Pakistan increases defense budget
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Islamabad, June 14, IRNA -- As the border tension between India and Pakistan is on the rise the later has increased the defense budget up to 11.9 percent for the next fiscal year.
According to the new budget the defence outlay for 2020-21 would be Rs1, 289 billion (US $ 7.8 billion) as compared to Rs1, 152 billion (US $ 7 billion) earmarked for the ongoing fiscal year.
Part of the excess defence spending in the ongoing fiscal year has been attributed to the continued tensions between Pakistan and India. Relations between the two countries have been spiraling downwards ever since an attack in Pulwama city of disputed Kashmir region in February 2019.
The two countries were on the brink of conflict when Pakistan shot down two Indian jets following the attack.
Since the beginning of this year Pakistan has shot-down 8 Indian drones after they violated country's airspace in disputed Kashmir region.
Earlier this year, India raised its defense spending by around 6%. However, the size of Indian defense budget is six times bigger than the total outlay of Pakistan's defense. In fact, India's defense budget is equal to Pakistan's total budget outlay.
In its annual report released in April, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said India had the world's third-biggest military budget only behind the United States and China.
The military sources said that Pakistan spends $9,000 per solider, India $18,000, Turkey $37,000, China $70,000, Saudi Arabia $360,000 while the United States allocates $425,000 per solider annually. The difference, however, between Pakistan and other countries is that the size of their economies is far bigger than Pakistan.
India and Pakistan gained independence in 1947 when British colonialists left the subcontinent. Since partition, the two countries have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965 and 1971 – two of them over Kashmir, in addition to a three-week-long Kargil skirmish in 1999.
Both countries accuse each other of targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire on the border in Kashmir.
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