Economic Powerhouse v/s Military Might


These days many so called ‘intellectuals’ like Pervez Hoodbhoy, NFP etc are always whining that we Pakistanis spend too much on defence and should cut our defence budget and spend more on reviving the economy, education and social sector. They believe that in today’s world economy is more important than arms and with a strong economy a country can have things their way.

This belief is based not on facts but on books and text they are taught at universities in a system which is based on making men and women better manager but not better leaders. I believe that Pakistan needs to spend on education, social sector and etc, but not at the cost of defence as she faces imminent threat from the East and now a looming threat from the West. With the threats that we are surrounded with, we have no choice but to keep our military defence up to date and running. There are great lessons to be learnt from history when many great empires have fallen because they did not pay enough attention to developing military capabilities.

The peaceful Dravidians of the Indus Valley Civilization were forced to leave their land and migrate by the much more powerful the Aryans. The Dravidians were smart people and were one of the first people who made the drainage system, they had trading with the Egyptians, but sheer force prevailed over their capabilities in other areas of development and technology.

The Arabs were able to take down the Mighty Persian Empire and the Roman Empires which were the two super powers of their time and had remained so for centuries. The Persians and the Romans (after the Greeks) fought many wars but were never able to defeat one another. However, the Arabs were able to take on both the Persians and Romans simultaneously. Both Empires despite their immense wealth could not use their riches to defeat the Arabs’ military might.

The Mighty Mongols were able to take over almost all the known world. They didn’t have any wealth but their military might prevailed. Likewise, the great Mughal emperor Babur was able to capture Delhi because he had a better army.

In Present times, countries with strong economies but a weak army are not able to dictate their terms to the world. The GCC countries have enormous wealth but are not able to dictate their terms while Israel relies heavily on her military capabilities to maintain an iron grip over the Palestinian occupied lands and to terrorize the neighbouring Arab states.

Germany and Japan have one of the top 5 economies in world but they lack militarily. For this reason these two countries have been incapable of developing an independent foreign policy and hence are forced to look towards the US as their protector. An example of this is that although both these countries did not support the war in Iraq, they were nonetheless forced to become allies of the U.S in this war. In contrast, the Russians though economically weak, were still able to dictate their terms in world affairs.

Pakistan since its inception has faced difficulty and has had to spend on her defence to counter external threats. If Pakistan didn’t buy F-16s, produce Al-Khalid and other state of the art equipment, it would perhaps be fair to say that we would have been run over by India by now or by the Soviets back in the 80’s. Our Nuclear program helped us win two wars with India, one in 2002 and the other more recently in early 2009. It is the fear of our nukes that all our adversaries (mainly India, Israel and the U.S) are wary of us.

Instead of taunting our armed forces and criticising the amount of money that is spent on making the finest equipment and training available to them, we should feel proud that despite the many difficulties that Pakistan faces today, we are still fully capable of putting fear in the hearts of our enemies and growing stronger everyday. By the grace of Allah, we are the first line of defence for the whole Muslim Ummah and shall remain so in the future as well. Insha’Allah.

–>Wajahat Shamsi – PKKH


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