Lahore – A day-long moot captioned, ‘Impact of Violent Extremism on Pakistan’s Economy’ concluded here at Hotel Pearl Continental on Thursday.
The seminar was organised under the aegis of All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF). The participants called upon the government to curb the menace of extremism, adding it adversely affected the national economy.
Punjab Governor Rafiq Rajwana inaugurated the moot, which was attended by industrialists, entrepreneurs, top economists and terrorism experts, who analysed root causes of extremism and came up with plausible solutions in the form of recommendations.
Addressing the moot, Punjab Governor Rafiq Rajwana said that Pakistan was the worst victim of terrorism, and the moot was spot on to find ways and means to restore confidence of investors; not only to augment economic activities in the country but to also give a much-needed boost to the plummeting economy of the country.
APBF President Ibrahim Qureshi said that due to terrorism, Pakistan had suffered more than any other country in the world during the last two decades.
“Extremist mindset has not only resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of precious lives, but it has also adversely affected the economy of Pakistan,” he added.
According to Economic Affairs Ministry, during the last decade, Pakistan had suffered financial losses to the tune of $40-$45 billion approximately.
Qureshi further said that continuous terrorist activities had badly hurt the soft image of Pakistan among the comity of nations, and the moot was an effort to restore the soft image of Pakistan to attract foreign investors.
He added that businessmen were facing numerous issues due to extremism in the country and it was need of the hour that the authorities concerned took drastic measures to ensure law and order situation in the country.
He said that APBF had pioneered this moot to bring all the stakeholders together to discuss the pressing issue and devise strategies to counter the same.
A focus group, comprising businessmen, industrialists, top government officials and economists, was also formed on the occasion which recommended that since the business community was one of the major contributors towards economic development, hence effective strategies were needed to build confidence of the businessmen in order to achieve sustainable growth targets.
The moot comprised of three sessions: the first one included speakers belonging to the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Lahore, private and public sector businesses and additional inspector general (AIG).
A panel of experts held a question and answer session with the participants to share opinions and shed light on matter at hand.The second section included APBF members and some non-members too while top bureaucrats were also invited to speak on this occasion. In the third and final section, people belonging to industry, government and APBF presented a resolution as a framework for future action. As a result a focus group was formed, which came up with pragmatic and rational solutions for prevention of losses and betterment of the businesses and economy.