[Dawn 30 April, 2019]

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan was 2018’s 20th biggest military spender in the world with an expenditure of $11.4 billion, a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said on Monday. According to the report by the Sweden-based institute dedicated to research on conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament, 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.

The Sipri report ranked Pakistan among the top 10 countries with the highest “military burden” — described as a “state’s military expenditure as a share of GDP”.

Since 2009, Pakistan’s military spending has increased every year, the report stated, adding that between 2009 and 2018 the spending increased by 73 per cent. In 2017-18, the increase in military expenditure was 11pc, it said.

Five biggest spenders have been identified as US, China, Saudi Arabia, India and France

According to Sipri, the world military expenditure is estimated to have been $1822bn in 2018. It was 2.6pc higher in real terms than in 2017 and 5.4pc higher than in 2009.

The world military burden — global military expenditure as a share of global gross domestic product (GDP) — fell to 2.1pc in 2018. This equals the level of 2014 — the lowest of the post-cold war period. Military spending per capita increased from $230 in 2017 to $239 in 2018, as the 1.1pc growth in world population was surpassed by the growth in military spending, it found.