It is a ‘Comprehensive National Security’ framework which is citizen centric. Where at one place its foreign policy and military capabilities are centric towards peace and stability in the region and beyond, it has its emphasis upon economic security at the core of national security, keeping a fine balance between traditional and non-traditional security threats and opportunities. The National Security policy emphasis upon a geo-economic vision to supplement the focus on geo-strategy, and recognizes that sustainable and inclusive economic growth is needed to expand our national resource pie, as this will allow greater availability of resources to bolster both traditional and human security.
With its core being an Islamic Welfare state, the National Security visions on a universal principles of justice, equality, tolerance, and being internationally relevant. The Policy also visions an economically stable and a secure Pakistan which respects the diversity of culture, demography alongside fundamental rights and social justice without any discrimination on the basis of race, creed or belief. It seeks to promote good governance by transparency, accountability, strengthening of institutions and openness as articles of faith.
The process of policy formulation started from as early as 2014, and was held with multiple consultations of official stakeholders, which includes all federal ministers, provincial governments, governments of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and military institutions, with open hearings on key contours from both public and private universities. Furthermore, the national security has given special emphasis on a secured economic future, territorial integrity and defense, internal security, foreign policy and human security.
With the lens of securing an economic future, the policy has highlighted three critical economic challenges linked to national security: external imbalance, socio-economic inequalities, and geographic disparities between developed and under-developed regions of Pakistan. It seeks to promote trade, investment, and connectivity and give affordable quality education on technological innovation so that Pakistan may be able to produce a globally competitive human resource. The policy also focuses on improving energy sector and be able to secure international access to energy sources.
In terms of territorial integrity and defense, the policy seeks to secure the borders at all costs. Deterring wars with credible minimum nuclear deterrence through conventional military capabilities and all other elements of national power. With an aim of a cost-effective and adaptable military structure, it focuses on modernization and optimization of force structures. What is new about this domain is the focus on space based applications and technologies to meet future challenges. Lastly, the territorial integrity and defense focuses on a policy of combating hybrid warfare by cyber security, enhancing information and countering disinformation, economic coercion and influence operations among many other hybrid tools.
With the lens of internal security, the policy seeks to ensure guarantees of life and properties to all citizens of Pakistan with zero tolerance towards extremism, terrorism and violent sub-nationalism. It highlights the commitment of fighting organized crimes for ensuring a safe environment for intellectual and economic activity and the development of an equitable, responsive, and citizen-focused justice system which will preserve of the rights of the citizens of Pakistan as per the rights given in the Constitution of Pakistan.
In terms of foreign policy, the policy focuses on convergence on strategic and economic interests by cultivating broad-based relationships with global powers. It seeks to promote regional peace through normalization of relations in the immediate neighborhood of Pakistan, and find a just and peaceful resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UNSC resolutions. The policy further focuses on enhanced initiations on economic diplomacy, while countering negative perceptions about Pakistan, actively engaging with Pakistani diaspora.
Lastly, the National Security Policy of Pakistan has emphasized upon human security of Pakistan. It focuses upon developments of rural economy and equitable developments of smaller towns and cities to limit the flow of urban migration, stabilization and management of population and urban planning. Furthermore, it seeks to pursue youth focused policies for promoting skills development and entrepreneurship. In addition, it seeks to secure the food production by increasing cultivatable land, adopting climate resilient agriculture, and taking actions against illegal market practices. Health security, including surveillance and prevention, instituting pandemic and epidemic response mechanisms and improving preventive healthcare are also on the agenda. Preparedness against natural disasters and climate change, preservation of water scarcity and an increase role of women and transgender in state building are also highlighted on the agenda of the national security policy.
To conclude, National Security Policy of Pakistan 2022-2026 is the first of its kind of national security policy of Pakistan. The policy has tried to keep a fine balance between traditional and non-traditional security threats and opportunities. With the vision of an Islamic Welfare state, the policy has emphasized human security to be their top most priority, and have kept equity on the basis of developments and national security. What is new in this policy is their vision and aim of space based applications and technologies to meet future challenges and increasing roles of women and transgender in state building agenda.