Though this was always in my plans, the real trigger to attempt to estimate Pakistan’s military expenses is a comment Shashi Tharoor wrote made in The Era of Darkness to the effect that as a percent of GDP, Pakistan spends the maximum in the current world. And now, the numbers. The details are pulled from Pakistan’s budget 2016-17 in billions of Pakistani Rupees. Let’s all, for a while, forget all the aids and focus only on the expenses.
|Defence Affairs & Services||860.20||860.20||0.00|
|Grants and Transfers||441.60||441.60|
|Running of Civil Govt.||352.80||103.60||249.20|
|Other Dev. Expenditure||156.60||156.60|
|TOTAL EXPENITURE (A+B)||4,394.80||1,141.38||1,893.41|
This is just what is outwardly visible. This doesn’t include the protection money the army gets to guard oil pipelines, Karachi port and other critical establishments, military research, infrastructure solely for the use of the army as like in the border with India in occupied Kashmir and the replacement for destruction it meted out in Khyber Pakhtunwa and other areas. Assuming this accounts for at least 30% of total civil expenditure, this gives the details as below.
|As % of Total GDP||As % of Real GDP|
I took Real GDP as the Total GDP – Loans paid. Meaning, excluding interests, Pakistan spends at least 37% and possibly higher than 56% of it’s annual income on military. What sense does this make? And to what effect? It’s for Pakistan to introspect what is it going to achieve by holding development hostage at the expense of military spending, even after knowing it can never compete with the country which it identifies it as it’s nemesis.