Pakistan's economy is in a shambolic state but the country is looking at ways to increase its defence budget instead of reducing it to address more pressing problems.
Speaking to members of the local press, the country's information minister Fawad Chaudhry said that Pakistan cannot afford to make cuts in its defence budget because it was already on the lower side when compared to South Asian neighbours. "The country’s defence budget is already low as compared to other states in the region, and therefore it should be increased," he was quoted as saying by Dawn. "Some people have problems about the defence budget and try to make it an issue. However, they don’t know that our defence budget is already lower than that of other states in the region, including India."
Chaudhry said there is an urgent need to make Pakistan more secure. "We need to increase our defence budget and for that purpose we want to generate more revenue. We want to increase our defence and security."
A cut in defence budget has been demanded by some sections of the political fraternity in the country but several security analysts around the world have always doubted if the Imran Khan government would do so. Some even accuse the current government in the country to be a puppet set-up installed by the Pakistan Army and the ISI. They claim that a cut in defence budget would never be permitted in a country where army and ISI are calling the shots.
At a time when aid from the United States has slowed down to a trickle owing to Pakistan's reluctance in tackling home-grown terror, the country has been looking at China and Saudi Arabia to help its rebuild its economy. The country has also - and yet again - approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package but talks so far have remained only on paper. PM Khan - who won the elections last August on the back of fixing the economy - has even asked Pakistan diaspora to contribute but rival political leaders largely blame him for being ineffective.