National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf on Friday said that the National Security Policy puts economic security at the core of a comprehensive security framework.
During an in-camera meeting held at Parliament house, Dr Yusuf gave a comprehensive briefing to the Senate Defence Committee, wherein he discussed specific features of the National Security Policy, along with its key components.
The NSA briefed the meeting on the process of policy formulation and its salient features. He said that the process started in 2014 when the National Security Division was created.
Over the last seven years, consultations were held between federal ministries, provincial governments and other stakeholders, he added.
He further said that the government also held consultations with academics, university students, independent policy experts, and other members of civil society.
Dr Yusuf said that the National Security Policy builds on existing governmental policies and serves as an umbrella document to guide future policy direction in areas that impact national security.
He said that it examines opportunities and challenges in a fluid global environment and prioritises policy actions for implementation.
Most importantly, the policy calls for an annual review, or whenever a new government is formed, to ensure continuity and flexibility on national security issues, he added.
He said that the policy has so far identified 232 actionable items.
Recognizing the importance of prosperity for strengthening human security and subsequently traditional security, the NSA said, the policy places economic security at the core of a comprehensive security framework.
The committee welcomed the National Security Policy as a good first step, which builds on the work of previous governments on the matter.
Committee Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said that “given the changing global scenario, national security cannot be defined solely in terms of military might, and this should now revolve around human security challenges such as health, population management, pandemics, climate change, food security, water scarcity and education”.
In reference to conventional security paradigms, he said that Kashmir and the country’s nuclear programme must remain the centre-stage of Pakistan’s core national interest.
He also underlined the need for building a sophisticated, coordinated, professional strategic communication strategy to propagate Pakistan’s narrative to the world, saying that “parliamentary diplomacy should be a key component” in this regard.
Senator Mushahid said that the National Security Policy, which is above partisan politics, must have a broad political consensus through parliament, and institutional decision-making must be the basis of policies pursued for implementation.
The NSA’s briefing was followed by a detailed question and answer session with the committee members.
Senators Faisal Javed, Rukhsana Zuberi, Dr Zarqa Suharwardy Taimoor, Palwasha Mohammad Zai Khan, Hidayatullah, Waleed Iqbal, DefCom Secretary Major (r) Hasnain Haider and Ministry of Defence’s Additional Secretary Rear Admiral Faisal Amin also attended the meeting.