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BOOTS OVER BOOKS: 4 REASONS WHY MILITARY EXPENDITURE SURPASSES MONETARY SPENDING ON EDUCATION



In many countries like Pakistan, military spending takes a huge chunk of the national budget that hampers social development like education in the country. Given that Pakistan has been in a state of conflict since its inception, we might look at 4 reasons why military expenditure continues to surpass the money spent on the development of the educational sector.


1. Perceived Enemy

Pakistan and India have had 4 wars since the colonial rule in the region that has helped spin a web around the idea of an enemy. Countries that share the same language, food, culture & history have been made to believe that the other is a definite enemy ready to attack.

2. The Might of the Military

It is no secret that the military has a pivotal role in the politics of Pakistan. The vacuum that existed in the early 1950s has enabled the institution to control the major stakeholders including the public, judiciary & government. A country that has been under military rule for half of its lifetime, it should not come off as a surprise that it continues to dominate the national decisions both within and outside its domain.

3. Corruption

Even today, many allotted spaces for government schools are home to millions of livestock since feudal landowners have used their political power to capture such land. Thus, the concept of “ghost schools” is prevalent mostly in rural centers across Pakistan. Moreover, many individuals are listed as government teachers in national records and illegally receive money as pensions/salaries.

4. Not in their Interest


Even today Pakistan’s literacy rate is around 60% which means a big chunk of the population is deemed it's basic right. Considering dynasty politics is still intact, it is not in the political interest of major political players that the nation receives education. A literate nation is aware of its rights with an analytical ability to ask questions which might prove to be a menace to those in power.


With all these factors that hamper social development in the form of education, there is a continuous battle to fight those in power. The best minds of the country have indeed been exported, but there is still a lot of potential amongst the exuberant youth that wants a change. The future is uncertain but baby steps might help 30 crores Pakistanis understand that despite the country being a failed state, one institution and a couple of families continue to grow in power.


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I do agree with the reasons you have mentioned. But I want to raise a popular point which is that it is military that never allows this. Military blinded by the power it has in Pakistan would never want an end of war with India because that means end of funding for them.

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The recent reduction in the "Educational Budget" and rise in the "Military Budget" amidst Pakistan fights an Economical War says all about the problems of this country.

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We are the only nation which admires military regime hence the problem lies within us. We are the ones that empower them by giving into the narrative that has been built.

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This is very insightful and organised as it clearly notes down several reasons behind the lack of investment in the education sector of Pakistan. I think the heading is quite attention-grabbing and you gave viable causes to where the expenditure that needs to be put in education sector is in actuality going.


Many people fail to acknowledge this or talk about it openly but I appreciate you for addressing this concerning issue that Pakistan is facing. Your first point notes how due to the animosity between Pakistan and India, we as a nation spend our budget on the military. There are many nations which have enemies but do they necessarily spend their budget on military rather than education. In your…

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The notion of us as enemies is a product of post colonization where the colonizing countries have embedded this notion among the two countries. I believe the reasons of wars have more to do with keeping a particular institution (in both countries) relevant and by the instigation of those who sell weapons. Even if these notions did not exist, educational development will never be in their political interest due to the political foundation of the country.

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