ISLAMABAD: Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan on Friday launched the public version of the country’s first-ever National Security Policy (NSP) 2022-2026, vowing that the nation would now be headed in the right direction.
As the original document signed earlier by the PM will remain classified, its public version has been described by the government as a citizen-centric policy framework, placing economic security at its core and seeking a secure and economically resilient Pakistan.
It was launched a day after Pakistan’s parliament passed a mini-budget and controversial State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) amendment bill to meet the requirements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ahead of the release of $1-billion bailout package by the global moneylender. The package is a part of the $6-billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme that Pakistan had agreed with the IMF in July 2019.
Speaking about the IMF, Imran said that a state’s security is compromised when it has to intermittently seek the support of the moneylender.
“We approach the IMF under duress, as in the end, only IMF is ready to help us and provide the cheapest loans. We have to abide by their conditions, and as a result, impose burden on the people,” Khan said. He noted that when the country’s economy is weak, it weakens its defence.
In the new policy, Khan said, national security has been defined in the right manner, as earlier, according to him, one-dimensional mindset prevailed in Pakistan as “we had insecurities due to wars against India in 1948 and 1965”. A peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UNSC resolutions has also been declared in the document as a vital security interest for the country.
He stressed that the biggest security of a state is its people. “When the people become stakeholders of the country, it becomes the greatest national security.”
On his part, National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf said the NSP has taken a broad view of the national security as both traditional and non-traditional issues impacted it.
“While the NSP is centered around economic security, the geo-strategic and geo-political imperatives also feature prominently in it to strengthen Pakistan’s security and standing in the world,” the NSA said. He highlighted that this was a document finalised after complete civil-military consensus.
The policy, according to the document issued earlier by the government, is aimed at addressing the economic challenges of external imbalance, socio-economic inequalities, and geographic disparities between developed and under-developed regions of Pakistan.
The document emphasises the “non-negotiable” focus on defence and territorial integrity of Pakistan, strengthening space-based technology and its application, and combating hybrid warfare through enhancing information and cyber security.
Regarding internal security, the policy seeks to ensure writ of the state across the country, zero-tolerance towards terrorism, extremism and violent sub-nationalisms, and fighting the menace of organised crimes.