Gift of terror: Expert says terrorism adds 6.6% to Pak GDP

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by ejazr, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    This is basically a study by Strategic Foresight Group which is an excellent Think tank. They have done a number of studies that and have been invited internationally from the Israeli-Palestine conflict to the ME water issue as well as to do work on Islam-West relations. So what this study and article says carries a lot of weight.

    The original article a MUST READ is here Forbes India Magazine - The Manual of Counter-Terrorism
    An excellent article that gives a fresh perspective on the CT issue.

    Below is the interview with the Sundeep on the cover article on Forbes magazine.

    Gift of terror: Expert says terrorism adds 6.6% to Pak GDP - CNBC-TV18 -

    Sundeep Waslekar is the president of a company that runs a business with a profit margin of 80%, making it arguably the world's most profitable business.

    His company, Strategic Foresight Group is a think-tank that advices governments and institutions around the world on five major issues, including terrorism which is one of the critical global challenges.

    In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Waslekar says terror is worth about Rs 264 billion in Pakistan, which is 6.6% of its GDP.

    He further accuses that "Pakistan's ISI made a conscious policy decision to extend the theatre of action from Jammu and Kashmir to urban India. They had two objectives - to undermine confidence in India's economy and to weaken the communal fabric of Indian society." The Strategic Foresight Group in 2002 had made a public announcement that the targets of - Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Coimbatore were designed on the said ISI policy.

    Below is the edited transcript of the interview. For the complete interview watch the accompanying videos.

    Q: You say terror is worth Rs 264 billion in Pakistan some time ago and this is 6.6% of the GDP; I suppose that’s the more important number. Is this hell of an accusation because you are saying that the Inter- Services Intelligence (ISI) is directly involved in terror in India, at a state they sponsor terrorism in India? How do you arrive at this figure?

    Waslekar: We have made some calculations about how much money is going into the operations of the various terrorist groups in Pakistan. We made some very detailed calculations about how much is spent on armament and their upkeep. That came to about Rs 80 billion some years ago. About Rs 24 billion were spent on ISI’s own upkeep for managing these terrorist outfits.

    Accounting was also done for their share in the poppy cultivation business in Afghanistan and this is a visible part. There is a invisible part of ISI’s involvement in Pakistan’s black economy.

    All this comes to about 6.6% of GDP, we call this gross terror economy product (GTP) of Pakistan. I don’t think it has changed much. The absolute numbers would have changed in the last few years, but overall share in the GDP continues to be more or less the same.

    Q: Are you clear that there is evidence linking Pakistani terror in India?

    Waslekar: Everybody knows that ISI made a very conscious policy decision around 2001-2002 to extend the theatre of action from Jammu and Kashmir to urban India. They had two objectives at that time. One was to undermine confidence in India’s economy and second was to try to undermine the communal fabric of Indian society.

    With these objectives they decided to target five cities; Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Coimbatore. We announced this very publicly in Strategic Foresight Group in 2002. Since then four of these five cities have experience very significant attacks.

    Q: What made you put terror on the cover?

    Sivabalan: After the July 13 attacks in Mumbai there was a big debate in the office and what is going to be our response to this. We decided to do brainstorming session with Sundeep who has written for us earlier on strategic affairs and international conflicts. We had long session where we asked him two questions fundamentally.

    We asked why is India not able to stop terror attacks and will this happen again? The answer was a bit chilling to us. He said, given the current conditions it is probable that there could be more attacks in the future. He also said that there are some structural imbalances and myths surrounding the whole debate about terrorism in India.

    These are on the part of the common people, policymakers and the thought leaders which kind of weakens our response to terrorism. If we can burst those myths and tell people how the terror business works and how we can respond to it more effectively, would be value addition.

    Q: What are the foremost myths that should be busted?

    Waslekar: Terrorism functions like a market. It has its demand and it has its supply. The supply curve is made of three imbalances; developmental imbalance, democratic imbalance and dignity imbalance. Dignity imbalance is the most significant of the three. This is what generates the supply of young people who are willing to offer themselves as fodder for terrorist attacks.

    Demand is placed by vested interest and they are always organised. They can be state agency like ISI or organised group like the Naxalite group, etc. People on the demand side use religion or ideology as instruments to mobilise those on the supply side.

    Q: Are you saying government then showed attack on the supply side because that’s perhaps little easier? Is this because attacking demand side is attacking terrorism with force, attacking supply side is attacking civil society?

    Waslekar: The government and even the society going beyond government need to deal with both the demand and supply. If you address only one of the two curves you would be very inadequate in your effort.

    Sivabalan: Working on the demand side that is the people, the organised interest who create a terror need not be by force. It can be diplomatic and economic. We can use our economic muscle to kind of prevail upon our forces outside our country to refrain themselves. There are examples around the world where people have worked on the demand side without firing a single bullet by bringing together people.


