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Pak Army allocated additional Rs 35 bn defence budget to counter India: Report

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ISLAMABAD (PTI): The Pakistan government Friday allocated an additional amount of Rs 35 billion for the 2009-10 defence budget due to expenses on anti-militancy operations and the need to acquire modern equipment to counter a perceived threat from India, according to a media report.

Following the additional allocation, Pakistan's defence budget will increase to about Rs 378 billion.

In June, Pakistan hiked its defence spending for 2009-10 to Rs 342.9 billion, marking a 15.3 per cent increase over the outlay of Rs 296 billion for the previous fiscal.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani approved the additional outlay following demands from army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Gen Tariq Majid, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Dawn News channel quoted sources as saying.

The military told the government that the additional amount is needed for expenses on operations against the Taliban in Swat and Waziristan tribal region and to procure modern equipment in the face of a perceived threat from India, the sources were quoted as saying.

Pakistan has mobilised over 30,000 soldiers to flush out Taliban militants from South Waziristan.

Troops are also conducting operations against rebels in the northwestern Swat valley.

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