Review of the National Security Policy of Pakistan 2022-26
By News Desk
On 10th February 2022, a Roundtable In-House Discussion on “Review of the National Security Policy of Pakistan 2022 – 2026” was jointly organized by Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad & Area Study Center (Russia, China & Central Asia), University of Peshawar in Peshawar.
The event commenced with the keynote address by Lieutenant General Aamer Riaz, HI(M), (Retd), President, CGSS. He stated that the National Security Policy is a holistic, complete and dynamic document. He suggested that it should be accepted by all stakeholders and Political parties of Pakistan for better implementation. He also shared that the sole of this national security policy is the social contract between individuals, state and institutions. He was of the view that there is always a philosophy governing the state and economic stability is the backbone of every philosophy and policy. He suggested that a reviewing and monitoring mechanism should be designed to monitor the progress made in implementing the National Security Policy and to check if concerned stakeholders are working towards achieving the mentioned goals and indicators.
Prof. Dr. Shabir Ahmed Khan, Director, Area Study Center (Russia, China & Central Asia), University of Peshawar & Vice President (KP Region), CGSS highlighted that the National Security Policy discussed Global economic footprint which seems ambitious. He was of the view that the focus shall be expanded towards a regional economic footprint. . A country has to integrate regionally first if it has to efficiently integrate globally. Pakistan should be a regional economic melting pot instead of indulging in a global power competition of a zero sum game when we talk of trade, investment and connectivity. He emphasized that collective efforts and contribution of national approach will lead towards secure and prosperous Pakistan. Achieving comprehensive national security is a shared national responsibility. Neither a single institution can take this responsibility nor is it in the capacity of a single institution to address all these issues singlehandedly.
Mr. Hasan Akhbar, Senior Policy Analyst, National Security Division, Government of Pakistan discussed the process of formulating the National Security Policy. He stated that it was a comprehensive and consultative process that involved taking input from experts, analysts, academicians, media representatives and University scholars as well. He also highlighted that priority actions have been identified and a framework has been given with consultation of concerned ministries to solve the issues concerning national security. Performance indicators have also been set to deal with the identified issues.
Mr. Ashfaq Ahmed Gondal, Vice President (Federal Region), CGSS highlighted that the first National Security Policy was given by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in only three words, “Unity, Faith and Discipline “. Without these three elements a state cannot be secured. He further stated that the social contract between individual, state and institutions is very important. The state is responsible to provide basic necessities to its citizens, it is also responsible to provide career opportunities and resources to citizen so they may earn for themselves. When state fails to provide these, individuals lose faith in their state that negatively impacts the national security.
Prof. Azmat Hayat Khan, Former Director/Former Vice Chancellor, University of Peshawar shared that national security has many dimensions and definitions. It can mainly be divided into external and internal factors. He was of the view that Pakistan must focus on its internal issues & vulnerabilities for national security.
Dr. Muhammad Shafi, Assistant Professor, Area Study Center, University of Peshawar stated began his review by defining national security and its purpose. He stated that it is a vision that has a trickledown effect on all other policies including financial, foreign, defence, etc. He stated that it can be witnessed from the National Security Policy that the focus has now been shifted from traditional security threats to Non-traditional security threats. Moreover, the policy also keeps economic security and development at the very core of national security which is again very important.
Mr. Khalid Taimur Akram, Executive Director, CGSS suggested that academicians and scholars should be included in Policy making of the country. He was of the view that students should be asked to write reviews and thesis related to the national security policy.
The Round Table was attended by 50 participants including faculty members, students and scholars from Peshawar.