September 25, 2010

The curious case of Pakistan Army

General Kayani owes an explanation to the people.
As if my rant the other day wasn't enough, the Pakistan Army has decided there is yet more misery that it can heap onto a hapless nation. With a purported increase of 25% in their allotted defence budget, the total estimated expenditure for the army now stands at Rs. 550 billion.

Just sit back for a second and consider the ramifications of this act; this Rs. 110 billion increase in the defence budget is tantamount to bankrupting the economy. Why? Well let's see. The 110 billion with which the army has attempted to fulfill its insatiable appetite for public money is roughly equal to the money that the government hopes to make with the reformed GST. So in totality, the net effect of implementing the new GST is a big fat zero. Consider also, that the common people are once again being forced to pay for the scheming theatrics of the army, without even knowing why the army is demanding so much more money!

But this is Pakistan. A country ranked the 139th most corrupt nation on earth. One of the biggest reasons for this status is the utter lack of accountability. Only last week the Public Accounts Committee demanded to know what became of the 5.5 billion PKR that was given to the ISI. 5 and a half billion is a substantial quantity of money and in a real democracy, people who paid that money would have been told what became of it. But here, as usual, the PAC was told to mind its own business.

While demanding money from the US and other Western states, it would've been prudent if the government had tried to set its own house in order first. The addiction of gaining capital at the expense of the future of an entire country should be declared high treason. The 110 billion spared for the army should have been used for the rehabilitation of the flood affectees. Why wasn't it allocated for them? What is so important that the army decided to take not 10, not 20, but 110 billion rupees from the national kitty?

No wonder the Pakistan Army's name is sullied in the world media and no wonder it has indeed become an entire independent state. Considering the consortium of corporate entities that is maintained by the army, it could've raised the required expense amount from its own coffers in a jiffy. But in the defensive state of Pakistan, where ideological borders need protection, no one dares question the army's dubious charades; not even the people mandated to solely check out the irregularities in the public institutions.