The total number of Pakistanis killed in the conflict has gone up to 40,309. —APP file photo.

ISLAMABAD: In the ongoing war on terrorism the armed forces have so far lost the equivalent of two full brigades. Among those killed were one three-star and a couple of two-star generals.

Briefing defence committees of the two houses of parliament at General Headquarters on Tuesday (partly reported in Dawn on Wednesday), Director-General of Military Operations Maj-Gen Ashfaq Nadeem said that 3,097 personnel had been killed and 721 others permanently disabled.

The total number of Pakistanis killed in the conflict has gone up to 40,309. Maj-Gen Nadeem said the Inter-Services Intelligence alone had lost 63 personnel in various incidents, including attacks on its major stations.

Since 2007, he said, more than 140,000 armed forces personnel had been deployed along the Afghan border.

During the briefing, Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani rejected a perception that defence spending consumed a major portion of expenditures allocated in the budget. He also denied that defence spending had been increasing over the years.

Gen Kayani said that in 2001 defence spending was 4.6 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product. But it had now declined to only 2.4 per cent of the GDP.

A parliamentarian who attended the briefing quoted the army chief as saying that about 50 per cent of the budget expenditures went to debt servicing and the Public Sector Development Programme. In contrast, only about 18 per cent of the total outlay was allocated to defence.

Gen Kayani said that up to 75 per cent of what was allocated to the defence services was spent on salary and rations of the personnel and just 25 per cent on “everything else”. According to him, Pakistan spends on three soldiers what India spends on only one soldier.

Organisations like the Army Welfare Trust and Fauji Foundation contributed billions of rupees to the national exchequer every year in the form of taxes, Gen Kayani said.

When asked why did his old friend and former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen “stab him in the back” by levelling some serious allegations against Pakistan Army, he said: “Friendship does not matter in such issues.

“(Mike) Mullen did what he thought was in the interest of the United States and I will do what I think is in Pakistan’s interest.”

He said that before the attack on the GHQ in October 2009, there was an intelligence report about a possible assault there.

“Fifteen terrorists were living in a house but the neighbours did not bother to inform the relevant quarters about what was going on.”

Gen Kayani said public cooperation was required to effectively combat terrorism.

Opinion

Zero carbon race
22 Jan 2021

Zero carbon race

Over 100 countries, including Pakistan, have failed to submit their national commitments to cut emissions.
Sports for all
22 Jan 2021

Sports for all

We need a certain level of fitness to observe God’s law.
Normalcy restored
Updated 22 Jan 2021

Normalcy restored

So long as invoking domestic and foreign ‘enemies’ is our ‘normal’, expect our tryst with praetorianism to continue unabated.
The hazards of governance
Updated 21 Jan 2021

The hazards of governance

The most efficient administrations derive their strength from the quality and regularity of intra-department consultation.

Editorial

Updated 22 Jan 2021

Time to heal

A multitude of foreign issues will test Biden’s mettle and require progressive thinking.
22 Jan 2021

Foreign funding

AS the pressure builds on his party in the foreign funding case, Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for an ...
22 Jan 2021

Decaying PTV

THE Cabinet Committee on State-Owned Enterprises has decided to remove Pakistan Television from the list of...
Updated 21 Jan 2021

Agosta kickbacks trial

A POLITICALLY significant trial opened in Paris yesterday. Former French prime minister Edouard Balladur is in the...
Updated 21 Jan 2021

Indian media scandal

Common sense, factual reporting and ethics are all chucked out the window in the maddening race for ratings, influence and power.
21 Jan 2021

Rising food prices

FOOD inflation continues to challenge the resolve of the government to control the prices of essential kitchen items...