War comes at great cost!


Finance Minister Ishaq Dar says hike in duties on imported luxury items was required to foot bills of anti-terror war

Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar on Wednesday said that had the government not increased duty on imported luxury items, it would have struggled for resources required in the war on terror.

The federal minister was addressing a gathering in the provincial capital.

Dar said that the government had to take few bitter steps in order to save the country’s economy. However, he said that international organisations are also taking note of Pakistan’s better economic status.

He said that foreign organizations were hinting in 2013 that Pakistan would go bankrupt within few months. “We took it as a challenge and took necessary steps to improve the economy, he added.

Talking about Pakistan’s war on terror, Dar said that military and civil leadership is on the same page. “The country has spent at least Rs 45 billion in Operation Zarb-e-Azb,” he said, adding that the increased tax on luxury items would not affect the common person.

The minister said that the imposition of hiked duty was necessary to continue war on terror and equal distribution among provinces. Dar said that the government took loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the first two years so that it could shed the debt accumulated during tenures of previous governments.

While talking about the attack on Military Police (MP) in Karachi, Dar said that the leadership was prepared for reaction of operations against terrorism.

A large-scale operation called Zarb-e-Azb was launched in July 2014 to hunt militants hiding in tribal areas of Pakistan. The operation has garnered humungous success and has destroyed countless terrorist hideouts. Most of the areas in North Waziristan have been cleared while the operation is set to conclude in 2016.

In September this year, a report was presented in the National Assembly (NA) that stated more than 3,500 terrorists have been killed and over 300 army officials have embraced martyrdom during the ongoing operation.