Iraq war bill: $ 2 trillion and rising

Updated 15 March 2013

Iraq war bill: $ 2 trillion and rising

The US war in Iraq has cost $ 1.7 trillion with an additional $ 490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $ 6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released yesterday said.
The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.
When security forces, insurgents, journalists and humanitarian workers were included, the war’s death toll rose to an estimated 176,000 to 189,000, the study said.
The report, the work of about 30 academics and experts, was published in advance of the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.
It was also an update of a 2011 report the Watson Institute produced ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks that assessed the cost in dollars and lives from the resulting wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
The 2011 study said the combined cost of the wars was at least $ 3.7 trillion, based on actual expenditures from the US Treasury and future commitments, such as the medical and disability claims of US war veterans. That estimate climbed to nearly $4 trillion in the update.
The estimated death toll from the three wars, previously at 224,000 to 258,000, increased to a range of 272,000 to 329,000 two years later.

Pakistani exporters strive to recapture Saudi rice market

Updated 7 min 42 sec ago

Pakistani exporters strive to recapture Saudi rice market


Photo 1: Biryani comes in a variety of flavors and is one of the most popular dishes in Pakistan and India. (photo AN)

Photo 2 :  Biryani lovers enjoy at the 22nd Biryani Festival held at Governor House. (Photo AN)

Photo 3 : Biryani lovers enjoy at the 22nd Biryani Festival held at Governor House. (Photo AN)

Photo 4:  Governor Sindh,  Imran Ismail (left) and Safder Hussain Mehkri, Chairman Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan at the Biryani festival on Friday. (photo courtesy REAP).

Photo 5:  Pakistani biryani comes in a variety of regional flavors and ingredients. (Photo courtesy REAP).  

Photo 6:   Pakistani rice exporters present a shield to the governor of Sindh, Imran Ismail, on Friday. (photo courtesy REAP).

Photo 7:   Participants at the Biryani festival at the governor house on Friday. (photo courtesy REAP)


Pakistani exporters strive to recapture Saudi rice market


-17-member Pakistani delegation to leave for Saudi Arabia on Saturday to attend Biryani Festival, other important events

-Pakistan used to account for 80 percent Saudi rice imports, now down to 10 percent


Khurshid Ahmed Karachi


A 17-member delegation of Pakistani rice exports is leaving for Dammam, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday to attend a number of events, including a Biryani Festival, in a bid to boost the country’s share in the Kingdom’s rice import market, exporters told Arab News on Friday.


“Our prices are at par with India and our quality is far superior. We are going to capture the Indian market,” Ali Hussam Asghar, Senior Vice Chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), who is leading the delegation, told Arab News.


He said the delegation would start the trip in Dammam to meet and hold business-to-business meetings with rice importers of the eastern region. It would then travel to Riyadh to meet top Saudi buyers of Indian rice.


“Then we will move on to Jeddah for the mega Biryani festal in Park Hide Hotel where 130 top buyers including Saudis, Pakistanis, and Indians are invited,” Asghar said. “Saudis will be able to taste 15 varieties of biryani there.”

Pakistani exporters say they have been energized by the recent visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and their businesses have received a new lease of support from the Saudi embassy in Pakistan and Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Asghar said.  

Pakistan was the major rice import market for Saudi Arabia in the nineties, and accounted for 80 percent of rice imports to the Kingdom, now down to 10 percent.

“We want to get back our share in the Saudi market which was more than 80 percent,” Safder Hussain Mehkri, REAP chairman told Arab News on the sidelines of the 22nd Biryani Festival held at the Sindh Governor House on Friday night. “We request the Saudi government to accommodate and facilitate our exporters so that we can increase our bilateral trade.”


He said REAP was working with the federal and provincial governments to increase rice exports from Pakistan to $5 billion by 2023 from $2 billion currently.

Pakistani rice exporters also called on the Pakistani government to work to increase their market share of rice imports in Malaysia, whose Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohammad is visiting Pakistan as the chief guest of the March 23 military parade.


“Malaysian PM is visiting Pakistan so they can be asked to increase the share of imports of Pakistani rice,” Abdul Rasheed Jan Muhammad, a leading exporter and convener of REAP’s Biryani Festival, said. “The governor Sindh can play a vital role in this regard.”