Cutting defence budget will leave Pakistan vulnerable: Imran Khan

Published: April 1, 2013
Email
PTI chairman Imran Khan. PHOTO: NNI/ FILE

PTI chairman Imran Khan. PHOTO: NNI/ FILE

KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has said that cutting the defence budget at a stage when the country is “fighting at two borders” will leave it more vulnerable, reported Radio Pakistan on Monday.

“Pakistan is a vulnerable state and we are fighting at two borders including the war on terror and conflicts with India. If we cut the defence budget at this stage, then it would leave the country more vulnerable” Imran told Radio Pakistan in an exclusive interview.

The PTI Chairman emphasised that to be able to cut the defence budget, the country would have to resolve ongoing conflicts through dialogue first.

Justifying his party’s possible seat adjustment with the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Imran said that the JI was the only party who stood by the PTI and boycotted the 2008 elections.

Imran claimed that the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) had participated in the last elections due to international pressure, as their wealth was lying in foreign banks, the report added.

Imran also said that his party will launch a national popular campaign for “change in the country” in the coming weeks.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (43)

  • Avatar
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:16PM

    Agreed

    Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:18PM

    you are my leader! You’ve passed all tests for this country – Now it’s the test of this nation’s youth.

    Recommend

  • Falcon
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:18PM

    This radio show was recorded few days ago, so it does not reflect the latest state of negotiations with JI. On a side note, it would have been good if Khan Sahab had mentioned the whole thing about the defense budget, which is PTI does plan to bring down defense expenditure by about 20% by the end of its tenure as per its published economic policy and this constraint on keeping the defense budget the same is applicable only in the short term.

    Recommend

  • Queen
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:19PM

    Blockquote

    The PTI Chairman emphasised that to be able to cut the defence budget, the country would have to resolve ongoing conflicts through dialogue first.

    Blockquote

    I agree with IK. No matter how much we criticize the armed forces, it is true that the country will be vulnerable if we cut defense budget without resolving issues in the border areas.

    Recommend

  • Welltro
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:23PM

    “in the coming weeks”, i hope he realises he doesnt have much time left , there are only 5ish weeks left and they are still training their door to door force.
    No defence cut at all? I hope can at least manage to keep it fixed at the existing level and re-route additional budgets to the social welfare and education sectors.
    As for his alliance with the JI, boo. JI still hasn’t been able to stomach PTIs unsegregated jalsas, I shudder to think that they could actually have a say in Pakistan level policy decisions in 2013.

    Recommend

  • saint
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:24PM

    Look who is talking? That is what is called ‘playing for your bosses’.

    Recommend

  • cautious
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:30PM

    Alliance with JI and the Military – and this guy is suppose to bring change to Pakistan?

    Recommend

  • John the Baptist
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:30PM

    Well said. We need to extend a friendly hand that can turn into an iron fist. No one listens to weaklings in this world!

    Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:36PM

    If we have conflicts at Eastern border and need large army deployment in those areas then why we have built defence societies in sensitive areas? Perhaps future wars will be fought from posh localities.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:38PM

    “The PTI Chairman emphasised that to be able to cut the defence budget, the country would have to resolve ongoing conflicts through dialogue first.”
    This statement is like a Palestinian leader saying we would cut the defence budget after all disputes are settled with Israel through dialog first. With high defence budget and programs of WMD and drones what would be left for education, helathcare, power, and civic infra structure? Only empty promises and words! I would go with IK and PTI if they condemn the religious extremists openly and clearly and cut defence expenses that have only siphoned off the poor.

    Recommend

  • aamer Khawaja
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:38PM

    so much for spending 2.5trillion on education, maybe pti thinks they can just keep on printing money as they please.

    Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:39PM

    IK is doing very good politics in the interest of nation. Bravo. Vote for PTI.

    Recommend

  • amanat ali
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:46PM

    Instead of cutting defence budget corruption should be stopped in the country snd all looted money should be recovered and deposited in the national exchequer Pakistan cannot afford to reduce defence budger in the present circumstances. The enemy desires to weaken Pakistan’s defence. Instead od decreasing defence budget it should be increased and the army should get ready to defend Pakistan from the crooked enemy who has stopped water of our rivers by building dams illegally and is violating Indus water treaty.

    Recommend

  • Syed
    Apr 1, 2013 - 7:50PM

    Sudden change in anything is not good. Keep the budgets same for current size of the economy, but assign new percentages to the new growth, so for every new rupee that is added to GDP defence percentage should be less than what it is now and should be allocated to human resource welfare. That way defence budget will continue to grow so is education and health, new human resource projects will fuel growth in economy size which will be good for everyone and even the lower percentage will be larger amount in absolute terms.

