Counter terror efforts cost country Rs 297b in 10 years

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

The Senate was informed on Wednesday that over Rs297 billion had been spent in the war against terrorism in the last decade.
A written reply from the finance ministry provided to the Senate revealed that the United States had agreed to provide Pakistan $132 million for counter-terror efforts, of which only $111m were received.
Rs152.925bn was released during Operation Zarb-i-Azb to military institutions, whereas over Rs67 billion was granted to law enforcement agencies and more than Rs31 billion to bodies falling under the Defence Ministry, the reply said.
An additional Rs45 billion was given to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas Secretariat for the rehabilitation and return of internally displaced persons (IDPs), the Finance Ministry said.
According to Minister of State for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal, the government had taken steps to stop the smuggling of foreign currency, and has restricted travellers going abroad from carrying more than $10,000 at a time. Additionally found travellers cannot carry more than $60,000 abroad per year, the finance minister said. He added that a notification has been issued by the State Bank of Pakistan in this regard.
He said the government had also taken steps to stop the circulation of counterfeit foreign currency through currency exchange dealers.
Afzal’s briefing to the Senate came a day after Pakistan was granted a three-month reprieve by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – an international policy-making and standard-setting body dedicated to combating money laundering and terrorist financing – from addition to its terror-financing ‘gray-list’ of countries not doing enough to comply with terrorist-funding regulations.
The Senate was also informed on Wednesday that energy projects with a total capacity of 17,045 megawatts will be taken up under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal said that projects with a capacity of 1,110 megawatt based on research and scientific analysis are on the advanced staged.
The Chinese experts are undertaking studies to fund hydel projects on River Indus like Diamer-Bhasha, Bunji, and other projects. He said that in principal China has agreed to fund hydel projects on River Indus.
To a question, Ahsan Iqbal said a project with a capacity of 300 megawatt has been approved in Gwadar and work on this will be started as soon as Balochistan government provides land for this purpose.

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