Pakistan risks global isolation in purchasing high-tech defence items: Report

"Pakistan's access to high-end technology could be constrained by India's purchasing power and growing geopolitical influence," said the report.

By: PTI | Washington | Updated: October 28, 2016 2:10 pm
indo pak relations, india pakistan, pakistan global isolation, pakistan nuclear weapon, pakistan terrorism, us pakistan, world news, indian express, Report entitled ‘Military Budgets in India and Pakistan: Trajectories, Priorities, and Risks’ discusses Pakistan risks of global isolation. (File Photo)

As India’s purchasing power and geopolitical influence increases, Pakistan risks increasing global isolation when it comes to purchase of high-tech
defence items, an American think-tank has said. “Over the long term, Pakistan may be unable to access the most advanced weapons systems in the global marketplace. Instead, it may have little choice but to continue to rely on Chinese and possibly Russian military systems, which may or
may not be the most appropriate for Pakistan’s defence needs,” the Stimson Center said in a report.

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“Pakistan’s access to high-end technology could be constrained by India’s purchasing power and growing geopolitical influence,” said the report entitled ‘Military Budgets in India and Pakistan: Trajectories, Priorities, and Risks’. American military aid accounted for 21 per cent of Pakistan’s defence spending between 2002-2015, allowing the country to maintain high levels of military spending while easing the burden on its federal budget and overall economy.

“The US has begun to gradually downgrade its assistance to Pakistan in the near to medium term,” it said, adding that the support in Washington for the bilateral relationship has declined as Pakistan seems unable or unwilling to address concerns about violent extremist groups that direct their
focus to Afghanistan and India.

India is a larger and more attractive market for global defense companies, and will continue to be for the foreseeable uture, the report said, adding that the country has become the world’s largest arms importer. India accounted for 14 percent of global arms imports from 2011-2015, a 90 per cent increase over the previous five years.

“Countries and companies who otherwise would be interested in having a defence relationship with Pakistan may be reluctant to do so out of concerns about falling out of favor in New Delhi,” the report said. “In the long run, Pakistan will have to make tough choices about purchasing big-ticket weapons systems unless it can do so at concessionary rates,” it said. The “almost-certain decline” in military and financial support from the United States will force Pakistan to carry a greater share of its defence spending, it said. According to the report, Pakistan cannot compete with India when it comes to military expenditure, which is why it might step up spending in nuclear weaopns.

However, it warned that investments in nuclear weapons at the expense of conventional capabilities would weaken Pakistan’s ability to deal with counter terrorism challenges inside the country.

Pakistan, it said, cannot match India conventionally in the long term, and any attempt to do so will exhaust its economy, it said. “Responding to adverse defense spending trends with increased reliance on nuclear weapons, especially short-range weapons, may be a cost effective approach, but it is likely to diminish Pakistan’s national security.” The report said Pakistan’s defense budget is higher than official estimates. “Although Pakistan has increased the transparency of its defense spending in recent years, the country’s budget documents raise more questions than answers.”

India spends at least four percent of its defense budget on nuclear weapons, while nuclear weapons account for at least 10 percent of Pakistan’s military spending. In 2016, Pakistan will spend at least USD 747 million on nuclear weapons, and India will spend USD 1.9 billion. Pakistan, it said, cannot match India conventionally in the long term, and any attempt to do so will exhaust its economy.

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  1. Arvind Baba
    Oct 28, 2016 at 5:44 am
    stan is far from isolated. It enjoys a very close strategic relationship with its largest neighbour China, the emerging superpower. Relations with Iran are complex, but not hostile, and can become cooperative. Relations with regional neighbours Saudi Arabia, the GCC and Turkey remain friendly, with considerable potential for collaboration. stan enjoys influence within the wider international community due to its size, strategic location, military strength and economic potential.
    1. Ankush Dey
      Oct 28, 2016 at 6:02 am
      India must continue the narrative so stan doesn't become the 'blue-e' favourite ... unless it is willing to shut down its terrorist policies and infrastructure ... and willing to de-hyphenate islam-conquer-over-India mindset ....
      1. Rabia Javed
        Oct 28, 2016 at 11:12 am
        First of all, stan did not come this far by begging the gate-keepers of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, but by its own indigenous efforts to achieve nuclear capability. stan should think about nuclear sufficiency, nuclear sustainability and strengthening its deterrence credibility.
        1. khan khan
          Oct 28, 2016 at 6:06 am
          Slumdogs will always be slumdogs. No matter how much licking doing to each other.
          1. P
            Oct 28, 2016 at 4:16 am
            Papistan relies on alms in form of aid handed out by its masters for its defence needs. And as its masters have realized the duplicity of papistanis, they have stopped giving them alms. The chinese are not stupid like the americans to give papistanis alms.
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