Imran unveils first
public version of ever
national security policy


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday launched a public version of the country’s first ever national security policy, referring to it as an “all-encompassing, multidimensional” document. 
In December 2021, Pakistan’s National Security Committee (NSC) approved the National Security Policy (NSP) 2022-2026, which articulates a citizen-centric framework, places economic security at its core and seeks a secure and economically resilient Pakistan. 
The main themes of the NSP are national cohesion, securing an economic future, defense and territorial integrity, internal security, foreign policy in a changing world and human security. 
“Based on the all-encompassing, multidimensional national security policy that you [National Security Division] have helmed, we will now focus our efforts to ensure the government and people proceed in one direction,” PM Khan said at the launch of the NSP’s public version. 
He said it was not possible for a country to remain secure for long if its economy was not stable. “If you have to go to the International Monetary Fund at regular intervals, it means you security will be [adversely] affected,” he said. 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, fifth from left, and top military brass attend the launching ceremony of country’s first ever National Security Policy in Islamabad on January 14, 2022.

The prime minister said Pakistan had never adopted a coordinated approach regarding its national security or even its economy. Citing examples of previous governments, he said Pakistan’s current account deficit increased whenever the country registered growth. 
“When the current account deficit increased, it put pressure on the currency. Due to pressure on the currency, Pakistan had to go to the IMF [to secure loans],” PM Khan said. 
Hence, he said, Pakistan always had to go to the IMF “as a last resort” and was forced to agree to its terms. “And when you agree to their terms, somewhere, our security gets compromised,” he contended. 
The prime minister praised the new policy for highlighting the need for inclusive growth, adding that the State of Madinah established by Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was the first to introduce it. “We should secure the most vulnerable segment of our society,” he added. 
PM Khan stressed the need for enforcement of law and compliance with contracts. 
“One of the main reasons there is minimal foreign investment in Pakistan is that they [investors] do not trust Pakistan’s judicial system,” he said, adding that these companies and investors instead sought arbitration in international courts. 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan signs country’s first ever national security policy in Islamabad, Pakistan, on January 14, 2022.

The prime minister said that this was a “great impediment” to Pakistan’s growth and with such a huge population, it was the need of the hour to attract well-known global companies. 
He lauded National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf and the National Security Division for carving out such a policy and that too with consensus. 

The policy defines the direction the country should take in the coming years. Its makers are said to have taken a citizen-centric approach to national security and placed a special emphasis on economic security.

Highlighting key facets of the policy in his address in Islamabad today, the premier noted that governments’ mindsets since the country’s inception were to focus on military security and they never planned beyond it.

The country was blessed to have well-trained and disciplined security forces who protected the territorial boundaries against belligerent neighbours, he added.

PM Imran stressed that Pakistan needed to have inclusive growth, but “compulsions to acquire loans from institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) put the national economy at risk”.

Prime Minister Imran Khan address the launching of National Security Policy.

He lamented that the country never had a plan to secure itself economically.

“The concept we have now brought to Pakistan is to make sure of the uplift of the vulnerable segment,” he said, adding the nation will remain insecure if the rich kept becoming richer with no measures in place to protect the downtrodden segment from economic meltdown.

Imran said his government introduced health cards as well, along with unveiling a single national curriculum to remove the disparity of resources among the masses.

The premier also stressed the need for boosting exports, saying no country could flourish economically if the volume of its exports was far smaller than its imports.

He highlighted that the rule of law was equally significant in making a country prosperous. “The reason behind the progress of any country is a strong presence of the rule of law.”

Earlier, National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said there were very few countries that codified policies like the ones Pakistan crafted of late. He said a part of those policies were released to apprise the world of their salient features.

Dr Yusuf said the NSP was centered around economic security while geo-strategic and geo-political imperatives also featured prominently in it to strengthen Pakistan’s security and standing in the world.

He highlighted that the document was finalised after full civil-military consensus.

The NSP document is meant for a five-year period (2022-26) but it will be reviewed at the end of every year.

The full 110-page NSP document will remain classified. However, a shorter nearly 50-page version is being published.

Critical analysis of the state of affairs in various sectors is contained in the main document, and the implementation framework and the indicators developed for monitoring and evaluating the progress made towards the policy’s execution are not being included in the public version, which, moreover, will not spell out the different elements of national interest.

The document contains chapters on national cohesion, economy, defence, internal security, foreign policy and human security.

In the foreign policy domain, NSP places equal emphasis on political as well as economic diplomacy, besides listing peace in the region as the top priority. It, moreover, reiterates the commitment to not becoming part of bloc politics.

Meanwhile, the defence part highlights the challenges posed by hybrid war and threats to cyber security in addition to issues pertaining to the conventional capabilities and strategic deterrence.

It recommends increasing the size of the resource pie, addressing the external imbalance, and judicious redistribution of wealth.

Thorny topics like accountability, curriculum review, governance challenges, including review of the 18th Constitution Amendment and future status of Gilgit-Baltistan, will be part of the classified portion.

Opposition parties have criticised the government for not taking their input during the formulation of the policy.