13:26 GMT +314 October 2019
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    A Pakistan army soldier stands guard at hilltop post at a forward area on the Line of Control (LOC), that divides Kashmir between Pakistan and India. (File)

    Pakistan's Military Says Budget Cut Won't Affect its 'Capacity to Respond'

    © AP Photo / Anjum Naveed)
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    Irrespective of the voluntary cut in defence budget for the coming financial year, there shall be no impact on Pakistan's ability to respond to all types of threats or the quality of life of the soldiers, Pakistan's Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): Dismissing the impact of military budget cut on its capability, Pakistan has reminded India that it is the same force which launched the air strike on 27 February.

    "Don't forget, we were the same forces with same budget on 27 February 2019. We have the capability and capacity to respond," Major Gen. Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson of the Pakistan military tweeted.

    On 27 February, the Pakistan Air Force reportedly launched air strikes on the Indian side of the Jammu and Kashmir border, and claimed to have brought down an Indian fighter jet. It had also dropped the H-4 Stand-Off Weapon (SOW), a precision-guided glide bomb, in response to the 26 February ‘non-military' airstrike, as claimed by the Indian Air Force, in Pakistan's Balakot region to destroy alleged terror infrastructure of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist group.

    READ MORE: Two Indian Army Commanders Escaped Pakistan's Kashmir Air Strike 

    "Remember, it's not budgeting, it's resolve of force and the nation firmly standing behind its forces," Ghafoor said while noting a recent bombing near the border. Pakistan Army Chief General Bajwa, while mentioning a voluntary decision to forego even a routine increase in the annual defence budget, said, "This initiative is not a favour to the nation as we are one, through thick and thin".

    On Tuesday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed that the military had agreed to cut its defence expenditure for the next fiscal year despite "multiple security challenges" in a bid to support the financial health of the country.

    READ MORE: Pak’s Strikes Aimed to Show it Didn’t ‘Chicken Out of India Conflict’ – Report

    Pakistan was the world's 20th biggest military spender in 2018 with an expenditure of $11.4 billion, a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in April. Arch rival India spends around $66.5 billion on its military and the new government under Narendra Modi has taken several steps to modernise the armed forces including purchasing weapons and getting a missile defence system.

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    Tags:
    defence capabilities, fighter jet, budget cuts, airstrikes, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistani Army, Asif Ghafoor, Balakot, India, Islamabad, Pakistan
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