Finance Minister Rana Afzal, while briefing the Senate on government expenditure on counter-terror efforts, said that over Rs297 billion has been spent in the war against terrorism in the last decade.

A written reply from the Finance Ministry provided to the Senate reveals that the United States (US) had agreed to provide Pakistan $132 million for counter-terror efforts, of which $111m has been received.

Rs152.925bn was released during Operation Zarb-i-Azb to military institutions, whereas over Rs67bn was granted to law enforcement agencies and more than Rs31bn to bodies falling under the Defence Ministry, the reply said.

An additional Rs45bn was given to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas Secretariat for the rehabilitation and return of internally displaced persons (IDPs), the Finance Ministry said.

According to Afzal, the government has also taken steps to stop the smuggling of foreign currency, and has restricted travellers going abroad from carrying more than $10,000 at a time. Additionally, travellers cannot carry more than $60,000 abroad per year, the finance minister said. He added that a notification has been issued by the State Bank of Pakistan in this regard.

He said the government had also taken steps to stop the circulation of counterfeit foreign currency through currency exchange dealers.

Afzal's briefing to the Senate comes a day after Pakistan was granted a three-month reprieve by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ─ an international policy-making and standard-setting body dedicated to combating money laundering and terrorist financing ─ from addition to its terror-financing 'gray-list' of countries not doing enough to comply with terrorist-funding regulations.

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