Islamabad: Pakistan has suffered "a colossal loss of USD 68 billion" due to the war on terror since 9/11, a Pakistani daily said on Friday, adding this huge cost can "only make development and empowerment all the more difficult to offer to people".
An editorial in the News International said that people "tend to remember less often that the war is also hurting us in other ways and leaving wounds that ooze constantly".
It said that the Economic Survey for fiscal 2010-11, to be released soon by Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh, "will show that since Pakistan allied itself with the US after the events of 9/11 2001, it has suffered a colossal loss of USD 68 billion due to the war".
"According to statistics recorded till April 2010, the country suffered 8,141 incidents of terrorism - many more have occurred since then. In return, the country has received only USD 15 billion to USD 17 billion in assistance, at an average of some USD 374 million a year."
It went on to say that it "doesn`t take an expert to establish the strain this places on the economy".
"The links between poverty, deprivation and terror have been well established. Only sustained economic growth can rescue people from this vicious cycle. The huge cost of war can only make development and empowerment all the more difficult to offer to people, especially given the many resource constraints that already exist."
The editorial wrapped up, saying it was "clear that there is a reluctance to hand over large sums of money to the government. The reasons for this are hardly secret".