Hike in India’s military spending

INDIA, on Wednesday, announced its budget for the upcoming fiscal year, allocating Rs 2.74t for its defence — a 10 pc increase over last year’s budget. The allocation is about 12.78pc of total government expenditure, which is Rs 21.47t. This is the second consecutive increase of over 10pc in defence budget, which speaks volumes about India’s military preparations that are sending alarm bells to its small neighbours especially Pakistan, which has borne the brunt of India’s aggressive posture repeatedly.
Every country has the right to take measures to strengthen its defence and security but jingoism and war-mongering threaten security and survival of others and therefore, are legitimate sources of concern. Indian policy and decision makers openly claim that their preparations are directed towards China but it is also a matter of record and history that Beijing never carried out aggression against any country. Chinese have all along been living peacefully, concentrating on their economic well-being and are implementing plans for shared progress and prosperity through projects like ‘One Belt, One Road’, CPEC. It is quite obvious that a country, which is ready to spend hundreds of billions of dollar for regional infrastructure creation would never indulge in wars or conflicts. This being so, Pakistan is the only target of India’s military preparations and present leadership in New Delhi has made no secret of its anti-Pakistan designs and ambitions. A global report in December 2016 revealed that India was fifth largest defence spender in the world and was set to overtake Britain with third largest spending in 2018. Prime Minister Modi has promised to dish out $250b in the coming years to help modernise India’s armed forces. His government has signed deals to buy new submarines, howitzers and fighter jets and it is also upgrading its missile and nuclear arsenal. Pakistan has stated time and again that it doesn’t want to indulge in arms race but it is also obvious that the country cannot remain oblivious to potential threats to its security and very existence. We hope that government and defence leadership would take necessary measures to safeguard core interests of the country in emerging scenario.

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