'Historic achievement': NSA announces cabinet's approval of Pakistan's first National Security Policy

Published December 28, 2021
National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf addresses a press conference in this file photo. — DawnNewsTV
National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf addresses a press conference in this file photo. — DawnNewsTV

National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf on Tuesday announced that the federal cabinet has given the green light to the country's first-ever National Security Policy, which was approved by the National Security Committee a day earlier.

"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," Yusuf said in a series of tweets.

The policy, which has not been shared publicly yet, will help guide sectoral policies for the fulfillment of the country's national security objectives, the adviser said.

He thanked the civil and military leadership for their support and input, adding that the policy would "never have come to light without Prime Minister Imran Khan's constant leadership and encouragement".

"The success of the policy will lie in its implementation for which a plan has been developed," the NSA further said, adding that a public version of it will be launched by the premier in due course.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar said the policy was an important milestone in strengthening Pakistan's national security.

"The comprehensive framework recognises interlinkages between various strands of national security, imperative to meet emerging challenges in [the] evolving global environment through a whole of government effort," he said.

"Pakistan’s armed forces will play their due part in achieving the vision laid out in the policy," the ISPR director general said.

The policy

On Monday, the National Security Committee, which is the government's top-most consultative and decision-making body for coordinating issues pertaining to national security, approved the policy.

The session, presided over by Prime Minister Imran, was attended by the federal ministers for foreign affairs, defence, information and broadcasting, interior, finance and human rights, the national security adviser, services chiefs and senior officials.

The five-year policy document covering the period 2022-26 is being flaunted by the government as the first-ever strategy paper of its kind that sets out the state's national security vision and guidelines for the attainment of those goals. It will guide the government's foreign, defence and economic policies and decision-making.

It reportedly seeks to leverage the symbiotic linkages among human security, economic security and military security with safety and prosperity of citizens being at the centre of the whole-of-government approach.

It covers both traditional and non-traditional security challenges, including economy, food, water, military security, terrorism, population growth and dealings with the external world, especially major powers.

The document places special emphasis on economic diplomacy as the focus of Pakistan's foreign policy aimed at avoiding being sucked into bloc politics in a world order under transition. It has been prepared by the National Security Division.

Several rounds of feedback consultations on multiple drafts were held with all state institutions, including provincial governments and the governments of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Over 600 academics, analysts, civil society members and students across Pakistan have been consulted to make the policy process inclusive.

A draft of the policy was earlier this month also shared with the Parliamentary Committee on National Security. The meeting was, however, boycotted by the opposition parties.

The National Security Policy is expected to be a dynamic document that will be reviewed each year and on the transition of government to help keep it abreast with its policy priorities in a fast-changing global environment. Work on the policy began in 2014.

Moeed congratulates the nation

On Tuesday, after the cabinet approved the country's first-ever national security policy, Moeed congratulated the nation while addressing the media alongside Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chauhdry in Islamabad.

"I congratulate the entire nation as it is very difficult to devise policies if a country's vision on national security is not clear," he said, adding that the national security policy was an umbrella document that would provide direction for the formulation of sectoral policies and strategies.

He reiterated that the national security policy had economic security at its core and focused on the security of the common man.

"If there is economic security, you will then have opportunities to spend on military and human security," he further said.

Moreover, Yusuf continued, the policy centred on peace with neighbouring and other countries as far as external relations were concerned.

He said on the matter of national cohesion, the policy identified Pakistan's diversity and that unity should be built around it.

"We are an Islamic state and have the vision of an Islamic state. The policy will cover all aspects of diversity within that realm," Yusuf added.

He said education had been linked to the economy in the new policy as the former was related to building human resources, which would benefit the economy.

Yusuf told media persons that while the policy draft was a classified document, a public version of it would be finalised and launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan within seven to 10 days.

Earlier, Chaudhry said the same, adding that it was for the first time that "national security has been clubbed with the economy".

"A strong economy guarantees your security," he said.

More importantly, the minister added, the policy focused on the security of the common man.

"Until a common is not satisfied with the economic, social and legal situation, the country's security will be at risk," he said.

JIT for Nazim Jokhio murder case

Chaudhry also announced that the federal cabinet had given approval for the formation of a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the murder of Nazim Jokhio, who was tortured to death during alleged illegal detention at the farmhouse of PPP MPA Jam Awais in Malir, Karachi.

Nazim Jokhio was found tortured to death at the farmhouse of PPP MPA Jam Awais on November 3. The victim’s family accuses the MPA and his henchmen of torturing him to death for resisting houbara bustard hunting by the lawmaker’s Arab guests in Nazim’s Achar Salaar village.

"You are well aware of what was done to protect the murderers in this case ... A criminal investigation was compromised. This is unacceptable," he said, adding that this was why approval was given for the constitution of a JIT.

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