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Pakistan suffers $100bn losses in ‘war on terror’

http://www.gulf-times.com/

Publishing Date: June 3rd 2013

The government of pakistan is making efforts to calculate latest estimates of losses borne by Pakistan in the last 12 years after becoming an ally of US-led war on terrorism since 9/11 2001.

These mind-boggling figures, which are in the process of finalisation, might be released in the upcoming Economic Survey 2012-13, which will be launched just ahead of next budget announcement.

The decision to insert latest estimates on war on terror will be taken by the incoming government of the PML-N but official circles confirmed that efforts are underway to come up with latest estimates on total losses.

According to very initial and rough estimates, the losses incurred by different sectors of Pakistan’s economy in the last 12 years might go close to $100bn mark.

In return, Pakistan had so far received around $15bn through official channels on account of over $10bn in shape of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) compared to official losses of $68bn till fiscal year 2010-11, so only 14% losses were reimbursed by the US.

In the head of military assistance in shape of FMF (Foreign Military Fund), Pakistan received $2.1bn, grants for the economy to the tune of $1.5bn, budgetary support of $1.2bn and debt write- off $1.5bn.

However, it is not yet known that how much amount the US disbursed through non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international NGOs and some other initiatives such UN in disasters like earthquake and floods.

A spokesperson for the US embassy said yesterday that the US provided $3.5bn assistance to Pakistan since October2009 in shape of civilian and military aid but it did not include reimbursement amount of CSF.

She concluded by promising to share overall assistance being provided by the US to Pakistan on all heads including CSF, civil and military assistance and all kinds of initiatives since 9/11, 2001 within coming week.

“The Finance Ministry, in consultation with the Foreign Office and other ministries are working to calculate latest figures on losses incurred by Pakistan’s economy after becoming frontline state in the US-led war against terrorism,” official sources said.

A senior official who is involved in the budget making process said that the Foreign Office was taking lead on this subject while the Finance Ministry’s Adviser Wing was playing crucial role to come up with latest estimates.

Two years back, the former PPP-led regime had unveiled in the Economic Survey 2010-11 that Pakistan’s financial losses stood at $68bn for various sectors of the economy in the aftermath of becoming an ally in the US-led war against terrorism.

But the government had not given update on its losses in the last Economic Survey of 2011-12 but now efforts are underway to come up with latest estimates prepared on the basis of projections shared by all relevant ministries on official basis.

The cost of war on Pakistan’s economy had risen to $17.8bn for the financial year 2010-11.

Pakistan had to face innumerable losses on account of precious human life losses as well as financial losses incurred to the country’s economy.

Consequently, economic growth slowed and demands for imports reduced with consequential decline in tax collection and inflows of foreign investment were naturally adversely affected, accentuated by the travel bans issued by western governments to its entrepreneurs.

Pakistan continued to pay a heavy price in terms of both the economic and security terms. A large portion of its resources, both men and material, are being consumed by this war for the last several years.

The economy was subjected to enormous direct and indirect costs which continued to rise from $2.669bn in 2001-02 to $13.6bn by 2009-10, and rose to $17.8bn in 2010-11, and moving forward, the direct and indirect costs to the economy might rise further.

Despite repeated attempts to get version of Secretary Finance Dr Waqar Masood, he did not reply SMS till filing of this report.

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