Lahore, Oct 26 : The International Monetary Fund has asked Pakistan to cut military spending by almost a third as fears grew that the country's economic crisis was now so bad that its role in the war on terror was imperilled, according to a report in The Australian.
The report said the 'secret IMF demand - one of several things that the country is being asked to agree to for a bailout of its tanking economy - was disclosed as President Asif Ali Zardari prepared to go to Saudi Arabia for help'.
Also on Friday, it was announced that US General David Petraeus would travel to Islamabad next week for talks.
The report quoted a senior military source in Islamabad as saying that a cut to military spending of 'anything like that magnitude - even 10 percent, let alone more than 30 percent that is being demanded - would rip the heart out of the army and its ability to operate effectively in a situation where it is in the frontline of the battle against Al Qaeda and the Taliban ... if we go, Al Qaeda wins'.
The source went on to question if that was what the IMF wanted.