Cost of being a frontline state: $68b

Published: June 3, 2011
2010-11 losses are the highest since Pakistan became the frontline state in the war against terrorism.

2010-11 losses are the highest since Pakistan became the frontline state in the war against terrorism.


While pressure to launch an operation in North Waziristan mounts, the latest economic survey reveals that Pakistan has already suffered almost $68 billion (Rs5.1 trillion) in losses – equivalent to almost half of the country’s total debt – on account of being a frontline state in the war on terror.

The damage to the social fabric of society in addition to that, is unquantifiable.

In financial year 2010-11, Pakistan lost $17.83 billion (Rs1.528 trillion), roughly equivalent to this year’s tax target, reveals the Economic Survey of Pakistan.

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

These losses do not include the damages on account of a recent attack on Pakistan Navy base in Karachi, destroying two surveillances aircraft, the P3C-Orion.

The figures have been compiled by an inter-ministerial committee of the ministries of foreign affairs, finance, interior, commerce and representatives of Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces – the worst-hit federating units.

“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,” notes the survey.

It adds: “the war not only caused serious damage to economy but also to the social fabric of Pakistan.”

Inadequate compensation

In contrast to $67.9 billion in losses both direct and indirect, the United States has so far given $13 billion in aid to Pakistan, of which almost $9 billion are military disbursements and $4 billion in net civilian aid.

The total amount is lesser than what Pakistan suffered in losses in fiscal year 2010-11 alone.

“In the current financial year, the US has disbursed $745 million of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) and the government is expecting another tranche before end of June,” said Secretary Finance Dr Waqar Masood.

The government expects to receive $1.45 billion this year on account of CSF – money that it has already spent while rendering military services and is now seeking reimbursements for.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2011.

The full text of The Economic Survey 2010-2011 can be viewed here.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • Tariq
    Jun 3, 2011 - 8:34AM

    Amazing. These guys can really make up numbers. Pakistan in total does not have 68 billion what are they talking about.

    In fact by making up numbers these people just blame everyone else for the economic problemes rather than a corrupt system and a corrupt militaryRecommend

  • Noor Nabi
    Jun 3, 2011 - 8:34AM

    Notwithstanding the possibility that these figures could be inaccurate and exaggerated, there is no doubt that Pakistan has paid an enoromous price for pimping the US war in Afghanistan. This is Musharraf’s gift to the nation. OMG. Rather than getting more embroiled in such matters it is time to begin doing what is best for Pakistan. The road that lies ahead will be tough but a nation with grit, determination and self-respect can do it. Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Jun 3, 2011 - 9:26AM

    Can we have same kind of graph for army weapons (including the nuclear ones) ?Recommend

  • pl/sql
    Jun 3, 2011 - 11:06AM

    The title should have been : “The cost of Pakistan’s strategic depth”.Recommend

  • Pradeep
    Jun 3, 2011 - 11:45AM

    Two questions:

    Can someone direct me to the actual report so that we can look at the data first hand? This just reports the final numbers.
    There is a claim that Pakistan has been only compensated $13B while the cost has been $68B. Is this USA’s war alone? What about the stake that Pakistan has in this war?

  • Chilli
    Jun 3, 2011 - 12:14PM

    This is simply a dollar war…..We were dragged by illegal measures.Recommend

  • king
    Jun 3, 2011 - 12:25PM

    where are the deails? give us the figures….Recommend

  • PakistanWILLriSE!!
    Jun 3, 2011 - 1:18PM

    Firstly I am concerned about theindian infiltration into our news message to them go first solve your own corruption cases than point fingers tto pakistan!

    secondly when we are aware of the price we have to pay for being the frontline ally why is media not playing its part to help Pakistan get out of this war! it never was our war andd nor majority of pakistan support it! Media should play its part for the good of this country!!!

    Pakistan Zindabad!Recommend

  • khan
    Jun 3, 2011 - 1:38PM


    it was not our war, it was US war no Pakistani was involved in 911 no Al-Qaida was in Pakistan at that time. they bombed Afghanistan they and then they told Pakistan to control the mess which they have created, that’s how it became our war.

    let military expenses aside, hundreds of bombing has been done in the country destroying billions worth of infrastructure (including govt, military & private), the loss of foreign investment due to this war, the political uncertainty which not letting our economy taking off.

    first you give us details of how you lost billions in 3 days Mumbai drama event then come and talk to us how we lost 68 billions due to years long war. Recommend

  • Somdet
    Jun 3, 2011 - 6:20PM

    @ pl/sql
    “The title should have been : “The cost of Pakistan’s strategic depth”.

    More appropriate title will be “The cost of Pakistan’s STRATEGIC DEATH”.

  • faraz
    Jun 3, 2011 - 7:45PM

    GDP growth rate was 1-2 percent in the 90s, after 911 it increased to 7 percent. So if we hadnt lost this 68 billion dollars, the economy would have grown at some 20 percent. Huge exaggeration! Recommend

  • Bangash
    Jun 3, 2011 - 7:59PM

    This is a bogus survey.Recommend

  • Chacha
    Jun 3, 2011 - 9:11PM

    First they create the Taliban, then the send a bill to fight it, and now the bill for collateral damage.
    Tommorow they will send a bill for lost revenues as the world is not allowing them to sell nuclear tech to others.
    Omar Shiekh (killer of Daniel Pearl, and released by India to Pakistan’s safe custody as part of the Kandahar highjacking) funded Mohammad Atta – the 9/11 highjacker – for 100K US$
    Now they want US$ 68 bln as interest.Recommend

  • Pradeep
    Jun 3, 2011 - 11:07PM

    So everything is a consequence of 911 and nothing is a consequence of Pakistan’s meddling of affairs in Afghanistan? I would not like to respond to your statement. I would not even want my Indian compatriots to respond to your statement. i would rather let this line of thinking be countered by our own countrymen. Discuss and come to a conclusion on this amongst yourselves.Recommend

  • Kashif
    Jun 4, 2011 - 2:19AM

    Why am I not surprised that so many Indians are questioning Pakistan’s military spending? If there missiles and satellites didn’t crash every time they tried to fire them they wouldn’t be so afraid of Pakistan’s weapons. lolRecommend

  • Cautious
    Jun 4, 2011 - 5:10AM

    I suppose one might label this graft — THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF WAHHABISM. It is unlikely this conflict would have started without religious extremism.Recommend

  • venkatesh
    Jun 4, 2011 - 6:20AM

    The bottom line is that pakistan has defeated USA through sheer intelligence and raw power. Pakistan lobby in US and UK control the media, the banking system, and both stock markets through funneling of Saudi monies to both US and UK. Pakistan ISI is ten thousand times more powerful than Mossad, CIA, KGB, and that puny agency named RAW. Pakistan has more missiles than UK Russia and USA combined. Pakistan GDP will soon surpass US and UK and is growing 15% per annum. Pakistan has absolute power also through slavery of Hindus and Christians and other sects in subcontinent. With Hindu slaves labor and muslim President Obama who will bend to any request of Pakistani military Pakistan is achieving the dream of its Mughal ancestors of pan-Islamic superpower.Recommend

  • Sanjoy Das
    Jun 4, 2011 - 9:25AM

    Exactly as someone put it, those figures (while grossly exaggerated) are the cost of maintaining a strategic depth in Afghanistan. What right did Pakistan have to have propped up the fundamentalist Taliban regime in Afghanistan, supporting other fanatics such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and now the Haqqani network? I know several Afghans who really dislike Pakistan for meddling and making a mess of Afghanistan.Recommend

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