Arms ver­sus Bread

Southasia - - EDITOR’S MAIL - Syed Ali Ak­bar, Is­lam­abad, Pak­istan.

This is with ref­er­ence to last month’s cover story on the pur­chase of arms and am­mu­ni­tions by poor coun­tries in the name of na­tional de­fence at the cost of de­priv­ing their na­tions with ba­sic food, ed­u­ca­tion and health. In gen­eral, over­spend­ing on arms seems to be an up­shot of con­tin­ued in­se­cu­rity in the re­gion, re­strict­ing vul­ner­a­ble coun­tries from spend­ing on the so­cial se­cu­rity of their peo­ple. How­ever, the irony of pro­vid­ing pro­tec­tion to the na­tion be­comes more ap­par­ent when the lot of well-pro­tected peo­ple are left with lit­tle or noth­ing to eat and are fated to lead mis­er­able lives. On the other hand, those safe­guard­ing the coun­try’s bor­ders not only en­joy so­cial se­cu­rity but also have a well-de­fined ca­reer path, as well as a sat­is­fac­tory plan on how to lead a de­cent life af­ter re­tire­ment. More than the arms-ver­sus­bread co­nun­drum, the mis­ery mostly refers to the flawed pri­or­i­ties of a state that helps its cit­i­zens sleep hun­gry but peace­fully ev­ery night.

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