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Pakistan, mired in economic problems, will freeze defense budget, prime minister says

Pakistan, mired in economic problems, will freeze defense budget, prime minister says

Pakistan will freeze its defense budget for the year, the prime minister said, a move that comes as the country faces severe economic problems.
Pakistan, which has received billions from the U.S. to fight terrorism, has a defense budget of about 275 billion rupees. Last year, that amounted to about US$4.5 billion. But the weakening rupee means it now is worth US$4.1 billion.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani noted to lawmakers Monday that the freeze was essentially a cut. He called it "a measure of our tangible display to seek peace with our neighbors."
Indirectly referring to rival India, he said, "We hope to see a reciprocal gesture from our neighbor for the sake of peace and prosperity of the region."
After years of sizzling economic growth, Pakistan is now challenged by large trade and budget deficits, chronic power shortages and double-digit inflation.


Updated : 2021-06-13 14:02 GMT+08:00