Pakistan Boosts Defence Budget Despite Economic Woes and Debt

Pakistan increases its defence budget by 15.4% to ₹18,000 crore despite facing a foreign debt of $124.5 billion and economic struggles. The move raises concerns about the country's priorities amidst soaring inflation, poverty, and shortages of basic necessities.

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Bijay Laxmi
New Update
Pakistan Boosts Defence Budget Despite Economic Woes and Debt

Pakistan Boosts Defence Budget Despite Economic Woes and Debt

Pakistan has increased its defence budget to ₹18,000 crore, a 15.4% increase, despite grappling with a staggering foreign debt of $124.5 billion, which accounts for 42% of its GDP. The move has raised concerns about the country's priorities as it faces soaring inflation, widespread poverty, and shortages of basic necessities like food and medicines.

Why this matters: This decision highlights the tension between a country's military ambitions and its responsibility to address the pressing needs of its citizens, and it raises questions about the accountability of governments in allocating resources. The implications of such decisions can have far-reaching consequences for the economic stability and social welfare of a nation.

Pakistan's military advancements are largely attributed to its growing partnership with China. According to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), China has contributed 82% of Pakistan's arms imports between 2019 and 2023, providing fighter jets, warships, missile technology, drones, and other military equipment.

In 2015, China agreed to build eight Hangor-class submarines for Pakistan, strengthening its naval capabilities. Admiral Naveed Ashraf, Pakistani Chief of Naval Staff, stated, "The submarines will play a pivotal role in maintaining peace and stability in the region. It would add a new dimension to the ever-tested Pakistan-China friendship."

Pakistan's economic struggles have been exacerbated by last year's devastating floods, which slashed the GDP growth projection from 5% to a mere 0.29%. The country's economic crisis has sparked public discontent, with many believing that the military holds significant power and controls a large portion of the national budget.

International discussions, including those conducted by the IMF, have raised concerns about the disproportionate allocation of resources to the military over civil needs. Additionally, recent reports suggest that Pakistan has been involved in covert operations, supplying arms to Ukraine despite its official neutrality in the conflict.

As Pakistan grapples with a severe economic crisis, the decision to increase its defence budget has drawn scrutiny both domestically and internationally. With a foreign debt exceeding $124 billion and a projected GDP growth of just 0.29%, questions arise about the country's ability to balance its military ambitions with the pressing needs of its citizens.

Key Takeaways

  • Pakistan's defence budget increases by 15.4% to ₹18,000 crore despite $124.5 billion foreign debt.
  • China accounts for 82% of Pakistan's arms imports between 2019 and 2023, strengthening military ties.
  • Pakistan's economic crisis worsens due to last year's floods, slashing GDP growth to 0.29%.
  • International concerns raised over Pakistan's disproportionate military spending amidst economic struggles.
  • Pakistan's decision sparks scrutiny, with questions on balancing military ambitions with citizen needs.