HomeGeopoliticsHighlights: Pakistan's first-ever National Security Policy

Highlights: Pakistan’s first-ever National Security Policy

Pakistan government on Friday the 14th of January 2022, announced its first ever National Security Policy. NSP 2022-26, which has been framed after several years of “ diligent and rigorous analysis and consultations”, aims to deter military conflicts with its neighbors, especially India, through utilizing all elements of national security. Here are some highlights of this NSP released by the Govt. of Pakistan.

The NSP 2022-26 aims to enhance cooperation between government, military, entities, and citizens within the nation to work towards the social, economic, and strategic development of the state. Similar to five-year plans adopted by nations across the globe, the policy is not rigid but will be followed for a period of five years, focusing on achieving the goals set to be achieved in the respective period. Yearly updates on the existing policy will also be provided, especially if a new government is formed, or in case of a major event that has far-reaching implications for Pakistan’s national security.

National Security Division and “whole-of-government” approach:

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The National Security Division (NSD) will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of NSP, which will require a “whole-of-government” approach, which means close cooperation between all the organs of the government for smooth operations and avoiding conflicts. While traditional security focuses on defense, territorial integrity, internal security, and diplomacy, non-traditional security comprises broader elements that impinge on a country’s economic health and citizen well-being. NSP 2022 focuses on both aspects to ensure the all-around growth of the state. 

NSP believes that matters related to national security should remain inclusive of the opinions of all sections of society. With this, the policy expects the government to be more accountable to the people while creating a healthy citizen-state relationship. It prioritizes matters of National interests instead of emotion-driven strategies. This includes planning to attain desired results in long term for the well-being of the country in the modern era. The NSP addresses major social issues across the nation. Therefore, it gives enough importance to major socio-economic development plans like poverty alleviation, public service, citizen complaint portals, etc.

To guard the identity of the population and the distinctive culture, the policy also focuses on fostering the emotions of patriotism, unity to promote interfaith harmony and minority rights, and intellectual expression and thought based on openness and equal opportunities irrespective of caste, creed, religion, gender, or socio-economic standing. To have a genuine nature of administration and control, the NSP addresses the demand of having a stable federation, to maintain unity and achieve the goals of national importance. 

NSP and Defending Pakistan’s Economic interests:

The policy is also concerned with a variety of imbalances, which can challenge the proper implementation of the policy. It includes fixing external imbalance and reducing dependency on foreign nations for necessities and having a self-reliant approach. Vertical Imbalances specify the huge gaps between rich and poor; as well as horizontal imbalances where regional disparities exist across the nation, will be sorted out by the policy. The aim to bolster the economy of the nation is an important key highlight of the policy, where developments in various fields are encouraged to take the best from resources available in the country, both in physical and human form. Public Debt should also be maintained at a sustainable level to prevent the downfall of the economy.

With the great pace of technological advancements, especially in terms of supplementing humor work with automation to get more precise and quick results, the policy also hopes to make sure that Pakistan can adapt and improvise with the changes to cope up with the advancements in the contemporary world. To gain a more reputed position in World Economy, the policy also aims at valuing exports to the large scale of vital elements in demand in the global market. This also includes producing a skilled and semi-skilled workforce that will be able to make its stand in foreign nations around the world. This also attracts a huge inflow of foreign exchange in various forms.

NSP and Military, Space preparedness:

This is the core component of NSP, that will promote military advancements to deal with contemporary threats in every domain of the battlefield. Military modernization with the development of the acquisition of sophisticated battle systems will be privileged to ensure the security of the borders. NSP is looking for Pakistan to participate in the ongoing space exploration race where now many countries are slowly taking their steps, both developed and developing. The neglected Space development is most likely to be restarted to make sure that Pakistan will be ready to counter any threats in that domain.

Information warfare is now a new domain of battlefield and will pose a greater threat to countries around the globe each day. NSP looks at having a secured channel of communications and information transfer is a must to support the state’s values, actions, and overall territorial integrity, it is necessary to be prepared to counter the threats in the field. Disinformation against the state is equally harmful to its image on global forums as well as domestic reputation. NSP is aggressively focusing on neutralizing any propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Resolving internal and external conflicts:

The situation of an internal crisis is more dangerous for a country than having an invasion from an external party. Therefore, several elements like terrorism, extremism, espionage, illegal narcotics, etc., that hold the potential to disturb the peace and stability in the state will be countered with force. NSP is not just looking to have peace in the country, but also in the whole of South Asia. It believes in solving disputes and hostilities via diplomacy and not military interference. A strategy of using dialogue channels as a medium of not just reducing hostilities but also increasing closeness with neighboring countries.

NSP and diplomatic relations with China, India and Rest Of the World (ROW): 

China is, was, and will remain a close ally of Pakistan due to close political and economic ties that will bolster the interests of both nations in long term. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will remain a subject of national interest due to its capacity to foster economic growth, poverty reduction, and enhancing inter-connectivity. NSP states that Pakistan is no longer looking for escalations with the Republic of India. It is now hoping to solve any conflicts via negotiations and not with coercive actions that harm the peace and stability in both states. However, it is clear that the Kashmir issue will be resolved.

The relationship between Pakistan and Middle Eastern states will continue to bolster due to historic trust, mutual cooperation, and standing economic ties. Turkey is another close partner of Pakistan and will remain so due to the growing rate of cooperation in the domains of technology, infrastructure and defense. Pakistan will always stand to protect the interests and existence of Islamic states in the region. NSP seeks partnership and co-operating with US and western nations to establish its vision of peace and stability in the region as well as working together to achieve mutual benefits in various fields of development.

Stance on Important international issues: Palestine and Kashmir

NSP re-affirms Pakistan’s support for the Palestine struggle against Israel. It seeks a two-state solution acceptable to Palestinians, in accordance with relevant United Nations (UN) and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) resolutions. NSP reiterates Pakistan’s solution for the Kashmir dispute with India. It states that control of India on Jammu & Kashmir must be withdrawn due to allegations of numerous war crimes against the native population living in the population. It also assured that Pakistan will continue its moral, diplomatic, political, and legal support for the people of Indian administered Kashmir.