India to overtake Britain in Military Spending, Pak not even in the Race #Hindustan360

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The Indian government, flush with cash from its expanding economy, has embarked on an arms spending spree that will soon see it overtake Britain’s military spending. Its tussle with arch rival Pakistan is being won with budgets, not on the battlefield. View more at #Hindustan360.

The perpetually chilly relationship between the two nuclear-armed neighbours went into deep freeze in September when three Pakistan-based militants crossed the Line of Control in Kashmir and killed 17 Indian soldiers at an army base.

India launched a retaliatory strike on a terrorist camp on Pakistan’s side, artillery fire has been exchanged across the border, India pulled out of a regional conference in Islamabad —, causing its cancellation and embarrassment to the hosts — and last week India expelled a Pakistani diplomat, accusing him of spying, triggering a flurry of expulsions and withdrawals from both sides. And while the blizzard has set in, India is confidently striding ahead of Pakistan in military capability by the sheer weight of economic power — as Ronald Reagan did to the USSR, India is bleeding Pakistan dry.

Since 2000, India’s economy has grown at an average rate of almost 7 per cent a year and its military budget has grown accordingly. Pakistan’s economy has grown at a much slower rate and its military has been involved in costly conflicts on the Indian border and Kashmir, on the Afghan border and with homegrown terrorists.

In 2015, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India overtook France in military spending and is fast approaching Britain, which is behind the US, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia. India, the report said, spent $67 Billion compared to Pakistan’s $12.3bn — but India’s spending is 2.3 per cent of gross domestic product, compared with Pakistan’s spending more than 3 per cent.

The Defence Ministry is also in the market for hundreds of thousands of helmets and tens of thousands of bulletproof vests. Last month it put out calls to global arms suppliers to buy 200 fighter jets, which could increase to 300, in a deal worth almost $20bn and one that could kickstart a local aircraft manufacturing industry.

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  • India also leased a second nuclear submarine from Russia and its home-built nuclear submarine.
  • This increase in military spending has been welcomed by the US and Australia.
  • India’s muscular build-up as a bulwark not only against Pakistan but also China.
  • The Defence Ministry is also in the market for hundreds of thousands of helmets and tens of thousands of bulletproof vests.
  • India’s spending is 2.3 percent of gross domestic product, compared with Pakistan’s spending more than 3 percent.
  • Last month it put out calls to global arms suppliers to buy 200 fighter jets, which could increase to 300 a $20 Billion deal.

India’s military build-up was worrying to Pakistan because it simply did not t have the resources to compete in an arms race, “because of its poor management of the economy and its many other problems”. – Mr Bhonsle.

View more at #Hindustan360.