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Book presents cost of Indo-Pak conflict

Ramananda Sengupta in Mumbai | February 13, 2004 21:56 IST

The Siachen conflict will cost India Rs 7,200 crore and Pakistan Rs 1,800 crore over the next five years. Together, they will lose about 1,500 soldiers in the same period in Siachen without fighting a war.

India and Pakistan have the potential to enjoy a trade of about $ 1 billion if the hostility continues and 13.25 billion if peace prevails on a cumulative basis for the next five years.

If peace does not prevail, Kashmir will see the death of 6000 civilians, 10,000 terrorists, and 2,500 security personnel between 2004 and 2008.

These are some of the findings of the Strategic Foresight Group, a Mumbai-based independent think tank which has just released the first ever comprehensive assessment of the cost of conflict between the two nations.

Put together in a graphical format, it also projects this data over the next five years to arrive at some startling conclusions.

Titled Cost of Conflict between India and Pakistan, the report takes into account not just military, but also the economic, diplomatic and human costs of the 57-year old conflict. And in a chapter entitled 'Nuclear confrontation, a case study' the report examines the cost of a nuclear attack on Karachi and Mumbai.

"It is the first time that we have such all-encompassing information and analysis in one place on the implications of the adversarial relations between India and Pakistan," says former Pakistan foreign secretary Niaz Naik in his foreword to the report.

The report also says Kashmir lost 27 million tourists between 1989 and 2002, a revenue loss of Rs 16,500 crore, and that if the Kashmir conflict continues, 45,000 people are likely to seek treatment for psychiatric diseases every year for the next five years.

The report is co-authored by Ilmas Futehally, vice president of the SFG and Semu Bhatt of the International Centre for Peace Initiatives, with inputs from Pakistani researchers

The Strategic Foresight Group works in conjunction with The International Centre for Peace Initiatives, a Mumbai-based conflict resolution institution forged in 1990.

Headed by Sundeep Waslekar, the SGF interacts closely with the Ministry of External Affairs and the senior echelons of the political and armed forces.


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