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After Taliban Takeover, Pakistan Focuses on Military Modernization

Amid spiraling debt and economic instability, Pakistan has nonetheless increased defense spending to bolster its military.

The country earlier focused more on counterinsurgency operations against terror groups such as Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP), which operated from Afghanistan. However, since the Taliban took over in Afghanistan, it assured Islamabad that it would not allow the TTP to attack the country — allowing Pakistan to focus more on improving its conventional military capabilities.

Pakistan has also nearly completed fencing along its border with Afghanistan to bar any major intrusions by TTP forces into the country.

Focus on Modernization and Procurement

The country has increased its defense allocation to 1.37 trillion Pakistani rupees ($7.8 billion) for fiscal year 2021-22, an increase of 6.2 percent. 

Last month, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa reiterated that the focus of the army was on enhancing conventional capability including “Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, air defense and cyber and mechanization.”

The country is tapping its two close allies, China and Turkey, to procure advanced military drones.

As per sources, the Pakistan Air Force is acquiring two Chinese Wing Loong-II unmanned aerial vehicles, one ground control station, and associated equipment worth $44.4 million. 

Pakistan has also shown keen interest in buying Turkey’s autonomous rotary-wing attack “Kargu” Kamikaze drones, which have a range of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and can carry six rockets at a time.

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