Pakistan counts cost of Taliban attacks on economy

Published: September 22, 2015
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Islamabad eyeing to launch new bond sales worth at least $500 million. PHOTO: REUTERS

Islamabad eyeing to launch new bond sales worth at least $500 million. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON: Taliban attacks have cost the economy as much as $5 billion a year in lost investment, the finance secretary said on Monday, adding that Islamabad is keeping its options open for another IMF programme.

“Our people have suffered terribly over the last 10-15 years and we have lost out enormously in terms of economic opportunities and output because of terrorism,” Waqar Masood said in an interview in London.

“We have seen in the past foreign (investment) inflows of $5-7 billion but today we are not even having (investment of) $2 billion,” he said, noting that security costs and damage to the economy had to be added to that.

Read: Police detain 22 after Taliban air base attack

The military is currently in the middle of a three-year long $1.9 billion drive against militants, primarily in the mountainous tribal region of North Waziristan and in the port city of Karachi.

Karachi, which is also the financial hub of the country, has seemed safer than in recent years. Masood added that “exporters who met with prime minister Nawaz Sharif recently said their customers are now coming (to Pakistan)” again.

A near 60 per cent drop in global oil prices, has helped. To complement that, the State Bank cut the interest rates to its lowest level in years all the while an IMF programme institutes other key fiscal measures.

Read: Afghan Taliban denies involvement in Kabul truck bombing

GDP growth is expected to clock in around 5.5 per cent for the current fiscal year. Foreign exchange reserves are expected to top $20 billion by October.

IMF programmes

Pakistan is hoping to raise at least $500 million by selling its debt later this week.

“We are not fixated on the size, we can definitely do more and we are open with regards to the tenor too,” Masood said. “Last time we raised $2 billion.

“And we will do a sukuk (sharia-compliant bond) in … maybe the April to June quarter,” he added, also likely to be worth $500 million.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd,   2015.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Gumtree
    Sep 22, 2015 - 9:23AM

    Collect that money from Abdullah Gul.Recommend

  • Milind
    Sep 22, 2015 - 9:25AM

    How does that matter? In any case all the money generated out of those investments would have landed in the pockets of politicians & army men, leaving the common man high & dry..Recommend

  • jayant
    Sep 22, 2015 - 11:41AM

    Actually more than investment Pakistan has lost respect and trust of other nations ! Investment can be earned back , but trust and respect take a lonngggggg time accumulate. Afghanistan , Iran and India have zero trust or respect for Pakistan. Afghan accuse Pak, Iran does cross borders raids, Indian fire on LOC in retaliation, USA drones, KSA Beheads, UAE threatens, , now u tell us is that a sign of a trustworthy and respectful nation ? By claiming we are a nuke power , u dont earn respect, power is portrayed through actions benefiting the world or a region , not by brandishing weapons like a street hooligan .

    ET nothing offensive about Pak , all facts ! Recommend

  • Point to ponder
    Sep 22, 2015 - 12:28PM

    First of all, who created the Talibans in 1990’s ??Recommend

  • Realist
    Sep 22, 2015 - 12:33PM

    @jayant:
    Yet you are reading and commenting on a Pakistani Newspaper which means you still respect Pakistan at some level subconsciouslyRecommend

  • Sep 22, 2015 - 12:51PM

    What this should say is:
    Pakistani complicity in NATO’s occupation of Afghanistan
    Pakistani military’s incursion, occupation and bombardment of tribal areas on American orders
    Pakistani military dictatorships complicity in NATO drone strikes that terrorize the people of the tribal areas
    …have resulted in a scenario where we have lost foreign investment.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Sep 22, 2015 - 2:04PM

    Why count wooden dollars and not rupees and the human bodies are being lost by implementing present Government policy of violence and not to encourage a dialogue with the adversories?

    Rex Minor

    PS Besides the USA will not hesitate to print dollars for its ally.Recommend

  • Saad
    Sep 22, 2015 - 2:05PM

    @Realist:
    It’s called gloating.Recommend

  • Proud Pakistani
    Sep 22, 2015 - 2:20PM

    @Point to ponder:
    Come out of past and try to be in present – by the way thanks for the information!!!Recommend

  • Realist
    Sep 22, 2015 - 2:56PM

    @Saad:
    Whatever makes them sleep at nightRecommend

  • Rex Major
    Sep 23, 2015 - 12:11AM

    @Realist: “which means you still respect Pakistan at some level subconsciously”
    Nope – just want to be aware of what naughty plans are in the offing!Recommend

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