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Dar, army chief agree to increase defence budget: sources

Dar, army chief agree to increase defence budget: sources

ishaq-darISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff General Rahil Sharif on Saturday called on Finance Minster Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar to discuss defence allocations in the country’s budget for the next financial year.

According to an official press release the finance minister acknowledged the need to ensure fulfillment of the requirements of the defence in light of current security situation.

He assured the army chief that the defence is of paramount importance to the country and hence necessary resources will be allocated.

Sources of a private TV channel Ishaq Dar said defence was amongst the government’s topmost priorities, adding that all necessary resources would be provided to the forces in order to strengthen security.

The minister’s statements came as he met with General Raheel Sharif during which the two discussed the defence budget for the coming fiscal year.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif agreed to increase the defence budget from 15 to 20 per cent for the coming fiscal year.

With a 15 to 20 per cent increase, the final figure for the country’s defence budget is likely to exceed Rs700bn — a significant boost to the existing Rs627bn for the current fiscal year.

Pakistan’s 600,000-strong army faces internal security challenges and though the civilian government is still hoping to contain violence through dialogue with the Taliban militants, it doesn’t reject a military offensive in country’s tribal belt.

General Raheel Sahrif who took over command last year has said on many occasions that the armed forces were fully capable of meeting all the challenges facing the country.

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