Pakistan to increase defense spending
Pakistan says it is to increase its defense spending by 17 percent in the coming fiscal year, as the country steps up combating militants based near the Afghan border, PRESS TV reported.
Pakistan's Finance Minister, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, announced Saturday that the country's defense spending will be raised to more than $5bn for the 2010-11 fiscal year beginning on July 1, Reuters reported.
"We are facing a situation in which our armed forces, paramilitary forces and security forces are laying down their lives. They are bearing pain for the country and the people, I salute them. They should know from this house that we all stand by them," Shaikh said, in his budget speech to parliament.
Pakistan has lifted its defense budget every year because of its historically troubled relations with its rival, India.
However, analysts believe that with the given situation, much of the increase in defense spending will be used to fight militants.
In the past three years more than 3,400 people have been killed across Pakistan in bomb explosions and attacks blamed on pro-Taliban militants.