New Delhi: Pakistan’s first-ever National Security Policy, which is expected to be unveiled by Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday, seeks peace with India and its immediate neighbours while putting a major focus on achieving economic security for the country.
The five-year policy document, covering a period between 2022 and 2026, has elaborated plans to encourage two-way trade and investment with India, albeit without a final settlement of the Kashmir issue, The Express Tribune reported.
While some portions of the policy were made public, the main document will remain largely classified.
A Pakistan government official Tuesday told reporters in Islamabad that the country is “not seeking hostility with India for the next 100 years”.
“The new policy seeks peace with immediate neighbours,” the official said. He added that both India and Pakistan are looking at a period of normalising trade and business ties.
“Economic security will be the central theme of the new national security policy…. But geo-economics does not necessarily mean we overlook our geo-strategic and geo-political interests,” the official said.
He added that the long-standing Kashmir issue has been identified as a ‘vital national policy’ issue for Pakistan.
Economic security core of policy
Pakistan PM Imran Khan is expected to unveil 50 pages that form the non-confidential part of the policy Friday, mostly consisting of three key points of economy, military and human security.
The new security policy will be reviewed on an annual basis, a new government will have the power to change the policy, and the government will be bound to submit an implementation report to the National Security Committee every month, Dunya News reported, quoting official sources.
Earlier this month, Pakistan’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Moeed Yusuf had said that economic security should be at the core of the country’s security policy, which was approved by the federal cabinet in December 2021.
“The policy places economic security as the core of comprehensive security because it recognises that only through increasing prosperity of our citizens and the overall national resources, can Pakistan invest more in strengthening human security and traditional security,” Yusuf said during an in-camera session in which he briefed the Senate Defence Committee on the salient features of the National Security Policy.
Zahid Hussain, renowned author, wrote in the Dawn newspaper that for the Imran Khan government, the real challenge will be “to build a broad national consensus on a strategy to implement the policy”.
“National security is directly linked to governance, transparency and rule of law. A failed system and political instability remain major problems for effective implementation of the target set in the NSP,” he noted.
(Edited by Saikat Niyogi)