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بدھ، 7 جولائی، 2010

Pakistan and Indian defence spendings

Farheen Khan
Since 2001, India is among the top 10 military spenders, but now she is at No.4 in terms of purchasing power parity behind US, China and Russia. After Kargil conflict the Indian defence budget has seen more than three-fold and the budget for the current year is 141703 corer. The UK, France, Israel and Russia are India’s main weapon suppliers. The 2.5 million Indian Army (eighteen Corps), comprises 1,300,000 personnel in active service, and 1,200,000 personnel as reserve troops. The Indian armour is of Russian origin. Out of 2,295 Indian Army’s Main Battle tanks, 2235 are of Russian origin. Indian Air Force consists of 800-1000 combat aircraft. The Indian Army and the Indian Air Force are structured into six commands. This sizable force is capable of launching major offensives from several fronts. The Pakistan Army has an active force of 620,000 (ten Corps) well-trained personnel, with 528,000 reservists. The decentralized command structure will be an advantage, as compared to Pakistan’s centralized Army command organization. Pakistan is geographically linear, with north to south communications—-roads and railways close to the international border, and at striking distance of the Indian Army. Pakistan’s lack of depth makes it vulnerable to thrusts by Indian armour and Rapid Action Divisions on narrow corridors. The above Indian attributes are of advantage for a prolonged war. A comparison of Indian Navy and Pakistan Navy reveals that Pakistan Navy could inflict substantial damage on the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy has 16 submarines. Pakistan Navy has ten, some of which are brand new. Indian Navy has 27 war ships, Pakistan Navy has ten. Indian Aircraft Carrier Veerat will be a menace, and must be sunk by submarine or air attacks, if it attempts to block Pakistan’s sea lanes or ports. Pakistan armed forces (Army, Navy, and Air Force) are the seventh largest in the world. Pakistan Army’s doctrine of “Offensive Defence” evolved by General Mirza Aslam Beg was put to test in 1989 in Exercise Zarb-e Momin. The doctrine is to launch a sizeable offensive into enemy territory rather than wait for enemy strikes or attacks. This doctrine was quite successful. In 2008 budget India has allocated 10 billion dollars to have the capability to wage a limited war, the kind where a short-sharp burst can punish an adversary. A perfect sample would be a quick strike across the LoC to flush out anti-India terror elements. India is prepared for this so-called “limited war” and spending large investments to purchase new age emerging technologies. It is providing all types of training and technical support in this regard. India is bringing a drastic and dramatic change in the training methods of traditional army for this purpose to carry out commando type hit-and-run warfare actions in future instead of the more traditional ones with the help of Israel. At present Pakistan is facing severe economic crises. We are suffering from a lack of infrastructure in irrigation, power, and high commodity prices. Poverty is widespread and growing further. Industrial and agricultural sectors are badly affected by power outages. Our exports are declining. Food inflation stands at a record level of 40% making the miseries of millions of Pakistani who earn around 2 dollars a day. Economic policies have failed completely. Today we are standing at cross road due to foreign debt and liabilities which have now crossed the $49 billion mark and the country is teetering on the brink of default. Foreign assistance is spent on debt servicing only and this aid has now become a burden. India has over one hundred billion dollar reserves. Defence capability is interplay of economic and military potential. Pakistan’s economy is in a poor state, and the industrial and agricultural sectors are badly affected by power outages. Indian economy is booming and its GDP growth is in double digits. She has over one hundred billion dollar reserves. Pakistan’s seventeen billion dollar reserves left by previous regime of President Musharraf have depleted to eight billion. Total foreign debt and liabilities have now crossed the $ 45 billion mark and we are on the brink of default. The PPP government has asked the IMF for a bailout. IMF has paid $7.5 billion loan so for to avoid threat of default. Pakistan is suffering from very poor governance resulting in lack of responsiveness to the basic needs of the vast majority of people; Corruption is at peak in every department. We are among the most illiterate countries of the world. Forty percent school going children are out of school and they work on roadside workshops or restaurants. Some religious fanatics use these innocent children who hail from very poor families prepare them for suicide bombing. Pakistan is currently facing the challenges of terrorism, economic crises, ethnic conflicts, Corruption, poor governance and the evil designs of our immediate neighbour India. A united move by the political and