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Zarb-e-Azb costs $ 1.9 Billion: Experts

Pakistan has been fighting the ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb against militants in North Waziristan with its own resources and so far it has cost the national exchequer up to US $1.9 billion,

The Foreign Officer gave the view that the cost also includes the expenditures contracting on return of the temporarily displaced persons (TDPs) to their native towns.

Maria Saifuddin Effendi, who teaches at the National Defense University of Islamabad, said the Pakistan Army was able to recovered tons of explosives, addressing to the “2nd National Conference on the Economic Development in Fata at the University of Peshawar.

In addition she said “Security forces shut down bomb factories and eliminated over 500 terrorists with an expenditure of $1.9 billion,”

The analyst obligated that local people be involved rather than non-locals and foreigners to make sure the successful peace building in Fata.

Zarb-e-Azb started in June 2014 and over 3,000 terrorists were killed by The Pakistan Army.

The Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah told his weekly press briefing that the cost also includes expenditures incurred on return of the temporarily displaced persons (TDPs) to their native towns.

According to him Zarb-e-Azb has met with a success. About the reimbursement of Coalition Support Fund (CSF), he said that the CSF is reimbursement of the expenditures Pakistan incurred before the start of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, adding talks with the US authorities for the release of the fund are underway.

To a question, he said that Pakistan is committed to promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan in the best interest of the two countries as well as the region. “Pakistan fully supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. It is up to Afghanistan to take the next step in this regard, and Pakistan remains ready to facilitate,” he added.

Chairman of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication Dr Altafullah Khan gave presentation on the role of media in the building of Fata’s human image.

He said a major problem was that the people of Fata were not presented in the media as the people with problems, but instead, sensationalist headlines were churned out of the area.

He suggested that capacity of journalists be built to find data rich in details and offering solutions.

“The media should view Fata as part of the country and not an outsider,” he said.