Pakistan's economy expanded almost 5.3% -- its largest increase in a decade.

Terrorism decimated the region's economy, which business leaders are hoping to revive and improve.

Government regulations and successful security operations are resulting in economic gains and investment, officials say.

Militants can benefit from illegal money transfer systems like hundi, which also harm Pakistan's economy, authorities say.

Special economic zones will create more jobs and protect youth from slipping into the hands of terrorists, authorities say.

'We need to further discourage militancy and promote trade and prosperity,' one trader said.

More jobs will prevent youth from falling under the spell of militants, officials say.