According to Times of India, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced a more than 10 per cent increase in the country’s defence budget for upcoming fiscal year. India’s defence budget was increased to 2.74 trillion Indian rupees (INR) ─ excluding pensions ─ compared to previous fiscal year’s (2016-17) budget of INR 2.49tr. The allocation is about 12.78pc of total government expenditure, which is INR 21.47tr. This is the second consecutive increase of over 10pc in the defence budget. India’s ever growing defense spending is a clear sign that the war crazed nation wants to build up its Army and has aggressive designs in the region. Pakistan and India both spend heavily on their military; as far as the case of Pakistan goes its hands are forced in this regard as the country has to ensure that the military spending is enough to keep India at bay. Over the recent years Indian defense budget has seen an exponential rise and the country has stuck various multi-billion deals to upgrade its Armed forces. Despite India’s hegemonic designs Pakistan has done well to counter the threat posed by India. A large chunk of India’s defense spending is also used to quash the independence movement in Kashmir, since the killing of freedom fighter Burhan Wani in July last year by Indian forces, the atrocities in Kashmir have increased. A new resistance movement started in the valley after the killing of Burhan Wani and subsequently the Indian Army launched an aggressive assault to quash the resistance, since July last year more than hundred innocent Kashmiris have been slaughtered by Indian forces with many more being picked up by the Indian Armed forces. The use of pellet guns on innocent civilians also saw worldwide condemnation but the brutalities in Occupied Kashmir continue. Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz recently said that India’s attitude ‘that it will not have a dialogue with Pakistan’ is unreasonable, and that ‘Pakistan will not compromise itself to establish peace with India’ and added that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to establish himself as a ‘hegemonic power’ in the region and his entire election campaign was built around an ‘anti-Pakistan sentiment’. The latest announcement of increase in defense budget by India once against confirms the country’s aggressive designs in the region. Having said that, Pakistan’s Armed forces are fully capable of thwarting any Indian aggression with full force, this is a fact that has been reiterated many times by the Pakistani Armed forces.
India’s hegemonic designs in the region are no secret.