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.”
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.