Islamabad, January 14
Pakistan, in its first-ever National Security Policy (NSP) launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday, sets out the imperative to deter war and defend the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty at “all costs” by using all the elements of national power.
NSP 2022-26, with references to India, was developed after seven years of diligent and rigorous analysis and consultation by the National Security Division.
The full 110-page NSP document will remain classified. However, a shorter version of almost 50 pages is being published.
The public version, seen by PTI, is intended to provide insight into the country’s overall national security vision and direction.
Section V of the policy provides an overview of the traditional concept of security and the efforts made by policy makers to deal with various threats.
Its guiding principle is: “To ensure the defense and territorial integrity of Pakistan in all their manifestations”.
After highlighting various security challenges, the NSP in its main policy directive states, “To deter war by all elements of national power, while exercising our right to self-defense if war is imposed.”
The cardinal political objective, according to the NSP, is to “defend Pakistan’s territorial integrity at all costs” and adds that this has only been possible by having conventional capability and full deterrence.
“Deter aggression by maintaining a cost-effective and adaptive military focused on modernizing and optimizing force structures to ensure adequate conventional capability and maintain full-spectrum deterrence within the confines of a credible minimum nuclear deterrent, without s ‘involved in an arms race,’ he said. noted.
In an apparent reference to India, he says that “with a regressive and dangerous ideology gripping the collective consciousness in our immediate vicinity, the prospects for violent conflict have increased enormously.”
“The possibility of the use of force by the adversary as a deliberate political choice cannot be ruled out,” he added.
The policy warns that Pakistan is committed to defending its territorial integrity in response to any military mishaps.
“The required conventional capabilities will be provided through wise investment in the constant modernization of our armed forces without getting involved in an arms race,” he said.
“In addition, indigenizing defense production, increasing network-centric capabilities, battlefield awareness, electronic warfare capabilities, and other force multipliers will be prioritized,” the policy states. .
The NSP asserts that nuclear deterrence occupies a critical role in the calculation of South Asia’s security.
“Pakistan’s nuclear capability deters war through full-spectrum deterrence within the confines of minimum credible nuclear deterrence, in concert with our conventional military capabilities and all elements of national power,” he said. declared.
The policy states that the expansion of India’s nuclear triad, open statements on nuclear policy and investments and the introduction of destabilizing technologies are upsetting the strategic balance in the region and that Pakistan’s deterrence regime is vital and aims to regional peace.
The policy states that hybrid warfare is an evolving concept with expanding and blurring boundaries and that hybrid threats against Pakistan come from states and their proxies as well as non-state actors.
“Pakistan will take a holistic and interconnected whole-nation approach to neutralize attempts to undermine Pakistan’s security and stability through hybrid warfare,” he noted.
It indicates that the security of land, air and sea borders as well as space and cyber domains is paramount.
“Special attention is required to manage the lingering border disputes which continue to pose security threats, particularly along the Line of Control and the Labor Border where India’s ceasefire violations threaten the lives and property of civilians while endangering regional stability,” he said.
Pakistan should strengthen and improve space technology and its application to meet future challenges in countering disinformation and influence operations while improving information and cyber security, data security and capacity monitoring, he said.
The policy notes that the Indian Ocean is rapidly becoming a contested space and that any country’s self-proclaimed role as a so-called internet security provider in the wider Indian Ocean would negatively affect the security and economic interests of the region.
“This requires a renewed focus on building Pakistan’s capacity to address emerging challenges. Protecting our Exclusive Economic Zone, ensuring freedom of navigation and protecting against piracy will remain of critical importance,” he said.
Stressing the importance of the information age, he said security and surveillance of communications and cyberspace are crucial aspects of defence.
“With information and cyber warfare posing a new dimension to our security challenges, having robust mechanisms in place to protect cyberspace from malicious use are essential tools for our security,” he said.
According to its executive summary, the National Security Policy 2022-2026 is Pakistan’s first national security policy document, seeking to co-locate the country within emerging global trends and identifies policy objectives and priority areas where Islamabad should invest. its national resources to ensure the most beneficial results.
“The policy sets out a citizen-centric “comprehensive national security” framework for Pakistan, the ultimate goal of which is to ensure the safety, security, dignity and prosperity of people. It recognizes both traditional and non-traditional security aspects that impinge on national security,” he said.
The main opportunities and challenges, as well as the political objectives for each important aspect of national security, are briefly described.
Specific details and analyzes of the security landscape, the country’s vital national security interests, priority actions and implementation framework were not included in the document.
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