military hierarchy to put an end to all international and domestic conspiracies against the country is now needed. This cannot be achieved by merely wishing. The foremost is the need to know the dangers and then come up with appropriate strategy and effective measures to face them otherwise the state will be totally paralyzed and lose its control. The number of ballistic missiles and warheads are almost the same as those of India. So there is parity in nuclear weapons, which is a deterrent. The Pakistan Army is equally strong in armour, capable of giving a fitting response to any Indian military adventure. Main Battle tanks Al-Khalid and Al-Zarrar are the backbone of Pakistan armour Corps. Both are Pakistan made. Pakistan’s tank armory comprises of five hundred Al-Khalid MBTs; 320 Al-Zarrar type 85 II MBTs, 500 Al-Zarrar MBTs; 450 79II AP (Chinese type 81 upgrade, and 570 T-80 UD MBT of Ukrainian made. In addition, Pakistan has 880 Type 59, which were procured from China in 1970. This makes a total of three thousand six hundred and twenty tanks. All Pakistani MBTs except T-59s have 125 mm smooth barrel guns. Indian armour offensives in Kashmir, Punjab, and Sindh would be effectively challenged by Pakistani armour and mechanized formations, depending on PAF’s ability to keep the skies over the battle areas clear of Indian Air Force. India’s modern air defence system has Israeli Arrow anti-missile missiles, and 90,000 Surface to Air missiles —-SAMs. India has one hundred nuclear armed ballistic missiles (Agni-1 and Agni II), and Brahmos the new supersonic cruise missiles. The Indian Army is well trained, equipped and highly professional, and so is the Pakistan Army. Air power is likely to play a key, if not a decisive, role in any future major or minor India-Pakistan armed conflict. The aim of Indian pre-emptive strikes will be the maximum destruction by surprise air attacks, combined with shock commando action. Pakistan is suffering from very poor governance resulting in lack of responsiveness to the basic needs of the vast majority of people, I would suggest and emphasize that while the required resources may be provided, all possible measures for securing economy in defence expenditures should be taken care of. Development programmes in social sectors such as education and health have highly valued ends. If a country has ‘too much’ defence, it is wasting its resources, and if it has ‘too little’ defence its security is at risk. Those who advocate for greater allocations to development as compared to defence make the point that military activity is one of the most important types of economically non-contributive activity in the modern world. Military activity may have other kinds of value, but it has no economic value because it does not directly contribute to material well-being, to the material standard of living, or to poverty reduction. But while military goods and services have no economic value, they do have considerable economic cost. Military expenditure leads to labour, machinery, equipment, and other economically productive resources to be drawn into the service of the military sector. All of these resources could alternatively have been used to produce and distribute goods and services that do raise the standard of living. Their true cost is, therefore, their opportunity cost, the material well-being that has been sacrificed as a result of this diversion of resources. Besides external defence, internal security and human-development form a vital part of the overall security and well-being of the nation. Internal security has been neglected for too long. There is a need to balance overall expenditure to meet the challenge of the emerging economic and strategic scenario. Force levels need to be reviewed. Like obsolete equipment, obsolete organizations should be dispensed with. The army has become equipment and staff oriented. There are three critical aspects of defence economics: projecting national resources available now and in the future; working out the proportion of these resources which is the rupee being spent wisely? The answer is in the negative both in terms of quantum and efficacy should be allocated for internal and external security and division of resources within each of the two areas; and tracking the efficiency with which the resources so allocated are used. The above requires developing a competent group of analysts specializing in defence economics. Currently, no university, to our knowledge, offers such specialization at any level. The need is particularly acute at the post-graduate levels. The absence of such expertise in defence related think tanks is also striking. The media and professional military and economic journals have also not promoted this branch of economics. In the short run, such specialists would need to be trained (or recruited from) abroad; particularly in the US where defence economics is a thriving discipline. But there is no substitute for developing indigenous capacity to train its own defence economists and analysts.

The Frontier Post

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