Pakistani officials have announced a big increase in defense spending for the upcoming fiscal year.
The budget for the fiscal year 2010-2011, starting July 1, calls for 442.2 billion rupees, or $5.2 billion, for defense -- an increase of at least 17 percent over the previous year. That's out of a total budget for the next fiscal year that has been set at 3,259 billion rupees, or $38.3 billion.
Speaking about the budget in parliament on June 5, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said the security situation in Pakistan has not yet been brought under control in spite of recent gains, and security forces need to know they have the support of lawmakers.
In the last three years, more than 3,400 people have been reported killed in Pakistan in suicide bombings and other attacks by Taliban militants who have been waging an insurgency against the authorities.
compiled from agency reports