NSP needs consensus, right priorities and resources



Prime Minister Imran Khan while launching Public version of National Security Policy said whenever country goes to IMF it is compelled to accept its terms and conditions and once we accept these we compromise our security. No country can remain without National Security Policy. Pakistan was never without security policy because it was military security hence the unending debate continued on civil military relations and media also exploited it suiting to their convenience. This debate is still going on. Any security must cater people security. Pakistan has a chequered history where army ruled for 35 years due to incompetence of political leaderships that failed to provide good governance and indulged in massive corruption that’s why they failed to display their supremacy because their aims and objectives were different. No state can function without laying down security parameters. Unfortunately security policy was not given much of importance and after detailed deliberations aims and objectives of Pakistan state were finalised. The result was that people always looked towards army and gave them full support. Credit must be given to Prime Minister Imran Khan in formulating National Security Policy and making it public except certain portions termed as classified. It would have been more appropriate to publish it in Urdu so that people could also understand and derive benefit. National Security Policy has four major ingredients, securing economic future, defence, territorial integrity, internal security and military security now termed as an aspect of overall security making it clear that it is no more military security. This is very timely step as threat has increased keeping in view the geopolitics therefore it was need of the hour to sit with major stake holders to frame policy that could provide security, economy, safety and future development. The main feature of the National Security Policy is that it focuses on economy instead military capabilities. Logically it appeals to mind if you are economically strong your defence capabilities automatically get boost, in case being low in economics we are left with no option except to borrow loans to maintain balance of military capabilities against our declared enemy India. To keep balance we entered in to various pacts in the past and had to accept their terms and conditions as is happening now we are taking dictation from IMF. As earlier mentioned by the Prime Minister when country goes to IMF it is compelled to accept its terms and conditions and once we accept these we compromise our security. Since we are under heavy debt unable even to pay back the interest and taking further loans tantamount to compromising our security, therefore till such time we are not in position to clear the debt it will be difficult to implement the policy in letter and spirit. Likewise our foreign policy shall have close linkage with economic diplomacy. It is so unfortunate that we had only one international issue of Kashmir and failed to get support of UN members and the issue of Kashmir stays where it was at the time of partition and India backed out of UN resolution of holding plebiscite and allowing Kashmiris to decide their future. But Modi has changed the status of Jammu & Kashmir by annexing Kashmir by annulling Article 370 and 35-A which gave special status to Jammu & Kashmir. PM Imran wants to have good relations with India provided India revokes above two articles. Pakistan should keep in mind that world powers don’t like Pakistan being nuclear power and powerful army and are willing to go to any length to harm our interests. While formulating National Security Policy opposition was not involved, question arises such an important policy that encompasses all stake holders and the people at large in the presence of 18 amendments how the provinces will be brought in to support the government. There is definite need that this NSP be discussed in threadbare to reach to consensus otherwise it may create difficulties. On such important issue the nation has to be on one page. This policy has done away with traditional security represented by defence with non traditional security that is people centric revolve around economic security and health security. It has changed the concept that Pakistan is no more security state, the narrative adopted by the military due to permanent threat from India. Now once priorities have been changed the focus will be on economic security and well being of people with military security being called an aspect of overall security is certainly going to affect our narrative on India whose all moves are against Pakistan and our all efforts by successive governments have failed to convince India to settle long outstanding issue of Kashmir. There is need for the government to discuss and debate the issue in the parliament and taking opposition on board failing which it may create problems. The change was floated in the past by Gen Karamat later on by Gen Kayani but was brushed aside. Even today one may disagree we are confronted more with internal threat we witnessed how TLP paralysed the state and government had to accept all their demands the agreement remains a secret, likewise some portion of the NSP has been kept secret. We have to lay down the priorities, keeping in view the situation that exists on the top is Internal Threat if it is not controlled it will affect all other parameters of NSP. Second most important point that has been overlooked is availability of resources, without resources it will not be possible to achieve the goals set in the new NSP. We are still begging and are trying to increase the tax base again calls for proper rationale to handle the NSP. Lastly this government is not in mood to talk to opposition coupled with lack of resources and absence of consensus implementation of NSP may not see the light of the day


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