On July 10, Arun Jaitley, who is both the Defense Minister and the Finance Minister in the new BJP government, presented the budget to the Indian parliament. The worrying issue about BJP's maiden budget is that it has boosted defense budget to 12 percent that makes $38.35 billion (2.29 trillion Indian rupees). This huge sum makes 50 Billion rupees more than what the previous government presented in an interim budget earlier. Most importantly, Modi government has further opened the domestic weapons industry to foreign investment in order to modernize and re-build gigantic military. The foreign direct investment in defense sector has been increased from 29% to 49% that will have positive impact on indigenous defense industry.
This major hike in defense sector will enable Indian military to pursue its long-ambitious procurement deals of Rafale fighter-bombers, submarines, ultra-light howitzer, Javelin anti-tank guided missile and night vision equipment. Besides that New Delhi has been tremendously increasing fissile material (Plutonium and Uranium) stockpiles that will empower India to build more nuclear devices in near future. It has also been aspiring to get sophisticated space technology from both United States and Israel to develop Ballistic Missile Defense Shield that will enable India to intercept missile before it hits the target ( though, it is highly costly with maximum uncertainty).
India has been world's top arms buyer for the last three years according to a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The unbridled spending in military sector has reached to the peaks during last three years. Unfortunately, this blind drive for the arms accumulation and military modernization unleashes an unending arms race in South Asia which resulted in deterioration of prevalent strategic stability between India and Pakistan.
Western governmental and private arms manufacturing companies are rushing towards India with the hope of landing multi-billion dollars and New Delhi is aiming to leverage some of that buying power to get transfer of technology and end the overwhelming reliance on imports. For westerns, India has emerged as new lucrative market for arms export. This situation will certainly lead to the emergence of neo-military Industrial complex in India which will surely affect existing state of affairs between India and Pakistan.
Such developments in Indian military have paved a way towards doctrinal shift from defensive-defense to the offensive-defense.
Ironically, Indian policy makers have been trying to convince global powers that such military modernization is directed to check Chinese influence in South East Asia as well as in Indian Ocean. Even Washington sees India as a balancer in South Asian fragile environment. But critical analysis of the given rationale shows that India never desires to pose a military challenge to gigantic China rather, 70% of its military have been deployed on western sides and certainly during era of crisis the accumulated arms will be used against Pakistan.
The repercussions of Indian military developments on Pakistan are crystal clear. Pakistan has to rely on its own military muscle to prevent India's threat of use of force or actual use of force. Having weak economy, Pakistan cannot compete with India in arms race. Pakistan has allotted only Rs 700billionfor defense purposes which is far lesser in comparison with Indian defense budget which is 2.29 trillion Indian rupees. With such a grave asymmetry, Pakistan can never be indulged into any arms race with India.
Although, Pakistan is facing number of issues at national, regional and international level that ranges from military operations in tribal areas to hostile border skirmishes on eastern and western borders. Pakistani troops have been fighting against insurgents since a decade. The price each and every Pakistani soldiers pay in the struggle against insurgents is real and high that should be recognized internationally.
Under these grave circumstances, however, Pakistan being nuclear power has successfully maintains balance of power. Regional adversaries with accelerative military strength and offensive military doctrines always pose serious threats for the survivability of Pakistan. By looking at the changing international and regional security environment it is essential for Pakistan to secure its territorial integrity, sovereignty both internally and externally. Nuclear weapons in this regard, play a vital role.
The post Indian Military Modernization And Consequences For Pakistan – OpEd appeared first on Eurasia Review.