Islamabad, Jan 7 (PTI) Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf on Friday asserted that economic security should be at the centre of the country’s national security, underscoring the tenets of the ambitious first-of-its-kind National Security Policy that was endorsed by the Cabinet last month. “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.
The five-year-policy document covering a period between 2022-26, is being propped up by the Pakistan government as its first-ever strategy paper of its kind that spells out the country’s national security vision and guidelines for the attainment of those goals.
The National Security Policy builds on existing government policies and provides an overall umbrella document to guide future policy direction in areas that impact national security, Yusuf said, while asserting that it also examines opportunities and challenges in a fluid global environment and prioritises policy actions for implementation.
“Importantly, it contains an annual review and a review when any new government comes into place to ensure policy continuity and build flexibility on national security issues,” he said.
Yusuf said that the National Security Policy formulation process had begun in 2014, when the National Security Division was created.
“Over the last seven years, an intergovernmental consultation process was undertaken with federal ministries, provincial governments and all other stakeholders,” he said, adding consultations were also held with academics, university students, independent policy experts and other members of civil society.
The Senate Defense Committee welcomed the National Security Policy as a good first step, which builds on the work on national security done by previous governments.
The Chairman of the Senate Defense Committee, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, said that given the changing global scenario, national security cannot be defined solely in terms of military might.
“Kashmir and the nuclear programme must remain centre stage as Pakistan’s core national interests and these must be promoted and protected,” Sayed said.
He also underlined the need for building a sophisticated, coordinated, professional strategic communication strategy to present Pakistan’s narrative to the outside world, saying that in this regard ‘parliamentary diplomacy should be a key component’. PTI SH VM VM
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