Pakistan on Friday launched its first-ever comprehensive national security policy which it said focused on regional peace and economic connectivity, and stressed it wanted improved relations with neighboring India.
The National Security Policy, which spanned seven years, is meant to act as an overarching framework linking policies in different sectors. Economic security is listed as the top priority.
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“I am confident that the effective implementation of this policy will contribute immensely to the economic security of our country,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said, speaking at an event to launch the public version of the policy in Islamabad. .
Officials say details of the policy, prepared by a department run jointly by civilian and military leaders, will remain confidential.
The policy revolves around seeking peace with neighbors and exploring opportunities to make Pakistan a hub for trade and investment.
“Pakistan is poised to leverage its geo-economic location to function as a hub of production, trade and investment, and connectivity for our wider region to enhance our economic security,” the policy document states. .
He also sought peace and better relations with rival India, but warned that policies pursued by its eastern neighbor could lead to conflict.
“The political exploitation of a policy of belligerence towards Pakistan by the Indian leadership has led to the threat of military adventurism and non-contact warfare in our immediate east,” he said.
Pakistan and India, both of which possess nuclear weapons, have fought three wars since 1947 and have had a number of military skirmishes – most recently a limited engagement between their air forces in 2019.
Pakistan has long been considered by analysts as a security state, where military policy has always taken precedence over other considerations.
Apart from three wars with India, Pakistan has been embroiled in two wars in neighboring Afghanistan and has also faced violent extremist militancy and separatist movements.
“It’s like summarizing a wish list of concerns for Pakistan and ambitions, but with no reference to the scarcity of resources or how consensus will be developed,” the author and analyst told Reuters. defense Ayesha Siddiqa.
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