Defence Ministry has requested another increase in funds for military budget. This is not a surprise, actually, defence budget is raised every year and it will be raised again this year, too. This year, however, the government should make a change that would have a great impact in ensuring both the national security and the economic security of the nation: Tie the defence budget to results.
Pakistan faces real and immediate security threats. According to Air Vice Marshal Arshad Qudoos, “More funds are required for acquisition and mobilisation of new weapon systems”. By tying the defence budget to results, we could be assured that those weapon systems were the ones actually needed to secure the country. Even more important, the military would have a strong incentive to focus on immediate threats instead of ideological or imagined ones.
The idea might sound surprising, but it shouldn’t. Pakistan is not China or America with trillions dollar budgets to divide among state agencies. Chairman Senate Committee on Defence Senator Mushahid Hussain called for more accountability on Monday, saying that ‘People deserve to know how the defence budget is prepared and utilised’.
Knowing how the defence budget is prepared and utilised is important, but without the final element of accountability for actual results, that knowledge is meaningless. Tying the defence budget to actual results will cause national security and economic security to improve.