ISLAMABAD: The public version of the recently approved National Security Policy (NSP) will be launched on Friday.
An official, at a press conference on Tuesday, expressed hope that the release of the public version of the NSP would spark a debate on the policy which has been codified for the first time in the country’s history.
The NSP was approved by the federal cabinet on December 28, a day after gaining approval from the National Security Committee.
The policy defines the direction the country should take in the coming years. Its creators reportedly took a citizen-centric approach to national security and placed particular emphasis on economic security.
The document has sections on national cohesion, economy, defence, internal security, foreign policy and human security
The policy document is intended for a period of five years (2022-26) but will be reviewed at the end of each year.
The full 110-page NSP document would remain classified. However, a shorter version of almost 50 pages is being published.
The critical analysis of the state of play in the different sectors is contained in the main document, and the implementation framework and indicators developed for monitoring and evaluating progress made in the execution of the policy do not are not included in the public version, which, moreover, not specify the various elements of national interest.
The document contains chapters on national cohesion, economy, defence, internal security, foreign policy and human security.
In the area of foreign policy, the NSP places as much emphasis on political as on economic diplomacy, in addition to placing peace in the region as the absolute priority. It further reiterates the commitment not to be part of bloc politics.
At the same time, the defense section highlights the challenges posed by hybrid warfare and cybersecurity threats in addition to questions relating to conventional capabilities and strategic deterrence.
He recommends increasing the size of the resource pie, addressing the external imbalance, and redistributing wealth wisely.
Tricky topics like accountability, curriculum review, governance challenges including the review of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and the future status of Gilgit-Baltistan will be part of the classified portion.
Opposition parties have criticized the government for not considering their input when formulating policy.
Opposition leaders boycotted a meeting of the parliamentary national security committee where the NSP’s draft copy was shared.
The official, while dismissing criticism from the opposition, said that extensive consultations had taken place during the formulation of the policy and that even at this stage the political parties had not shown much interest in share their views.
He, however, felt that all parties in the political division of the country agreed on the direction recommended by the policy.
The official emphasized that the NSP was not a political document and hoped that it would not fall victim to politics.
Posted in Dawn, January 12, 2022