Islamabad, March 2: The Indian military remains the principal threat to Pakistan's security and the Pakistani security establishment is right to closely track Indian defence spending, a leading Pakistani daily said in an editorial.
"The Pakistani security establishment is right to closely track Indian defence spending because India remains, in terms of its military capabilities, the principal threat to Pakistan's security," an editorial in Pakistani daily Dawn stated Monday.
It said the Indian defence budget is set to cross $40 billion; however, the Chinese defence budget is roughly four times larger.
"India also has to compete for control in the Indian Ocean, a formidably expensive proposition," it stated.
Stating that the Indian military's modernisation programme was coming after years of under-investment, it said: "For India, there should be a realisation that goes beyond the plain numbers: the further away it pulls from Pakistan in the conventional field, the more it will create pressure on Pakistan to perhaps lower the nuclear threshold to stave off the threat of conflict."
Much as some in India would like to separate the question of competing with China from the need to manage risk with Pakistan, "the overall Indian military capability will send a message in both directions".
"Stability will only come from advancing dialogue with Pakistan," said the editorial ahead of Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar's visit to Islamabad Tuesday.
India's defence budget cannot match the Chinese budget and China's growing profile in the Indian Ocean region, it said.
"The Narendra Modi-led government has decided to move more slowly than expected in meeting the demands of the Indian security establishment," said the editorial.