    See the full interview on video here
    http://www.moneycontrol.com/video/c...says-terrorism-adds-66-to-pak-gdp_573699.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
    fateh71 and LurkerBaba like this.
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Ok, time to revise the poster we made about them making money. Or may be add one. Terror adds 6%? wow!!!

    Gross Terrorism Product is a term to remember and also since it's an industry and the largest one at that of Pakistan, it has a supply and demand chain too!!
     
  4. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    An interesting article on the infrastructure crisis in Pakistan.

    Pakistan's Backbone - By Anumita Raj

    In the past few weeks, the crippling power crisis has led to riots in parts of Pakistan. At the same time, the USD 10 million bounty on founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Hafiz Saeed, announced by the US government has caught the attention of the people of Pakistan, and become the focus of various politicians. Amid these larger concerns, it is easy to gloss over the predicament of various state-run institutions of Pakistan, many of whom have been beset by economic woes and plagued by news of corruption scandals. Indeed, even the national media has often given less importance to this news over the past months when compared to political machinations and foreign policy issues. Most of the institutions form the very backbone of Pakistan’s domestic infrastructure. Despite Pakistan’s hardy nature which has seemingly survived various disasters in the past, the complete collapse of anyone of these institutions could send the country into a tailspin that it may not be able to recover from.

    One such institution is the national airline, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). While PIA has been in economic trouble for years, recent information indicates that it may be heading to the point of no return. Presently, 10 aircrafts out of a total fleet size of 40, or one quarter of all PIA aircrafts, are grounded due to technical issues that the airline does not the have the funds to repair. Some of these have been grounded for months. Airport authorities of countries like the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia (two of the most popular flight destinations of PIA) have issued repeated warnings to PIA to ensure their flights land and take off in time or face penalties. Surging fuel costs have also proven to be a stumbling block for the airline which has running at a loss of billions of rupees for years now. PIA has also been mired in a corruption scandal over the purchase of 5 777ER aircrafts from Boeing. When former Air Force Chief of Staff Rao Qamar Suleman took charge as the Managing Director of PIA in March 2012, most newspapers carried editorials and articles detailing the ‘uphill task’ he had ahead of him in attempting to rescue the beleaguered airline.

    Another institution, more crucial to the domestic situation of the country than PIA, the Pakistan Railways (PR) has also been troubled by economic issues for years now. In March 2012, the Economic Coordination Committee of Pakistan (ECC) announced a Rs. 6.1 billion loan to PR so that it can fund the repair nearly of 96 locomotives. Also in March 2012, PR’s General Manager Saeed Akhtar, a close associate of Railways Minister Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau on charges of corruption. In late 2011, protests by the staff of PR over non-payment of salaries and the inability of the Railways to pay its fuel bills led to a virtual shuttering down of train services throughout Pakistan, until President Zardari authorized an emergency fund release to tide PR over the crisis.

    Other vital services and institutions, such as the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) have also been facing similar issues. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Iftekhar Chaudhry, while demanding an explanation for losses in 2009 in PSM totalling Rs. 26.5 billion due to mismanagement, recently stated that PIA, PSM and PR have all been hampered by corruption. In recent years, apart from these national institutions, various smaller provincial institutions have also been overwhelmed by similar issues of lack of budget, financial losses, non-payment of salaries to staff, misappropriation of funds and corruption. While similar issues are found in government-run bodies of most developing nations, the confluence of this many institutions failing in all these ways is undesirable for a country like Pakistan that is at a crucial stage in its economic development. Public anger against the failure of the government to provide basic amenities such as transport, water and power is rising daily as is evidenced by riots and public rallies over these issues. Moreover, in many parts of the country, the government is the main source of employment for many and non-payment of salaries and dues to groups such as railway employees, water board employees and teachers has resulted in opposition from unions and middle class members of Pakistani society.

    In the next year or so, the United States is looking to disentangle itself from the region. Given the increasing tension and friction between the US and its erstwhile ally, Pakistan, this means that much of the support extended to the Pakistani government and authorities, both financial and otherwise, will cease. This is certain to have a tangential impact on domestic institutions, placing them in further jeopardy. While Pakistan has looked repeatedly to China as its new support system, this is one situation while the latter is unlikely to be willing to help without economic returns. This indicates that the PPP-led civilian government has little idea on how to extricate itself from this potentially calamitous situation. This coupled with the anger of the public over these issues leaves the country open to disastrous results. In Pakistan, the tendency is to focus on the large, attention-grabbing issues: terrorism, religious extremism, dependence on the US, and most of all, political manoeuvring. Even as government-run bodies are haemorrhaging billions of rupees annually, political parties have not truly stated how this situation might be addressed, even with elections around the corner. Whether it is PPP, or PML-N, or PTI, or some combination thereof, there seems to be a lack of vision or roadmap out of these troubles. However hardy and resilient Pakistan has been in the past, a complete collapse of one or more of these state-run institutions will spell catastrophe for the country.
     

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