Thursday May 30, 2024

Pakistan sustains $126.79b loss in war on terror

By Khalid Mustafa
April 27, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s economy has sustained mammoth loss of $126.79 billion during last 17 years on account of incidents of terrorism, says the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2017-18.

The direct and indirect cost incurred by Pakistan due to incidents of terrorism has amounted to $126.79 billion. The Economic Survey, however, unfolds that after facing protracted violence for more than a decade, Pakistan has achieved progressive and significant improvement in the country’s overall security landscape in recent years.

This has been achieved primarily due to comprehensive counter-terrorism operation culminating with Zarb-e-Azb and Khyber-I-IV operations and counter-terrorism measure taken by the government under the framework of the National Action Plan (NAP), and the sacrifices of the security forces.

This has resulted in a major decline in the number of terrorist attacks as well as the causalities suffered. Pakistan’s success in countering terrorism has been acknowledged in the recent Global Terrorism Index Report 2017 published by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace.

According to this report, Pakistan ranked 5th out of 163 countries with a score of 8.4 out of 10 on the Index, a marked improvement as it ranked 4th in 2007. Pakistan has shown improvement in its global terrorism index ranking with decline in the terrorism incidences and the deaths related to the terrorist activities.

This is the third consecutive year that Pakistan has witnessed fewer terrorist attacks and deaths. Moreover, India ranked 8th; Turkey ranked 9th marking its entry into the top 10 countries affected by terrorism, Bangladesh 21st, Saudi Arabia 26th, China 31st, United States 32nd, Russia 33rd, and United Kingdom 35th. Along with Pakistan, a positive trend was also noted in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Syria.

These current developments in Pakistan’s fight against terrorism are benchmarks for not just regional countries but for the international community as well. While Pakistan is successfully fighting the terrorists on its soil, it also expects the US, Nato and Afghan forces to do the same in Afghanistan. However, Pakistan continues to be a target of terrorism, including state-sponsored terrorism from its immediate neighbours.

The conflict and instability in Afghanistan remained an impediment for regional peace, security, and development. Pakistan, because of its proximity and historical connection faced the most serious consequences of war in Afghanistan ranging from security to socio-economic.

Hosting millions of Afghan refugees not only burdened Pakistan’s economy but also put additional stress on its internal security situation. Pakistan continued to face terrorist attacks from terrorist hideouts in Afghanistan. The success in counter-terrorism has played a critical role in creating favourable economic environment whose results have started to appear in terms of growth across various sectors of the economy.

As a result of these efforts, the total losses incurred, both fiscal as well as human has declined. During 2016-17, it declined by 15.7 percent over the corresponding period of last year while it further declined during July-February 2017-18 by 62.2 percent which clearly reflects the effectiveness of the government’s efforts to eliminate terrorism and extremism from the country.