Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa (file photo)
Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa (file photo)

Cut in annual defence budget won't impact our response to any threat, says Pak Army Chief

ANI | Updated: Jun 05, 2019 21:00 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Jun 5 (ANI): Pakistan Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, on Wednesday said that the voluntary decision to cut the annual increase in defence spending will not impact Pakistan's response to any potential threat.
The News International quoted Bajwa as saying, "This initiative is not a favour to the nation as we are one, through thick and thin."
"Irrespective of the voluntary cut in defence budget 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. The no pay raise decision is also only for the officers and not for the soldiers. We shall manage the shortfall during the FY by tightening our belt in areas where it doesn't affect the two aforesaid aspects," the chief of Pakistan's army staff (COAS) added.
The Pakistani Army, on Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for the betterment of the national economy, decided to not to receive an increased share under defence budget.
Prime Minister Imran Khan further lauded the decision of the Army which was made after viewing the critical financial situation of Pakistan's cash-strapped economy.
"I appreciate Pak Mil's unprecedented voluntary initiative of stringent cuts in their defence expenditures for next FY because of our critical financial situation, despite multiple security challenges. My government will spend this money saved on development of merged tribal areas and Balochistan," he tweeted.
While talking to troops, Bajwa, who spent Eid with troops along Line of Control (LOC) and offered prayer with soldiers on the front line, further noted that the 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.
The News International also reported that the armed forces have decided to forego some of its development programmes, besides cuts in other allowances.
Khan, who earlier in the day chaired a meeting to review the preparations for the national budget 2019-20, said the government would divert "the money saved on development of merged tribal areas and Balochistan.
Soon after the Prime Minister's words, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted: "Voluntary cut in defence budget for a year will not be at the cost of defence and security. We shall maintain effective response potential to all threats. Three services will manage impact of the cut through appropriate internal measures. It was imp to participate in dev of tribal areas and Balochistan." (ANI)