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ISLAMABAD: National Security Advisor, Dr Moeed Yusuf has said that the National Security Policy places economic security as the core of comprehensive security policy.

The Senate Defence Committee was given a comprehensive briefing by National Security Advisor, Dr. Moeed Yusuf at an in-camera meeting held at parliament Friday. During the briefing, specific features of National Security Policy, and its key components were discussed.

The National Security Advisor briefed on the process of policy formulation and the policy’s salient features. The National Security Policy formulation process was started in 2014 when the National Security Division was created. Over the last seven years, an inter-governmental consultation process was undertaken with federal ministries, provincial governments and all other stakeholders. Consultations were also held with academics, university students, independent policy experts and other members of civil society.

The National Security policy builds on existing government policies and provides an overall umbrella document to guide future policy direction in areas that impact national security. It also examines opportunities and challenges in a fluid global environment and prioritizes policy actions for implementation. Importantly, it contains an annual review and a review when any new government comes into place to ensure policy continuity and build flexibility on national security issues. 232 actionable items are identified.

The policy places economic security as the core of comprehensive security because it recognizes that only through increasing prosperity of our citizens and the overall national resources, can Pakistan invest more in strengthening human security and traditional security.

The Senate Defence Committee welcomed the National Security Policy as a good first step, which builds on the work on National Security done by previous governments.

The Chairman of Senate Defense Committee, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed 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 and the pandemic, climate change, food security, water scarcity and education’.

He also underlined that ‘Kashmir and the Nuclear programme must remain center-stage as Pakistan’s core national interests and these must be promoted and protected. He also underlined the need for building a sophisticated, coordinated, professional strategic communication strategy to present Pakistan’s narrative to the outside world’ saying that in this regard ‘parliamentary diplomacy should be a key component’.

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 the policies pursued for implementation’.

The briefing by Dr. Moeed Yusuf was followed by a detailed Q and A session with the members of the defence committee present on the occasion.

Senators Faisal Javed, Rukhsana Zuberi, Dr. Zarqa Suharwardy Taimoor, Palwasha Mohammad Zai Khan, Hidayatullah and Waleed Iqbal attended the meeting. Secretary DefCom, Major (r) Hasnain Haider was also present on the occasion while the Ministry of Defence was represented by its Additional Secretary, Rear Admiral Faisal Amin.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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