Pakistan among top 10 countries with highest ‘military burden’

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LONDON: Pakistan was 2018’s 20th biggest military spender in the world with an expenditure of $11.4 billion, a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said.

The military spending of 2018 made up for four per cent of Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) which is the highest level since 2004, according to the report by the Sweden-based institute. The Sipri report ranked Pakistan among the top 10 countries with the highest “military burden” — described as a “state’s military expenditure as a share of GDP”.

Since 2009, Pakistan’s military spending has increased every year, the report stated, adding that between 2009 and 2018 the spending increased by 73pc. In 2017-18, the increase in military expenditure was 11pc, it said.

The top military spender in the world is the United States, which spent $649bn on its forces last year. The US military spending, however, has decreased by 17pc over the past decade, the report said.

It is followed by China (around $250bn), Saudi Arabia (around $67.6bn), India ($66.5bn) and France ($63.8bn). These five countries accounted for 60pc of the global military spending. According to the report, India’s military spending, which rose by 3.1pc between 2017-18, was “largely motivated by tensions and rivalry with Pakistan and China”.

Despite the increase from last year, India’s military burden was the lowest since the 1960s and made up for 2.4pc of its GDP.