A state confronted with multidimensional challenges ought to maintain standing professional Armed Forces as a part of its national security apparatus. National security is wider in scope and necessitates an all inclusive approach incorporating all elements of national power. Of all, economy stands out as a crucial element of national power (EoNP). In fact, defence, economy and development are all interlinked with national security alongside other EoNP. To meet the requirement of a strong defence capability and capacity, one needs a strong economy.
Pakistan’s security milieu faces both traditional and non-traditional threats. We have a perpetual threat from our eastern border. India, fixated on her hegmonic policies, is still frozen in history for not accepting Pakistan. Under rising flames of Hindutva, this obstinacy has been given a religious fervor. Besides direct threat, India also continues to destabalize Pakistan by supporting threat on our western border and mainland. It is a matter of pride that Pakistan Armed Forces with full support of the nation have been able to withstand all these threats.
Realizing the strong bond between nation and the Armed Forces, our adversaries have also resorted to malicious propaganda campaigns as part of fifth generation war. One such is targeting defence budget and projecting Armed Forces as a burden on the national economy and development. Nothing can be far from truth than this blatant lie that Pakistan’s defence budget is 70 to 80% of the national budget. In fact, Pakistan’s defence budget has been around 18% for more than the last two decades with a slight increase each year to adjust for inflation. If one looks at top ten defence spending countries of the world, our defence spending is far less.
Threats to Pakistan’s national security are not over. February standoff and three-day war proved that perpetual threat from east dictates maintaining potent standing Armed Forces. For this, Pakistan needs a strong economy which unfortunantly has lately been under stress and requires to be taken care of.
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