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Pakistan Increases Defense Budget For Fiscal Year 2011-2012

June 24, 2011

Pakistani JF17At the beginning of the month Rs 495 billion ($5 billion) was allocated to the Pakistani Army, Navy, and Air Force for fiscal year 2011 to 2012, which begins on July 1.

Like China however, it is widely believed the true amount circulated in the media is only half of what the different branches receive.

The defense budget allotment for the upcoming fiscal year marks an 11% rise compared to the 2010-2011 budget of Rs 444 billion.

The increase, while not alarming, comes in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on the Mehran naval base and the Abottabad incident where US Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden.

Whether these events influenced the sudden spike is unclear, but when removed from the context of recent headlines, the enlarged budget for Pakistan’s military is justifiable. Justifiable in the sense that Pakistan is maintaining its competitive role as a regional power balancing India, whose own generous defense budget has made it the world’s top arms importer.

Unlike Pakistan, however, India has a robust economy whose growth cushions the defense spending. The opposite is true with Pakistan. With 2.4% of GDP spent on defense, Pakistan ranks among the world’s biggest defense spenders.

For a comprehensive breakdown of the new defense budget, Air Commodore Khalid Iqbal’s exhaustive survey of expenditures and comparisons is essential reading.

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