Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday launched an “all-encompassing” National Security Policy 2022-26, which ranges from foreign policy to infrastructure development to technology. Meanwhile, opposition parties in the country have reportedly been left fuming, as they were not consulted while the policy was being drawn up.
While the new National Security Policy talks of seeking peace with India and no hostility with New Delhi for the next 100 years, Islamabad is firm on its stand that this is based on India listening to its demand on Kashmir.
Khan launched the ‘public’ version of the NSP, consisting of 62 pages, that boasts of having “bold visions and big ideas”, and being a document that will bring “domestic stability and regional peace based on mutual co-existence, regional connectivity, and shared prosperity are essential prerequisites to optimising national security”.
The ‘main’ version of the policy will remain classified and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis by the government.
“Cognisant of Pakistan’s complex security requirements, the National Security Policy adopts a directional tone, providing strategic guidance on priority areas for policy action while identifying opportunities for and challenges to our national security in the medium and long term,” the country’s National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf has said in the policy.
According to the Pakistan government, strengthening the economy and achieving economic security remains at the core of the policy, something Imran Khan claimed all previous government have failed to do.
“Pakistan’s evolution happened in an insecure environment and our national security became one-dimensional and understandably so, because one of our neighbours was seven times bigger than us. We had a conflict with them in 1948 and 1965 and hence our mindset became only one-dimensional and that was military security,” the Pakistan PM said, hinting at India, while launching the policy.
He said the policy is going to be “multi-dimensional” and “all-encompassing”, adding that if the economy is not strong, then nothing can be achieved by a nation, as it has to “run to” the International Monetary Fund (IMF) every other day (for grants and loans).
“When you borrow from the IMF, you have to agree to their conditionalities and that leads to compromise of your security,” he stressed.
According to local media reports in Pakistan, the country is once again headed towards another IMF loan, which will be over and above the $6 billion bailout package it received in 2019.