Pakistan approves citizen-centric National Security Policy

Islamabad: Pakistan’s top security panel on Monday approved its National Security Policy for 2022-26, placing “economic security at the core” of the first-of-its kind document to ensure a “citizen-centric approach to security”.

The policy was presented and approved at the 36th meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC), chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and all Services Chiefs.

This is the first time a National Security Policy has been approved in Pakistan.

“To ensure this citizen-centric approach to security, the NSP put economic security at the core. A stronger economy would create additional resources that would in turn be judiciously distributed to further bolster military and human security, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Federal Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Defence, Information, Interior, Finance and Human Rights as well as other senior civil and military officers were also present at the NSC meet.

The NSP has been created through a whole-of-government effort over the last seven years, and included extensive consultations among federal government institutions, with all provinces, and with the academia and private sector, NSA Yusuf said at the meet.

It was highlighted that a detailed implementation framework had been created through which the National Security Division would review progress in collaboration with relevant ministries and departments.

The NSC members, while approving the NSP, appreciated the National Security Division and all other government departments for this effort.

Prime Minister Khan, on the occasion, emphasised that the security of Pakistan rests in the security of its citizens, reposing confidence that Pakistan is well prepared to meet any internal and external threat.

Terming the NSP’s formulation and approval a historic moment, the prime minister noted that the policy must guide all organs of the government to ensure that their efforts are synchronised with the overall direction of the NSP.

He instructed the National Security Adviser to present an implementation progress report to the NSC every month.

The NSP will now be presented to the Cabinet before being officially adopted.

A public version of the document will be released in due course.

Revitalisation of the Planning Committee and the expansion of the NSC’s Advisory Board was also unanimously approved by the participants during the meeting, according to the statement.