The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) has expressed its concerns over the major negative impact of terrorism on the national economy. Over the Past decades, Pakistan’s economy has suffered direct and indirect losses of more than 67.9 Billion US Dollar, due its role as a frontline state in the operations against terrorists, militants and miscreants since the year 2001, besides causing loss of over 70,000 precious lives, both civilian and security personnel, while also causing severe damage to the country’s social fabric. It has been reported in the Pakistan Economic Survey, that the post 9/11 events and the war in Afghanistan has also put additional financial burden, worsening the security environment in the country.
The President of APBF – Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi stated that; “The war on Terror has restrained the country’s exports, prevented the inflows of foreign investment, affected the pace of privatization Programme, lessened foreign remittances from Expatriate Pakistanis, reduced employment opportunities and hampered tourism, while slowing down the overall economic activity in the country. The annual tax-collection and demand for imports has also been reduced, while the annual expenditure on additional security arrangements has been exceeding the allocated budgets. Over the years, Pakistan has consistently suffered with destruction of physical infrastructure.”
The Investment-to-GDP ratio in Pakistan has declined sharply with serious implications on the country’s industrial performance, productivity and growth. The bleak economic situation calls for urgent deliberations and robust efforts from the government and the industrial experts & leaders, to take concrete measures for overcoming these economic challenges, besides combating corruption to accelerate economic progress.
Although, a systematic estimate of this economic loss and impact of terrorism, has not been conducted till now. However, according to a reported statement by Finance Minister – Ishaq Dar; “Pakistan’s economy suffered over $100 billion losses in the last 12 years, after becoming a US ally in its war on terror since 9/11”. Another economic expert – Sultan Mehmood’s research paper, stated that; The impact of terrorism on Pakistan’s economy is huge. Pakistan’s real GDP per capita (inflation adjusted) would have grown by 177%, in the absence of terrorist violence, between 1973 and 2008 (instead of the actual 119 per cent). Thus, the cumulative economic loss due to terrorism has been around 33 per cent.
Economic experts suggest that the global powers must commit to a long-term support structure to develop markets and strengthen civil society after their armies have pulled out of the region. A sustained and considerate engagement by the international community could have avoided the long spell of catastrophic violence and economic deprivation in Pakistan, where the masses have paid the ultimate price for someone else’s war.
The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) is a vibrant business association which promotes and protects the interests of the business community and industries in Pakistan. It also advises the government on; policy formulation, regulatory realignments, economic reforms and implementation.