Budgeting for the military

Published: June 8, 2012

RAWALPINDI: This is with reference to Shahbaz Rana’s story “Military purse may be twice as large as budgeted” (June 6). I was amazed to read this uninformed piece on the budget allocated for the military.

Mr Rana does not seem to know that the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) reimbursements are ‘reimbursements’, which as per the Oxford Dictionary are “repayments of a sum of money that has been spent or lost”. How can these be a part of the budget?

Furthermore, the point raised about the generals who are allegedly involved in the National Logistics Cell scam was totally irrelevant to the discussion in hand.

In addition, if Mr Rana thinks that pensions of military personnel should be part of the defence budget, then he should look at the Indian budget as well, where pensions are not considered part of the defence budget. It pained me to read this story when I was watching the funeral of Major Zaka, who was martyred at Gyari. Does he think that the pensions the widows and orphaned children of our gallant martyrs receive add to our defence capability and hence must be accounted for in the defence budget?

While I am a strong proponent of transparency in defence spending and accountability of all corrupt persons, including those who defame our gallant defenders, I loathe the pseudo-intellectuals who unduly target the defence budget and the military. As a faithful subscriber, I expect better analysis and reporting from a paper as good as The Express Tribune.

Humayun Aziz

Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2012.

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