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DEFENSE

DEFENSE Pakistan’s military, estimated to number 587,000, is the fifth largest force in the developing world, after China, India, North Korea, and South Korea Some four-fifths of military personnel are enlisted in the army, while the remaining 20 percent are in the navy and the air force The country spends 65 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) on defense, which is equivalent to US$28 per capita Defense expenditure broadly equals 125 percent of the combined expenditure on education and health Successive governments have justified such a large outlay on defense because of the tensions with India Pakistan and India have fought three wars since they gained independence in 1947 While maintaining a large military force, Pakistan has not developed an indigenous defense industry Consequently, a significant amount of expenditure is incurred procuring equipment from abroad In 2004, the country spent US$350 million on military imports, equivalent to 3 percent of total export earnings



The United States was the major supplier for more than 40 years Pakistan has had a close association with the United States on defense matters since the two countries entered into a number of agreements, including the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) and Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) Under these agreements Pakistan has received a substantial amount of military assistance from the United States The United States also assisted Pakistan after the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1979 However, this close relationship was interrupted by the sanctions imposed by Washington on Islamabad as a result of the Pressler amendment when the government refused to accept the demand by the United States to stop the development of nuclear weapons A new set of sanctions was imposed following the testing of nuclear devices by Pakistan in May 1998 Pakistan’s military contacts with the United States were renewed after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 In 2003, Washington announced a US$3 billion aid package for Pakistan, one-half of which was for military aid In early 2005, Washington agreed to sell F-16 fighter aircraft to Islamabad as a part of its program to reequip the Pakistani military with modern weaponsThe defense establishment has played an important role in shaping Pakistan’s political development Generals Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, and Zia ul-Haq kept the country under martial law for 25 years

Even when the generals were not directly in control, they were able to influence decision-making in important matters by participating in such informal arrangements as the “troika” See also INDOPAKISTAN WARS OF 1948-1949, 1965, 1971

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