Myth vs reality: Pakistan’s defence cost is really higher than other countries?

Pakistan is situated into the most militarized region in the world, despite this fact, Pakistan’s military expenditures on per capita basis are among lowest in the world.

Our country has an arch-rival India, which is the largest buyers of arms and ammunition, meanwhile, we have 22 hundred kilometres long border with Afghanistan, which is troubles for decades.

Despite all these facts, Pakistan’s military expenditures on per capita basis are among lowest in the world; Israel spends $2,000 on a per capita basis while Pakistan spends $22.

“In budget 2020-21, ‘Defence Affairs and Services’ has been allocated Rs1,289 billion out of the total budgetary expenses of Rs7,295 billion. It means, it comprises 17.67 per cent of the total expenses and 82.33 per cent of all government expenses are non-defence related”.

 “Pakistan Army gets Rs613 billion (47.6 per cent), Pakistan Air Force Rs274 billion (21pc), Pakistan Navy Rs140 billion (11pc) and Inter-Services Intelligence Rs262 billion (20pc).”

In the 60s, Pakistan Army’s budget as a percentage of total expenditures hovered around 30pc. In budget 2020-21, Pakistan Army’s budget as a percentage of total expenditures has come down to 8pc.”

Another myth is that Pakistan has a large military, but on a per capita basis, there are at least 64 countries in the world that have more military personnel than does Pakistan.

Let’s bust another myth, it is said that Pakistan’s military expenditure is highest in the world but the reality is, “Pakistan’s military expenditures on a per capita basis are actually one of the lowest on the face of the plant. Israel spends $2,000 on a per capita basis and Pakistan spends $22 per capita.”

Meanwhile it is also said that industries working under army are tax exempted, butin reality, Fauji Fertilizer is one of the highest taxpayers in Pakistan. In 2019, Fauji Fertilizer paid Rs42 billion in taxes and duties. Fauji Cement deposits around Rs10 billion a year in the treasury on account of income taxes, excise duty and sales tax.”

The fact is Pakistan spends 2.86pc of its GDP on defence, while the global average is 2.18pc. Yes, we do spend a higher percentage of our GDP on defence than the global average.”

countries that spend even a higher percentage of their GDP on defence than Pakistan does include Saudi Arabia (8pc), Israel (5.3pc), Russia (3.9pc) and United States (3.4pc).

It is also a fact that Pakistan Armed Forces are the sixth-largest in the world but our expenses on a per soldier basis are the lowest. The US spends $392,000 per soldier, Saudi Arabia $371,000, India $42,000, Iran $23,000 and Pakistan $12,500 per soldier.”

Pertinent to mention that Army Welfare Trust (AWT) as a commercial organisation is self-governing and generates funds through various businesses, and then deposits taxes in the government’s treasury. This organization took the lion’s share of Pakistan’s army expenditure on their shoulders.

So, knowing the fact late is not a bad thing but living in a fabricated universe is really bad thing and its high time, people of Pakistan should realize that it’s not the army who took the lion’s share but the corruption in the country destroying our economy.