A high level defence delegation led by Lt. Gen (Retd) Muhammad Alam Khattak has headed to Washington to attend the 24th Meeting of Pakistan-US Defence Consultative Group. The Pakistani delegation has a clear brief: Ask for more money.
Pakistan side will stress for a way forward on issues related to Coalition Support Fund, its reimbursement continuation and enhancement. It remains high on agenda that Pakistan requires security equipment for capacity building and counter-terrorism operations.
Pakistan is in the front line on the war against terrorists. We have sacrificed more than any other nation and operation Zarb-e-Azb has also done more to break the backbone of terrorists than any other operation. None of this is denied. Still there need to be some questions asked about where all the billions are going. In the case of the military budget, the question does not always have a pleasing answer.
Auditor General of Pakistan has found over Rs5 BILLION in funds embezzled from defense budget in one year alone. Earlier this year Defence Ministry admitted that 81 officials were found guilty of embezzeling Rs1.53 billion from accounts of the Military Engineering Services (MES). Almost none of these funds could be recovered.
These are only two incidents that have been reported. Other reports suggest the problem may be much larger such as how former Chief of Army Staff and military dictator Gen Mushasrraf became a billionaire? Who knows how much has been stolen from defence funds?
Being the richest country in the world, America may not think much about billions going missing, but without proper accounting and accountability for these funds they could be funding the corruption that is destroying the nation’s economy.