    Within Defence budget increase spending on weapon development rather than expensive purchases, increase salaries and reduce ridiculus benefits. Make civilian laws applicable on our Generals and colonels!

    Recommend

  • S
    Apr 1, 2013 - 8:01PM

    Yes totally agree, we must master the art of politics and dialogue but strengthen our armed forces, no one is going to listen if they know they can bully us.

    Recommend

  • anonymus
    Apr 1, 2013 - 8:03PM

    @saint:
    In fact he should increase the budget for defecne as country is in more danger. Probably he can delete nonessential expenses like education and health!.

    Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 1, 2013 - 8:09PM

    @ John the Baptist, that friendly hand which turns into iron fist comes with stable economy and prosperity. If we fix economy first, we will be able to spend more on defence. If we spend more on defence then nothing will be left to improve economy. For the time being we will have iron fist but for longer duration it will return to haunt us.

    Recommend

  • Nadir
    Apr 1, 2013 - 8:12PM

    Whats the relationship between defence expenditure and national defence? What an overly simplistic line of argument!

    Recommend

  • imran bhatt
    Apr 1, 2013 - 8:17PM

    And accepting defence spending cut, even only verbally, will make you vulnerable. Surely, one should not bite the hand that feeds.

    Recommend

  • Apr 1, 2013 - 8:21PM

    I am a fan of Imran Khan, but don’t vote for him. He is immature and want to be in good looks of everybody including the terrorists, murderers, sectarians and religious hatreds.

    Recommend

  • Apr 1, 2013 - 8:27PM

    Yes I fully agreed with chairman of PTI,we are fighting at two fronts one of the two is terrorism which has made the country’economy fragile.

    He is hundred percent true when he say the war being faced by Pakistan is not our war it has been transfered by a conspiracy hatched by high level but our leaders failed to understand hypocratic policy of the regional powers.

    The country moving toward red high alert,
    due to increaing power short fall and gas on which economy is totally depends.

    Election a head need to elect the able leadership,in case we made to mistake at the time of casting vote it mean we love no our country or future of new generation.

    Recommend

  • someone
    Apr 1, 2013 - 8:39PM

    I think its time for Pakistan to invest more in local police modernization than army. The threat is more internal than external.

    Recommend

  • abcde
    Apr 1, 2013 - 8:51PM

    Its statements like this which indicate his military backing. Where is the increased money for education and health going to come from if you don’t decrease military spending? Oh right, you’re going to increase tax/gdp ratio because all of your ‘new’ people like SMQ just love to pay taxes, like they have been all these years.

    Recommend

  • Enlightened
    Apr 1, 2013 - 9:06PM

    No political party can rule Pakistan being on wrong side of the military and PTI is no different. Even PMLN is reported to have reached an agreement with the most powerful establishment of the country.

    Recommend

  • cautious
    Apr 1, 2013 - 9:26PM

    Your not fighting India, haven’t launched a significant military campaign against the Taliban since 2009, and seem content to allow militants to control almost 1/2 of Pakistan. Maybe IK can explain why Pakistan needs to spend 40%+ on a military which isn’t really fighting a war with anyone? The “fighting an enemy on two borders” sounds like something the military masters asked him to include in his speech – like his 90 day cures it has no substance.

    Recommend

  • romm
    Apr 1, 2013 - 9:39PM

    @Ch Allah Dad
    you must understand built up areas warfare before commenting on DHAs. apparantely Phase 6,7,8 and 9 seem to be blunder but [ractically it will hamper the movement of advancing forces if war breaks out with india…
    think before you talk…

    Recommend

  • Asjad
    Apr 1, 2013 - 9:41PM

    Oh so wasn’t Mr Khan planning to get out of War on Terror as soon as he gets power?

    Recommend

  • mes
    Apr 1, 2013 - 9:55PM

    keep pumping more money in military, its blessing in disguise for India.Recommend

  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Apr 1, 2013 - 10:06PM

    @Someone , well said ,

    IK is dreaming . Let him dream . Musarraf is playing well .

    Recommend

  • Parvez
    Apr 1, 2013 - 11:03PM

    Have a bit of courage…………cutting expenses on BMW’s, golf courses, business ventures that make no money, pomp and show etc, etc is not a bad thing. If explained properly and if played carefully it would be a small sacrifice with a huge reward.

    Recommend

  • Apr 1, 2013 - 11:05PM

    just 7 to one year ago this guy IK said pakistan need to spend more on education,health etc etc etc and spend less on defence so as to change pakistan,all this he says was to woo pakistani public now when the election is near and he is successful in his misson in wooing public he though lets woo army in this lat minutes to win their backing too so he reversed his stand and supports spending more on defence.two head snake this guy IK is fooling people and cant do anything regarding so called changing pakistan.

