ISLAMABAD: In South Asia, Pakistan leads the military spending as it spends average 22 % of its central budget on military. In other words Pakistan is spending 11 dollars against 8 of India from total of each 50 dollars from their central budgets. India is the second highest spender in the region.
The comparison of the 8 South Asian countries is carried out by the data of military and education spending percentage by annual budget. The budget of military consisted only from 2005 to 2013 whereas an updated budget data between (2005 to 20014) of the education was used through the World Bank data. Besides comparing the data of military and education, data analysis of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (sipri.org) a non-profit organization working to promote peace in the world, was also carried out.
The data analysis further reveals that Sri Lanka is the third leading military spender where nearly 8 out of each 50 dollars go to military. Nepal spends 5 dollars and war torn Afghanistan spends only 2 of its each 50 dollars from annual central budget to military. Bangladesh spends hardly any dollar on its military. There is no available data of Bhutan and Maldives about their military spending.
On the other hand the countries spending more on military are spending less in the education sector. The nine years between (2005 to 2014) data of the South Asian countries reveal that Pakistan and India spend among the lowest on education. Sri Lanka spends the least on education.
However, Nepal, which is third lowest in its military spending’s, leads in spending on education across the region. Nepal spends twice as much on education as on military. It spends 21.89 % of its annual budget on education.
Although India is second lowest spender on education in the region,it’s the biggest arm purchaser amongst the 8 countries of the region. India has spent 31876 billion US dollars in last fifteen years followed by Pakistan which spent 10589 billion US dollars reveals the data analysis of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
On the other hand if one compares the data of year 2013 where annual percentage of the budget allocated to education is 21.40 and allocation on military is 19.47 which apparently give a picture as defense is less allocated then education with 1.93 average percentages. It is pertinent to note that the budget on military does not include the pensions of retired military men and military business ventures.
War torn Afghanistan, which remained the epicenter of US led, “war on terror”, after 9/11 has been ranked number three on arms spending by spending nearly 3,000 billion dollars on purchasing arms among the regional countries over the last X years.It is yet not clear whether these arms were purchased independently through Afghan government or US and its allied forces paid the amount.
Bhutan is the lowest arms purchaser in the region which spent 1 billion US dollars on arms purchase in last ten years. The entire sum was used only in year 2015.