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Imran Khan launches Pakistan’s first-ever national security policy




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 using all 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 reads: 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: Discourage 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-spectrum 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 involved in an arms race, he said.

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 smart investments 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 says.

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.

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 adopt 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.

Particular 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 ceasefire violations by India threaten 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 calls for a renewed focus on building Pakistan’s capacity to meet emerging challenges. Protecting our exclusive economic zone, guaranteeing freedom of navigation and protection against piracy will remain of crucial 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, putting in place robust mechanisms to protect cyberspace from malicious use is an essential tool 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 comprehensive citizen-centric national security framework for Pakistan whose ultimate goal 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 says.

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.

Earlier, National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf said that Pakistan under the new policy will move to a comprehensive national security framework with the aim of ensuring the safety, security and dignity of Pakistani citizens. .

“The policy places economic security at its core. A stronger economy would create additional resources which would then be distributed to further strengthen military and human security,” he said.

On the foreign front, the new policy highlights disinformation, Hindutva and the use of aggression for domestic political purposes as India’s main threats, the Express Tribune newspaper reported.

The report, quoting Yusuf, said the policy places the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at the heart of the bilateral relationship.

Asked about the message he is sending to India, Yusuf said he is telling India to do the right thing and jump on the bandwagon to benefit from regional connectivity to uplift our peoples. It also tells India that if you don’t want to do the right thing, it will be a loss for the whole region, but especially for India.

Earlier this week, an official said Pakistan was ready to make peace with its immediate neighbours, including India, under the new security policy which leaves doors open for trade with New Delhi even without the settlement of the Kashmir issue provided that the bilateral talks progress. .

Peace with immediate neighbors and economic diplomacy will be the central theme of Pakistan’s foreign policy in the new national security policy, the newspaper reported on Tuesday.

“We are not looking for hostility with India for the next 100 years. The new policy aims for peace with immediate neighbours,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

If there is dialogue and progress, there would be an opportunity to normalize trade and commercial relations with India as happened in the past, the official added.

India has told Pakistan that it wants normal neighborly relations with Islamabad in an environment free from terror, hostility and violence.




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