Pakistan increases defence budget by 11%

  • AFP, Islamabad
  • Updated: Jun 05, 2015 21:49 IST

Pakistan announced an 11% increase in its military budget for the financial year 2015-16on Friday as it continues to fight an insurgency in its embattled northwest.

Finance minister Ishaq Dar told parliament, "Keeping in view the security situation and security forces' needs, we have increased the defence budget from Rs 700 billion rupees to 780 billion rupees, which is an increase of 11%."

Pakistan has been fighting a homegrown Islamist insurgency for over a decade, with heavy deployments of troops in the border area near Afghanistan. The insurgency has killed more than 50,000 people and thousands of others have been made homeless because of ongoing military operations.

The finance minister also announced Rs 100 bn ($1 bn) to be allocated for the rehabilitation of thousands of families who have been forced from their homes by the insurgency. The country's powerful army has been getting a major portion of the budget for years to counter rival India, with whom it has fought three wars.

The government, however, also announced a 29% increase in the public sector development budget to Rs 700 bn for the financial year of 2015-16, compared with Rs 542 bn the year before.

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