Pakistan to freeze defence allocation in budget

June 9th, 2008 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, June 9 (Xinhua) The Pakistani government Monday decided to freeze the allocation for defence in the next budget in an apparent bid to show its sincerity in maintaining cordial relations with the neighbours. Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, while addressing the National assembly, said the government has decided to reduce the defence budget after considering it in the context of inflation and rupee-to-US dollar-parity.

Gillani said he is expecting a reciprocal gesture from Pakistan’s neighbour (India) for the sake of peace and prosperity in the region.

He said the defence ministry and the chief of army staff have fully endorsed to the revised format of the defence services budget, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

He said Pakistan is located in a volatile region and, therefore, it cannot remain oblivious to its defence needs.

“We shall continue to strive for it without compromising on our national interests,” Gillani said, adding that as a matter of policy, Pakistan’s defence was based on the strategy of minimum essential credible deterrence and that “we shall not enter into any arms race”.

At present, the budget of the three services, the ordnance factories and others is presented in a single allocation, he said.

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