National Security Policy

National Security Policy

The government’s announcement of its citizen-centric National Security Policy (NSP) comes at a time when it is arguably needed the most. The past few years have seen our economy reel from both imported and homegrown inflation, alongside rapid devaluation of the Rupee and a perennially skewed trade balance.

This is why the NSP’s focus on economic security and welfare of the public is certainly something that is becoming more of an urgent need with every passing day.

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The government has only released portions of this policy to the general public, but that is understandable considering that issues of hardcore security should be kept closely guarded. Beyond the economy, the document looks to frame a comprehensive and all-encompassing strategy in both traditional and novel lines of defence.

Threats from India naturally entail a focus on both internal and regional security, but the policy goes a step further and recognises the new spheres of conflict, in the realms of cyberspace and even space security.

It is clear that the state is looking to expand its capacity to stave off threats in these varied spheres, which naturally requires investment. However, what is admirable here is that there will be a greater focus on indigenisation than ever before, which is needed if Pakistan is to become more self reliant in matters of both economy and defence.

Another important aspect of the NSP is that it will be reviewed regularly by the National Security Committee (NSC) to both monitor progress and allow for any trajectory changes when needed. For decades, we have been our own worst enemy in terms of the reactive approach to policymaking that successive governments have employed. It is hoped that consistent reviews and properly charted milestones will help in changing tack and becoming more flexible and proactive in determining how to get Pakistan to put its best foot forward, for the economy, human development and defence.

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