Cuts in defence budget 'not a favour', won’t impact Pakistan's threat response: Army chief

05:25 PM | 5 Jun, 2019
Cuts in defence budget 'not a favour', won’t impact Pakistan's threat response: Army chief
RAWALPINDI – Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, while spending Eid with troops along Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday, stated that the voluntary cuts in the defence budget were not a 'favour' to the nation.

While talking to troops, the army chief said that best Eid for a soldier is to have pride for being on duty of defending the motherland even on such festive days away from family. “Remember, for us, the defenders of Pakistan, our first family is the Pakistani nation, then the ones back home”, COAS said.

Talking about the military’s voluntary decision to forego even the routine increase in annual defence budget, the COAS said, “we are one, through thick and thin”.

In an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release shared by Director General of ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on Twitter, the COAS also clarified that: "Irrespective of the voluntary cut in defence budget [for the] coming financial year (FY), there shall be no impact on our response potential to all types of threat and quality of life of the soldiers."

Gen Bajwa also assured his troops that the 'no pay raise' decision applied only for officers and not for soldiers.

"We shall manage the shortfall [...] by tightening our belt in areas where it doesn't affect the two aforesaid aspects," he said.

Last night, Prime Minister Imran Khan had revealed on Twitter that the military had agreed to slash the defence budget for the next fiscal year in line with broader austerity measures being introduced by the government.

The premier noted that these cuts were agreed to despite "multiple security challenges".

Khan promised that the money saved would be diverted to aid the development of the merged tribal areas and Balochistan.

The military's media wing had stated in a later tweet that the cuts "will not be at the cost of of defense and security", and that it was important for the military to participate in the rebuilding of Balochistan and the erstwhile tribal areas.

The military’s spokesman had further stated that the slashes would be managed "internally" by all three branches of the armed forces taking into account strategic compulsions.

On June 11, Finance Adviser to PM Hafeez Shaikh is due to announce spending plans for the financial year beginning in July.

Under Pakistan's devolved system, the federal government must hand over more than half its budget to the provinces, and the remainder is mostly eaten up by debt servicing and the military's vast budget.

In his latest tweet, the ISPR chief also criticised the Indian media for "spinning" the news of Pakistani defence budget cuts.

Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor said that "Indian fake media [is] busy spinning on our internal def budgeting choice," reminding the neighbouring nation of its defeat in an aerial combat over the disputed Kashmir region earlier this year.

"Don’t forget, we were the same forces with same budget on 27 Feb 19. We [have] the capability & capacity to respond. Remember, it’s not budgeting, it’s resolve of force & the nation firmly standing behind its forces," he added.

On Feb 27th, Pakistan Air Force had shot down two Indian fighter jets over the disputed border region of Kashmir, in a significant escalation of the crisis between the two nuclear-armed powers.

Pakistan also captured an Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, and to India’s fury, published a video of him. He was later handed over to Indian authorities.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk


Pakistani rupee exchange rate to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 4 March 2024

Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar in the open market on March 4, 2024 (Monday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.3 for buying and 282.45 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 302.5 for buying and 305.5 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 354 for buying, and 359 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.3 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.5.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 4 March 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.3 282.45
Euro EUR 302.5 305.5
UK Pound Sterling GBP 354 359
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.3 77
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.5 75.3
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 737.97 745.97
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209.2
China Yuan CNY 38.82 39.22
Danish Krone DKK 40.23 40.63
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.7 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.1 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 901.62 910.62
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.49 59.09
New Zealand Dollar NZD 168.97 170.97
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.54 26.84
Omani Riyal OMR 725.68 733.68
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.74 77.44
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 27.13 27.43
Swiss Franc CHF 314.07 316.57
Thai Bhat THB 7.74 7.89


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