Pakistan raises its defence allocation by nearly 20%
Pakistan has raised its defence allocation for the fiscal 2018-19 by around 19.6 per cent, the highest growth in the country's defence budget in over a decade and it came just ahead of its next general election in July.
The move also came at a time when the security aid from Islamabad's trusted ally United States has dried down over the former's alleged failure in reining in terrorists from creating trouble in Afghanistan.
The steep rise in defence allocation also comes at a time when the PML-N - the current ruling party - is having an uneasy relationship with the country's military. The PML-N government, only the second to complete a full five-year term in Pakistan, increased the defence allocation to 1.1 trillion Pakistani Rupees ($9.6 billion) for all the three forces, despite having period tensions with the army - traditionally a dominant player in Pakistani politics.
It was also for the first time that Pakistan's defence expenditure crossed Rs 1 trillion.
The 19.6 per cent increase, however, doesn't include Rs 100 billion allocated for the Armed Forces Development Programme and Rs 260 billion allocated for pensions of the military personnel, Pakistan's The Express Tribune reported.
Out of the total defence budget, while the Pakistani Army gets 47 per cent, 20 per cent is allocated for its air force and 10 per cent goes to the navy, the Tribune reported citing the defence ministry officials.
The Tribune also said about Pakistan's military officials defending the rise by asserting that its military expenditure is the lowest in the region despite the prevalence of security threat.