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Pakistan Army gets 8-9 pc of total budget: Gen Kayani

JACOBABAD: Chief of the Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Monday said the media was creating the misperception that the country’s defence budget swallowed up a large portion of the budget.

The army chief was responding to questions at a press talk here during his visit to the upgraded Shahbaz Air Base. 

He said defence allocations were just 18 percent of the total budget for the ongoing financial year while the Pakistan Army was receiving 8-9 percent of the budget, which also included spending on the war on terror. “The defence budget is decreasing, not increasing, in view of the upward trend in the price of the dollar and inflation,” he said. Gen Kayani also said it was for parliament to decide Pakistan’s future relations with Nato and the United States. “There is a parliamentary process going on and it is for parliament to decide about the restoration of Nato supplies and relations with the United States,” the army chief added. 

General Kayani and Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman also took rides on F-16 Block 52 aircraft separately to mark the completion of the procurement 18 fighter planes of the latest version. The air chief himself operated his plane during the 40-minute flight. The last of the 18 aircraft arrived at Shahbaz Air Base a few days ago.

General Kayani told the media that the induction of the latest version of F-16 aircraft would strengthen the defence of the country. “These are the most sophisticated aircraft and will certainly strengthen the country’s defence,” he said.

Observing that the newly inducted aircraft were a huge asset for the country, Gen Kayani however, said the army would try not to use them in the tribal areas in anti-terrorists operations, adding that minimum force was being used in the war on terror inside the country.

The army chief did not respond to the question of whether the United States had taken Pakistan’s army leadership into confidence about talks with the Taliban. Responding to a question about the Coalition Support Fund, said around $1.5 billion was yet to be received.

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