Pakistan today unveiled its first-ever National Security Policy (NSP) that seeks to shift the country’s focus from the military-centric approach to economic security.
The 50-page public version of the otherwise longish and classified document was released by Prime Minister Imran Khan today in Islamabad. He said the policy envisages the strategy for the future to ensure the protection of its citizens and guard its economic interests.
Khan lamented that previous governments had never thought of a comprehensive security policy nor did they plan for the economic safety of the country as a result of which Pakistan had to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for bailing out its economy so often.
According to Pakistani newspapers, Khan said a country with no economic security can never be secure.
"An inclusive development was inevitable for national security," the premier said at the NSP launch ceremony in Islamabad. Federal ministers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, all services chiefs, diplomats, senior civil and military officers attended the launching ceremony.
“Inclusive growth means not only to uplift the poor people but also the neglected areas… [In such a case] every common man becomes a stakeholder to protect the state. The biggest security is when people stand behind the state for its protection,” Khan said.
"Any National Security approach must prioritize national cohesion and the prosperity of people while guaranteeing fundamental rights and social justice without discrimination."
The premier added that it is necessary to promote delivery-based good governance if the country is to realize the full potential of its citizens,” Khan said.
He said all previous governments' mindsets since the country's inception were to focus on military security and they never planned beyond it.
Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said this was an aspirational document a part of which has been released for people to know about it and the world to know that Pakistan wishes to pursue peace diplomacy with other countries.
Making it clear that he supports the Army and other Military, Khan said, "Given the threats, we face in the region, and the growing threat of hybrid warfare, they will continue to receive even greater support and importance."
Explaining the document, Yusuf said, “Pakistan’s future will depend on how secure and stable its economy is.”
Moeed said that “we define economic security as the core of national security going forwards. In terms of our engagement with the world, our focus will remain on finding peace in the region and beyond. We will pursue economic diplomacy.”
The classified document however makes specific mention of changing its India policy and pursuing trade and economic relations with New Delhi.