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Noting 193% rise in India's military spending vs Pakistan's 111%, report finds 4 point rise in India's global peace index

By Rajiv Shah
In what may sound music to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Sydney-based non-profit organization, Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), has said that over the last one year “India has moved up four positions in the overall ranking from 141st to 137th” in Global Peace Index (GPI).
Claiming that “this has largely been due to a reduction in level of violent crime, driven by increased law enforcement” within India, the EIP report, “Global Peace Index: 2017”, which has ranked 163 countries, however, believes that India’s continued poor ranking is on account of what it calls unrest in “Indian-administered Kashmir” in mid-2016, which “raised tensions between India and its neighbour Pakistan”.
The report comes amidst a sharp rise in protests across India against lynching incidents, leading to increasing concern of insecurity among minorities, especially Muslims.
Compared to India’s 137th ranking, among the neighbouring countries, Bhutan ranks 13th, Sril Lanka 80th, Bangladesh 84th, Nepal 93rd, Pakistan 152nd, and Afghanistan 162nd.
The report finds smaller countries far more peaceful than large nations. Iceland, it says, is the “most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008”, adding, it is joined by “New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, and Denmark”.
Syria, it says, remains “the least peaceful country in the world, preceded by Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen.”
Despite an improvement by four positions, the report raises the alarm that India is among the countries “that displayed the most significant growth in heavy weapons capabilities over the last thirty years”, bracketing it with Syria, Egypt, South Korea, Iran and Pakistan.
Pointing out that, region-wise, “militaries in South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa increased their heavy weapons capabilities most significantly”, the report says, India is one of the countries which showed a particularly sharp rise on this score.
Thus, it says, “Military expenditure has increased by 193 per cent in India and 111 per cent in Pakistan, and the number of armed forces personnel have increased by 118 per cent in India and 93 per cent in Pakistan. The heavy weapons scores have increased by 35 per cent in India and 53 per cent in Pakistan.”
It underlines, “Over the past three decades, China and India have established themselves as major military powers thanks to exponential economic growth which has enabled high levels of investment in their respective militaries”, adding, “This military expansion comes amid rising global instability and regional tensions, particularly between India and Pakistan and in the South China Sea.”
The report regrets, “India and Pakistan have undergone significant militarisation in the past three decades, with growth in all indicators and the simultaneous acquisition of nuclear weapons in 1998 amid constantly high tensions between the two states.”
The report regrets, “The total number of nuclear weapons has fallen dramatically since the height of the cold war, yet Indian, Pakistani and North Korean defiance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) means that there are now more countries that possess nuclear weapon capability”, adding, “Over the past three decades, India, Pakistan and most recently North Korea have also obtained nuclear weapons.”
To quote from the report, “The South Korean heavy weapons score increased the most, by 20,746, from 23,520 to 44,266. This increase was motivated by continued rising tensions with North Korea. South Korea was closely followed by Egypt, whose score increased by 18,695, and India, which increased by 14,982.”

Comments

Unknown said…
no other country in the world has done as much for global safety and security as Pakistan at a huge cost of both men and material. Pakistan has acted as a frontline state in global counterterrorism efforts with unparalleled sacrifices and successes. The sacrifices of security forces, law enforcement agencies and the national resolve in fighting the scourge of terrorism are never acknowledged

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