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'Pak anti-terror campaign cost $68 billion in 10 yrs'

Last updated on: June 4, 2011 11:10 IST

'Pak anti-terror campaign cost $68 billion in 10 yrs'

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The direct and indirect cost incurred by Pakistan on operations against terrorism during the past 10 years amounts to about $68 billion, which is equivalent to almost half of the country's total debt.

The anti-terror operations have caused serious damage to the economy and the social fabric of Pakistan, said the government's economic survey 2010-11 that was released ahead of the annual budget.

The direct and indirect cost of the anti-terror campaign rose from $2.669 billion in 2001-02 to $13.6 billion in 2009-10 and the figure is projected to rise to $17.8 billion in the current fiscal roughly equivalent to the year's tax target.


Image: Security officials survey the site of a suicide bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan on April 7, which killed at least one man and wounded four others
Photographs: Naseer Ahmed/Reuters
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'Losses in 2010-11 are the highest since Pak joined war against terror'

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Pakistan's role as a key ally of the United States in the war on terror launched in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks has affected the country's exports, prevented inflows of foreign investment, affected the pace of the privatisation programme, slowed economic activity and reduced tax collection, the economic survey contended.

There was also expenditure over-run on additional security spending, destruction of physical infrastructure, both military and civil, a massive surge in security-related spending and migration of thousands of people from militancy-hit areas.

The losses in 2010-11 are the highest in any given year since Pakistan became a frontline state in the war against terrorism.

The direct and indirect cost incurred on operations against terrorism during the past 10 years amounts to about $68 billion, the survey showed.


Image: A girl is treated by medics at a hospital after suffering injuries from a bomb attack in Peshawar on February 2, which killed nine people
Photographs: K Parvez/Reuters
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'Since 2006, the war has speared like a contagion'

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The figures were compiled by a committee comprising the ministries of foreign affairs, finance, interior and commerce and representatives of Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the provinces worst-hit by terrorism.

"Since 2006, the war has spread like a contagion into settled areas of Pakistan that has so far cost the country more than 35,000 citizens, 3,500 security personnel, destruction of infrastructure, internal migration, nose-diving of production and growing unemployment," the economic survey said.

The US has so far provided $13 billion in aid to Pakistan, of which almost $ 9 billion were military disbursements.

The government expects to receive $1.45 billion this year from the US Coalition Support Fund, under which reimbursements are made for funds that have already been spent.

However, the US has made the process of auditing Pakistan's requests for reimbursements more stringent and rejected several claims in recent years.


Image: A Pakistani supporter of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal protests and chants during a demonstration in Islamabad
Photographs: Mian Khursheed/Reuters
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