    Recommend

  • talha meraj
    Apr 1, 2013 - 11:37PM

    he is right. Imran khan sahab is always right.

    Recommend

  • gopang
    Apr 1, 2013 - 11:44PM

    Well said khan, defence is as necessary as food and sheltter

    Recommend

  • Queen
    Apr 2, 2013 - 12:53AM

    @to all those who are criticizing IK

    There is a need to understand that IK has not said anything about “increasing” the defense budget. He has neither talked about withdrawing form his stance on war on terror. He has said that any cut in the defense budget will make the country vulnerable. I believe this is right because recently we have seen the movements carried out across the border, incidents at the LoC and the threats uttered by the Indian leadership.
    If the defense budget is cut at a stage where democracy has just established its roots in Pakistan, then I believe it will be a blessing for countries like India and Afghanistan.
    Just want to make it clear that i do not support any political party.

    Recommend

  • Silas
    Apr 2, 2013 - 1:04AM

    Its strange how easily PTI supporters agree with everything Imran says.
    ‘Fighting at two borders’? Seriously. i am not aware of any war we are having with India. For god’s sake come out of this mentality. We can never fight India and we shouldn’t. Forget about it. And reduce the god damn budget on the army.

    Recommend

  • Atheist
    Apr 2, 2013 - 1:31AM

    Where are the sane people of Pakistan? How many times India attacked Pakistan without provocation? Mr.Khan sounds like just another politician who is trying to appease everyone (Military, Terrorists and regular citizens). Do you guys have any visionary leaders who care about your country? Pakistan’s major problem is religious intolerance and lack of access to modern education. If you take care of these two the rest will fall in place. I used to hate Pakistan (for Partition and Terrorism) but I am starting to pity you, sad state of affairs in Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Usman
    Apr 2, 2013 - 3:34AM

    Speaks the truth like it is, he’s not on board the deluded liberal band wagon which think that India is made of fluffy bunnies, afghans are angels and american are just like a nice elder bhai jaan. To all liberal geniuses I ask, is our budget only formed of defence, health and education? If the defence budget is not coming down it does not mean education or health have to suffer.
    .
    In fact, reduce the number of VIP police, posh accommodation and perks for our corrupt politicians and our defence budget will not have to suffer.

    Recommend

  • gp65
    Apr 2, 2013 - 6:29AM

    Undoubtedly it is Pakistanis not Indians that need to prioritize what they want to spend on. If defense is what you want to spend on, that is certainly your right.

    However the 5 times increase in health expenditure and the 2.5 trillion spending on education or the necessary upfront investments needed to fix your energy sector – all part of the various PTI policies and the PTI manifesto cannot come out of thin air. Remember your fiscal deficit last year was 8.5% of GDP (almost as much as your tax revenue generated). This year too it is likely to be a similar amount and you will have to show significantreduction in fiscal deficit if you hope to get the IMF loan that everyone (including Assad Umar of PTI) recognizes is a must due to the balance of payment situation.

    Also I am unclear about the war on 2 fronts. Doesn’t Imran believe that war on western front is ‘not our war’ and once he pulls Pakistan out of WoT, he will be able to negotiate peace with TTP? What then is the 2nd from that Imran is talking about? On the eastern front, Pakistan attacked India in 1999. There has been no war since then and almost all politicians in Pakistan recognize that it was a foolish war that hurt PAkistan. In any case with both India and Pakistan being nuclear p[powered country no all out war is possible between the 2. SO unsure which war on Eastern frontis the army fighting which Imran is referring to?

    Recommend

  • Raj Kafir
    Apr 2, 2013 - 9:18AM

    I love Imran and I love India. Now India should also increase her defence budget by minimum ten percent.

    Recommend

  • Gulam Rasool "Kuldeep sharma"
    Apr 2, 2013 - 11:09AM

    Politicians will continue spit their venom against India till election. That is why they called “Politicians”. They knows how to mislead the Innocent public by hiding the actual facts and how to convert blind national emotions in to Votes.

    Gulam Rasool”Kuldeep sharma”
    New Delhi

    Recommend

  • Rangeela
    Apr 2, 2013 - 12:13PM

    Cutting defense budget will leave Pakistan vulnerable: but the ever increasing defense spending have made Pakistan even more venerable

    Recommend

  • Weird
    Apr 2, 2013 - 12:42PM

    I’ve no idea how a nuclear power is insecure!

    Recommend

  • HH
    Apr 9, 2013 - 9:22AM

    IK surely trying to win Military’s heart!

    Recommend

More in Pakistan