Pakistanis look back at the dead… and counting

So… hBenazir. Grab by Neeraj Bhushan.ow many people have died in Pakistan in the last few years, especially post 9/11 because of some bearded mountain men? 35,000 to be precise, plus 3,500 security personnel, its government’s data reveal.

Oh, it must have been a factor in Pakistan recently launching a television series to unveil the real face of terrorists and militants who exploit downtrodden in the name of religion?

According to Pakistan Economic Survey 2010-11, this South Asian nation’s economy suffered direct and indirect losses upto $ 67.93 billion which it attributed to its operations against terrorists, miscreants and militants since 2001.

The events that transpired after 9/11 in Afghanistan worsened the security environment in the country, the Associated Press of Pakistan noted, adding that besides causing damage to the social fabric, the situation also affected exports, foreign investment, privatization programme and overall economic activities.

The Survey said that Pakistan stepped in the new century with reduced import demand and tax collection, expenditure over-run on additional security spending, damaging domestic tourism industry, destruction of  physical infrastructure (military and civil) and massive surge in security related spending.

“Pakistan has never witnessed such devastating social and economic upheaval in its industry, even after dismemberment of the country by direct war,” the Survey said.

It added that hundreds and thousands of jobs could have been created had economic activity not slowed. “Pakistan’s investment-to-GDP ratio has declined from 22.5 per cent in 2006-07 to 13.4 per cent in 2010-11 with serious consequences for job creating ability of the economy.”

Okay, fine. But at the end of it, should I also count Osama bin Laden as one among those 35,000 killed in Pakistan, in its war on terror? Wake up brother, it’s time. And don’t forget that during this period only, you killed a leader before her supporters… just when she was on her third run for power. Yes, it’s time to repent … and rise. You can do it.

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