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Pakistan to enhance security at borders and within country

Nation special report

ISLAMABAD: The National Security Committee has approved the country’s first ever National Security Policy. The approval was accorded in the 36th meeting of the National Security Committee held in Islamabad on Monday (27th December) with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.

During the meeting National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf briefed the participants on the salient features of the NSP. The Adviser highlighted that Pakistan is shifting to a Comprehensive National Security Framework whereby the ultimate purpose of national security is to ensure the safety, security and dignity of the citizen of Pakistan.

It is reliably learnt that it was decided that the security at borders and within the country will be enhanced. It is also decided that the fencing work at the borders with Afghanistan will be completed. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid had already stated on this issue. For the public security, Imran Khan briefed the meeting and later spoke on the subject.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan presiding meeting of Pakistan’s National Security Committee in Islamabad on Monday (27th December).

He said to ensure this citizen-centric approach to security, the policy puts economic security at the core. The Adviser said a stronger economy would create additional resources that would in turn be judiciously distributed to further bolster military and human security.

Participants were informed that the policy has been created through a whole-of-government effort over the last seven years, and included extensive consultations among federal government institutions, with all provinces, and with the academia and private sector.

It was highlighted that a detailed implementation framework had been created through which the National Security Division would review progress in collaboration with relevant ministries and departments. The committee’s members, while approving the policy, appreciated the National Security Division and all other government departments for this effort.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan emphasized that the security of Pakistan rests in the security of its citizens and reposed confidence that Pakistan is well prepared to meet any internal and external threats.

A file picture shows Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs meeting of Pakistan’s National Security Committee in Islamabad on October 29, 2021.

Terming the policy’s formulation and approval a historic moment, the Prime Minister noted that the Policy must guide all organs of the government to ensure that their efforts are synchronized with the overall direction of the NSP. He instructed the National Security Adviser to present an implementation progress report to the NSC every month.

Revitalization of the Planning Committee and the expansion of NSC’s Advisory Board were also unanimously approved by the participants during the meeting. The policy will now be presented to the Cabinet before being officially adopted.

A public version of the document will be released in due course.

The meeting was attended by Federal Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Defence, Information and Broadcasting, Interior, Finance, Human Rights, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, all Services Chiefs, National Security Advisor and senior civil and military officers.

PM Khan summoned the meeting of the high-powered National Security Committee which will be attended by senior military officials, including Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the country’s spy master Lt. Gen. Nadeem Anjum.

Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs meeting of the National Security Committee at Islamabad on 27th December, 2021

Federal Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has said that the civilian and military leadership will discuss internal and external security issues at the key meeting. “It will be the first ever National Security Policy to be approved at the meeting and later it will be made public,” Hussain was quoted as saying.
Earlier this month, a parliamentary committee on national security met under the chairmanship of National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser for a briefing on the newly drafted National Security Policy, the office of the Pakistani national security adviser said in a statement.
The details of the policy were presented to the committee by National Security Adviser (NSA) Dr. Moeed Yusuf. This was the first time in the history of Pakistan, according to the government, that a national security policy document that outlined “the challenges and opportunities facing Pakistan in the coming years” and which provided “policy guidelines for mitigation and actualizing opportunities through a whole-of-government approach” had been presented before parliament.
“Moeed explained that the National Security Policy is designed to leverage the symbiotic relationship between human security, economic security and military security with the prosperity and safety of citizens as its principal focus,” the statement read.

Prime Minister Imran Khan chairing security meeting

“It [the policy] endeavors to put economic security at the core of policy priorities to expand the national resource pie for greater investments in human and military security.”
The process of consultations with relevant stakeholders for the formulation of the policy was initiated in 2014 after the establishment of the National Security Division, it added.

When asked about salient features of the policy, he said the policy would cover all internal and external security aspects, including the situation in Afghanistan and its impact on Pakistan, India, etc.

Border fencing with Afghanistan

Meanwhile, a day earlier on Sunday, talking about the progress of talks with the Afghan Taliban over the border situation, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said Pakistan wanted the border fencing work to continue through consensus.

“It took a lot of money for this work to be done. We invited the whole world to Pakistan as we want to help the [Afghan] Taliban. They have also assured us their soil won’t be used against Pakistan,” noted the minister.

Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan had a week ago disrupted the erecting of a security fence by the Pakistani military along the border between the two countries.

Pakistan has fenced most of the 2,600km border des­pite protestations from Kabul, which has contested the British-era boundary demarcation that splits families and tribes on either side.

Afghan defence ministry spokesman Enayatullah Khwarazmi on Dec 19 said Taliban forces stopped the Pakistani military from erecting what he called an “illegal” border fence along the eastern province of Nangarhar.

In his presser, Rashid also informed that there will be a meeting convened tomorrow at 2pm to discuss the Afghan situation. He, however, did not divulge more details of the meeting’s agenda.

Responding to a question, the minister said the [government] had indirect contacts with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.