PROFESSOR ALI SUKHANVER
What is more important; food or security; health or defence; prosperity or safety; certainly a difficult question to be answered. Today one finds a hurricane of allegations, accusations ultimately forming the shape of suggestions thatPakistanneeds not spend a huge amount on its army and the relevant security set-up. Various so-called western thinkers are doing all their best to create an atmosphere of disbelief and mistrust against the security agencies ofPakistanby painting a picture which depicts these agencies as an unbearable burden on the already stooping financial structure ofPakistan. More painful is the fact that some of our own people are playing in the hands of these enemies ofPakistanjust for their temporary, trivial gains and benefits. It is a day-light fact that without a strong and immaculate defence system it is quite unimaginable to survive in this world where ‘survival is the fate of only the fittest’. If we want to crush terrorism, if we want to up-root extremism we cannot do it without a well-equipped, well-trained and well-supported army. We have ample examples of countries like USA, Israel, UK, India and so many others who are doing all their best to strengthen their armies. Our closest neighbourIndiahas ignored all her past differences with US just to build up its military might.Indiais signing up new pacts and accords withIsraelandJapanas well as withRussiajust to enhance her defence capabilities but unfortunately inPakistansome self-claimed philosophers and thinkers are emphasizing the need of curtailing the defence budget and calling in question the existence of the institution of army.
Prosperity and peace of a nation could never be guaranteed without a strong and unchallengeable defence system. That is the reason that security, safety and defence have ever been more important to all civilizations than food, clothing and other basic commodities of life. According to a report published a few months back by The Visual Economics, military spending is important to most nations, with each country spending to its own need and ability. We can divide different countries into two groups with respect to their expenditure on defence and security affairs, namely the Group-1 and the Group -2.According to this report The United States spends 19.3 percent of its budget on military expenses. TheU.S.now accounts for 43% of global defense spending.Iranspends 21.7 percent whereasIndiaspends 18.6 percent of its total spending on its military.ChinaandRussiaspend 18.2 and 18.7 percent of their annual budget respectively on military expenses.Pakistanis spending 23.1 percent of all its yearly expenditures. These countries could be placed in Group-1; these are the countries whose defence expenditure surpasses 15 percent of their total annual budget. On the other hand there are countries belonging to the Group-2; these countries don’t have to spend a lot on their security and defence. This group may include countries like U.K,Canada;Mexico,Morocco,Australia,South KoreaandJapanalong with so many others. U.K is spending 6.3 percent of the yearly expenditure on Military.Canadaspends 6.3 percent of its total yearly budget on military spending.Mexicouses 3.3 percent of its budget for military spending. No doubt there is a hell of difference between the military expenditure of the countries belonging to the group-1 and the group-2. Why do countries belonging to the Group-1 spend a lot on their military expenses; we shall have to ponder a lot in search of the answer.
The expenditure on military is in fact directly linked with the socio-geographical situation of a country. Most of the countries belonging to the group-1 are either facing worst security threats along and inside their borders or have hegemonic designs.USAandIndiaare the countries which don’t have any type of security threats along their borders but it is their hegemonic designs which persuade them to spend a lot on defence affairs. On the other hand countries likePakistan,IranandChinaare constantly facing worst security threats along their borders. It is something very interesting that all these three countriesIran,ChinaandPakistanhave to spend a lot on their military affairs just to fence them against the hegemonic designs ofUSAandIndia. It means that the group-1 could be further sub-divided into two portions; the Exploiters and the Defenders. Hegemonic designs ofUSAandIndiaare nothing but a grave threat to the sovereignty ofPakistan. From the Raymond Davis case to the Abotabad Operation and from very technically designed Mumbai Blasts to the assassination of Professor Burhan-ud-Din Rabbani, we have ample examples of US-India friendly collaboration againstPakistan. All these incidents have simply distorted the peace and prosperity ofPakistan.
At this most crucial juncture of our life we need a very strong and unbeatable army. Our security forces are doing very successfully all their best to save the nation from the clutches of international conspirators. Dragging the Pakistan Army and ISI into courts in the name of democracy and justice and calling their integrity in question would damage the very foundations ofPakistan. I was shocked to go through an article which was published in a new-born English newspaper ofPakistana few days back. The author of the said article tried her utmost to make her readers realize that ‘Education, roads, power and industry etc are neglected due to paucity of money and giving it to a bunch of people who end forming a state within a state.’ The writer further said, “Performance of the Armed Forces too, is no longer effective or unable to be so besides its involvement in exporting terrorism in the entire South Asian region and beyond as disclosed by Wikileaks.’ The so-called ‘Pakistanis’ who are playing a very vibrant role in the conspiracy against the security institutions of their own motherland must not ignore the reality that this nation would one day ‘reward’ them as the followers of Mir Jaffer and Mir Sadiq. For such traitors, there will be time; time to repent, time to regret, time to feel sorry and time to lament; but that will be too late. The people playing in hands of the conspirators would one day feel sorry for no one else but for their own-self, one day when they would realize that they had been brutally exploited against their own people, against their own religion and against their own land.
The writer is a Pakistan based analyst on defence and strategic affairs.