[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Amid a severe financial crisis in Pakistan, its military, in what media reports dubbed “an unprecedented move”, has voluntarily decided to cut the defence budget before Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government presents its budget for the fiscal year through June 2020 next Tuesday (June 11).
The move comes amid an austerity drive launched by the government to solve the cash-strapped nation’s economic woes, with the country bracing for a raft of belt-tightening measures to address an out-of-control deficit.
Economists warn the government may have to come up with a combined 700 billion rupees ($5 billion) worth of expenditure cuts and new taxes to satisfy the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is negotiating to loan the country $6 billion over the next three years, said a Reuters report. Pakistan is expected to put in place measures to rein in a ballooning fiscal and current account deficits to get access to the funds.
Without mentioning how much budget cut would be undertaken, Major General Asif Ghafoor, Director General (DG) Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) – the media wing of the military – in his Twitter message yesterday (Tuesday, June 4) said that voluntary cuts in the defence budget for next fiscal year would not be at the cost of defence and security.
“Voluntary cut in defence budget for a year will not be at the cost of defence & security. We shall maintain effective response potential to all threats. Three services will manage impact of the cut through appropriate internal measures. It was important to participate in development of tribal areas & Balochistan,” Ghafoor said.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan said he was very appreciative of the Pakistan military’s “unprecedented voluntary initiative of stringent cuts in their defence expenditures” in light of the country’s financial situation.
Khan said he was grateful for the move that came “despite multiple security challenges” that Pakistan faces. He said that the funds saved will be used for the development of the newly-merged tribal areas as well as in Balochistan.
Imran Khan, after assuming office last year, launched several austerity measures. He moved into a modest three-bed room house of his military secretary along with two servants. Last month, the government announced that all civil and military institutions would contribute to the austerity-oriented federal budget for 2019-20.
“There will be austerity in the coming budget. We will try to keep government expenditures to the minimum possible level,” Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance and Economic Affairs Hafeez Shaikh had said.
In 2018, Pakistan was the 20th biggest military spender in the world with an expenditure of USD 11.4 billion, a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said in April.
The military spending of 2018 made up for four per cent of Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) which is the highest level since 2004, according to the report by the Sweden-based institute.
The top military spender in the world is the United States, which spent USD 649 billion on its forces last year. The US military spending, however, has decreased by 17 per cent over the past decade, the report said.
National Daughters Day 2023: History, significance, theme and wishes
The purpose of National Daughter’s Day is to serve as a reminder that girls should be given equal chances, including access to education, practical life skills, and sports participation, among others.
In India, Daughter’s Day is observed on the final Sunday in September, which falls on September 24, 2023. India is the only big nation with a higher mortality rate for females than boys, according to UNICEF.
At birth, there are 900 females for every 1000 boys in the nation. In the world, boys are 7% more likely than girls to die before the age of five. In India, though, the figures are dismal, with 11% more girls dying before turning five.
Given these troubling numbers, it is crucial to invest in the wellbeing of girls in order to empower them. The purpose of National Daughter’s Day is to serve as a reminder that girls should be given equal chances, including access to education, practical life skills, and sports participation, among others.
The first National Daughters Day was observed in India in 2007, which is where the holiday’s origins can be found. Daughters have frequently been overlooked in a society where males have long been regarded with awe. The noble goal of this day is to inspire parents to show their admiration for their daughters.
In certain cultures, having daughters has been seen as more of a burden than a blessing. With the goal of reversing this perception, National Daughter’s Day exhorts parents to acknowledge the extraordinary gift that their daughters are.
The significance of National Daughters Day can be found in our ever-changing society. It’s a day set aside to gleefully acknowledge the daughters in our lives. Falling on a Sunday presents a chance for parents and daughters to spend quality time together, cherish one another, and have intimate life-related dialogues. It’s a day for giving, caring, and fostering the cherished relationship between mothers and daughters.
- Daughters are special and highly valued, which demonstrates that they were sent from heaven above
- Daughters are special; once we have them, we can never live without them. Happy Daughters’ Day!
- Daughters are the pride of their parents’ hearts; from birth, they are beautiful
- My darling daughter, my baby you will always be, no matter where you are. You are a little part of me, whether near or far. Happy Daughters’ Day!
- Daughters will soon be married and grown, then they may start a family of their own
Canadian PM Trudeau wants to work constructively with India, says Canada shared credible allegations with New Delhi weeks ago
India has repeatedly denied claims of receiving any intel regarding the allegations from Canada before Justin Trudeau’s announcement on Monday revealing them.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday asserted that Canada shared credible allegations that the Indian government may have been involved in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar weeks ago, according to reports.
The Canadian Prime MInister added that his country wants to work constructively with India and hope that New Delhi engages with them so that they can get to the bottom of this very serious matter. Meanwhile, India has repeatedly denied claims of receiving any intel regarding the allegations from Canada before Justin Trudeau’s announcement on Monday revealing them.
On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that there was a potential link between an Indian government agent and the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force, who was gunned down in Surrey in June. Justin Trudeau made the allegations in the Canadian Parliament.
India has debunked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement deeming the allegations of the Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada as both absurd and motivated. Issuing a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated that they have seen and rejected the statement made by the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament. It added that they also rejected the statement made by their Foreign Minister.
After the allegations by PM Trudeau, the Canadian government expelled a top Indian diplomat. In a tit for tat move, New Delhi also expelled a Canadian diplomat. The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also claimed that the Indian High Commission and consulates are facing security threats in Canada and therefore cannot process visa applications temporarily.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar was among India’s most-wanted terrorists, carrying a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head. He was fatally gunned down by two unidentified assailants outside a gurdwara in Surrey, a province of British Columbia in Canada, on June 18, according to reports.
India-Canada row: No special exemption to India, says US NSA Jake Sullivan
Jake Sullivan asserted that this is something that they will keep working on, noting that there was no special exemption to India in the case.
The United States on Thursday affirmed that it is in constant communication with India and Canada amid increasing diplomatic tensions between both the countries. The diplomatic standoff broke out after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asserted that his country’s security agencies were investigating a link between the Indian government and the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Speaking on the matter, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters that the US will be in contact with India at the highest level. He added that it is a matter of concern for them and they are taking it seriously. He asserted that this is something that they will keep working on, noting that there was no special exemption to India in the case.
He underlined that there is not some special exemption for actions like this. He added that regardless of the country, they will stand up and defend their basic principles. In addition, he affirmed that the US will also consult closely with allies like Canada as they pursue their law enforcement and diplomatic process.
Jake Sullivan further dismissed reports that the US’s desire to strengthen ties with India would constrain its ability to voice concerns about the allegations. He asserted that the Joe Biden administration took Canada’s allegations seriously and it was in constant contact with Ottawa.
He also noted that the US have deep concerns about the allegations and that they would like to see this investigation carried forward and the perpetrators held to account. Meanwhile, New Delhi outrightly rejected Canada’s allegation as absurd and motivated. In a tit for tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official over the case, New Delhi expelled a senior Canadian diplomat.
On Thursday, India asked Canada to take action against terrorists and anti-India elements operating from its soil. Furthermore, India also suspended visa services for Canadians, as the diplomatic standoff over Nijjar’s killing pushed their ties to an all-time low.