Islamabad, Nov 19 (NIA) – Pakistan’s war against terrorism has cost the country a staggering US$118.3 billion within the past 14 years, the State Bank of Pakistan, said in its latest annual report.
“Unfortunately, Pakistan has been afflicted with the war on terrorism for the past many years. Both economic growth and social sector development have been severely hampered by terrorism-related incidents,” the annual report said.
The staggering losses due to the war on terror is almost double the level of Pakistan’s external public debt.
The Bank said that apart from causing immeasurable human suffering (casualties and displacements), these have also resulted in foreign investors shying away from the country, domestic investors adopting a wait-and-see stance, exporters being unable to fulfill their orders (due to disruptions in supply chains, among other reasons); and a general slowdown in intra-country trade.
According to the AFP, Pakistan has carried out major military offensives against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in its border tribal regions that have sapped their strength, with overall levels of militant violence dropping drastically in 2015 and 2016.
Pakistan became a pivotal US ally in the battle against extremism after the September 11, 2001 attacks spurred the US invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan.