Britain is to send an extra £100 million of foreign aid to Pakistan despite the country being able to finance its own nuclear weapon and space programmes.
Figures from the Department for International Development (DfID) show Britain will give more than £440 million to projects in 2016/17, an increase of £105 million from the £336 million given in 2015/16.
This comes despite Pakistan announcing a massive military spending plan, putting an extra £654 million into its defence budget, an increase 11 per cent to £6.7 billion.
The country also has a separately-funded nuclear weapons programme, while its space programme, which has successfully launched a satellite, has a budget of around £19.5 million per year.
Conservative MP Peter Bone said told The Mail: “These sums of money are eye-watering, especially when they are going to a country that spends a lot on its armed forces and has a space programme.
“People will ask why their hard-earned money is going in taxes to support something like this when at home they see the problems with social care. It is just plain wrong.”
A spokesman for DfID said: “Our investment in Pakistan is making the world a safer place by tackling poverty, improving governance and disrupting serious crime, which left unchallenged breeds violent extremism and drives mass migration.”
In November, the National Audit Office said there was little evidence to show Britain’s huge foreign aid budget was being spent effectively.
The watchdog said the private investment arm of the UK’s foreign aid department, CDC equity, needed to set out a “clearer picture of actual impact” of its funding.
Sir Amyas Morse, comptroller of the watchdog, said: “The Department for International Development has improved its oversight of CDC and has directed it to address many of the weaknesses previously identified by parliament.
“It remains a significant challenge, however, for CDC to demonstrate its ultimate objective of creating and making a lasting difference to people’s lives in some of the world’s poorest places.”