Home articles Terrorism cost

Terrorism cost

WHAT Pakistan has lost both in terms of mate-rial and human lives over the last two decades in the war on terror is often discussed at different forums with different figures coming up every time. According to the Finance Ministry’s estimates, the war in-flicted a loss of about $ 127 billion dollars to the country. However, the country’s distinguished economist Dr Hafiz Pasha in his book launched on Tuesday estimated that Pakistan’s economy has sustained a colossal loss of $ 252 billion which in fact is the twice the amount that the Ministry of Finance had earlier published in Economic Survey and it is equal to 93 percent of the total size of the country’s economy.
The US government never gets tired of speaking highly of the assistance extended by it to Pakistan in the war on terror but the latest figures clearly reveal that their assistance mostly in the form of security was nothing but peanuts. The fact of the matter is that Pakistan has suffered nearly eight times more than the financial assistance given by Washington. Had Pakistan not suffered these losses, we would have been better placed today and would not be required to spread the begging bowl before the world. Then the war on terror also badly hurt the image of the country and kept the foreign investors at bay because of security reasons. Given the ex-perience and understanding of economic issues, the figures presented by Dr Pasha cannot be underrated or termed as exaggeration as the world itself is the witness of the frequency of terrorist attacks that took place in Pakistan. There are also the foreign writers, including the US, who admit that Pakistan’s losses have been underreported. Nobody can reim-burse the human and economic losses suffered by Pakistan but at least time has come that these are recognized and acknowledged in true spirit whilst doing away with the mantra of ‘do more’. Pakistan has always paid a heavy price for standing by the US side which has never proved to be a reliable ally for its own vested interests. It is time that the US reviews its policy towards Pakistan and stops seeing the country only in the security context. We expect the US to pursue the course that sees both the coun-tries building a long term and win-win economic partnership.