ISLAMABAD: National Security Adviser (NSA) Dr Moeed Yusuf on Tuesday announced that the federal cabinet in an historic move has approved the country’s first-ever comprehensive citizen-centric National Security Policy based on the economic security at its core.
Addressing a joint media briefing flanked by the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain who briefed the journalists over the Cabinet meeting’s decisions, the NSA said after the National Security Committee’s endorsement of the National Security Policy (NSP) the other day, the Cabinet has approved it this day.
Dr Moeed said: “I would like to congratulate the entire nation on this successful endeavor because if any country has unclear National Security vision then policy making under it is very difficult.”
He informed that this policy focused overall aspects of national security and Under the Prime Minister’s leadership it has been codified that economic security would be the core of the Policy. “Strong economy would ensure more spending on military and human security,” he added. He underlined that for external initiatives the Policy’s objective was ‘Peace’. “Search of peace in the neighborhood and all other countries,” he added. Under the NSP, for National cohesion, the country has identified the most important aspect of its cultural and ethnic diversity, where the national unity should be built around it.
“We are an Islamic state and have an ideology of an Islamic country. Therefore, the Policy aspects of National Cohesion should revolve around the nation’s diversity. All aspects of diversity would be taken along with other elements of NSP,” he elaborated. Moreover, human security aspects of NSP had core focus on population followed by health security, climate and water, food security and gender. As far as the economic security was concerned, he said this policy gave made due discussion on it.
The main points, he said included external imbalance vis-a-vis export and import issues leading to increased current account deficit, energy security and education was included in economy as education’s one component was related to national security namely unity and radicalization. He added that the second important concern of Pakistan was to produce quality human resource that would have ultimate impact on economy at the local level was also discussed under the chapter of economic security. The other elements of the Policy shed light on sovereignty, territorial integrity meaning hard security related to defence and military security.
The NSP formulation process started back in 2014 which got completed in seven years, as there were many sensitivity and complexities into it, whereas massive debate was carried out in the process.
“I would like to inform that four rounds of all federal ministries and provinces have been made where they gave input over the years. Civil-military leadership and institutions worked together and approved the document after all stakeholders’ consensus,” he highlighted.
Dr Moeed while pointing out towards criticism over absence of private sector, academia, and experts said since 2014, over 600 Pakistani experts hailing from academia, universities’ students and private sector were engaged who provided their key input for creating NSP.
“But it was a very consultative process where extensive debate was made on every single word of this document which should have been done especially as it was the first ever NSP,” he added. “There have been questions which are very true that we formulate policies, what are its outcomes, benefits and implementation. The positive thing about this NSP is that this policy has the ownership of NSC where civil military leadership sits together and a complete implementation plan is being prepared for implementation,” the NSA said.
He underscored that the Prime Minister has directed that the National Security Division (NSD) would give a monthly update to NSC on implementation of NSP and problems being faced in its implementation. “It’s an overall vision and umbrella document to guide various sectors in policy making over the time. Every country has such a visionary document and Thank God we got it today,” he said.
He further elaborated that it would be a classified document collectively but a full public version would be released by the Prime Minister within next week or ten days.
“We will launch it and intend to have intellectual debate on the NSP and get complete input,” he said.
Moreover, he said the Policy has included chapters on national security and national economy, adding, “the more debate is made the better it is.”
He also extended his felicitations to the entire nation and said that the policy document appeared to be only 100 pages but it took seven years for its completion.
“I would also like to thank all my colleagues in the federal and provincial governments, civil and armed forces’ leadership who played a critical role and especially the NSD as it was their job who took the lead not only with me but before me and unified the entire process at one platform and the Cabinet approved it finally,” he said.
“It’s a big achievement and the NSC will provide update on its implementation,” he said.
Responding to media queries, he said that the National Security Policy was an umbrella that covered all aspects like economic, human, internal, military and other security concerns.
Earlier, the NSA in a series of tweets said: “After the NSC’s endorsement of Pakistan’s first-ever National Security Policy yesterday, the Cabinet has approved it today. It is a truly historic achievement; a citizen-centric comprehensive National Security policy with economic security at the core will now be pursued in earnest.”
He said: “This umbrella document will, overtime, help guide sectoral policies for the fulfillment of our national security objectives.”
Dr Moeed further tweeted: “I would like to thank the civil and military leadership for all their support and input. The Policy would not have seen the light of day without the Prime Minister’s constant leadership and encouragement. I am extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated team at our @SPPCPakistan and would like to congratulate them and the entire team of the National Security Division for their hard work and dedication over the years in bringing the policy to fruition. The success of the policy will lie in its implementation for which a plan has been developed. A public version of the NSP document will be launched by the PM and released in due course.”
On Monday, a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) was held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan that okayed the country’s maiden National Security Policy.
Pakistan’s first-ever National Security Policy (NSP) 2022-2026 was presented for approval by the National Security Adviser (NSA) during the meeting.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Defence Pervaiz Khattak, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Minister for Interior Shaikh Rashid Ahmad, Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin, Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, all Services Chiefs, National Security Advisor and senior civil and military officers.