The economy of Pakistan has incurred losses on several fronts due to the war on terror. This means that with every consecutive year, the cost to fight against the militants has increased. However, the most recent figures suggest that the monetary cost has decreased.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) conducted a survey analysing the year from 2002 to 2016. According to their report, the war has cost $118 billion in this time period. The economy was hurt in the process because funds were being used for damage control and prevention, including the rehabilitation of refugees, building of social and economic structures once again, and accounting for the uncertainty of such events. Pakistan in this time, lost out on its direct foreign investments, exports, industrial outputs, and tax collection.

However, after the Army Public School (APS) incident, the government along with the military doubled their efforts to counter the threat of terrorism. Operation Zarb-e-Azb and Operation Radd-ul-Fasad have contributed to a safer environment and have pushed out extremists from their hubs.

The latest SBP survey confirms that the cost of war on terror is down by 40 percent to $3.9 billion. This means that despite the economic losses in the decade, the last four years have brought a considerable amount of stability and business opportunities for the country.

While this is great news, it must be kept in mind that the terrorist ideology is still out there. A good decision at this point would be to invest what we may save year on year, whether provincial or federally, in the sectors of education and health. When the basic facilities of the population are being met, there is a lesser chance of them indulging in such activities; and education is always the key towards a brighter future. Pakistan needs its share of orange lines and metro buses, but not before education and health facilities.

And by no means should this report be the cause of a decrease in vigilance regarding terrorist matters. 2017 has witnessed several deadly attacks; which means that the institutions must be careful at all times.