The National Security Committee (NSC) — the highest forum for coordination on security issues — on Monday approved the country’s first-ever National Security Policy aimed at strengthening the security apparatus to tackle all internal and external challenges as well as ensuring the protection of citizens.

The security policy was unveiled at the 36th NSC meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan with participation from key ministers, chairman joint chiefs of staff committee, all services chiefs, national security advisor and senior civil and military officers, according to a press release issued after the meeting.

Briefing the meeting, National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf highlighted that Pakistan was shifting to a comprehensive national security framework while the ultimate purpose of national security was to ensure the safety and security of citizens.

The meeting was informed that the policy had been devised with the consultation of all stakeholders concerned, the official statement said.

“To ensure this citizen-centric approach to security, the NSP put economic security at the core,” Yusuf told the meeting.

According to the NSA, a stronger economy would create additional resources that would in turn be judiciously distributed to further bolster military and human security.

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.

In his remarks, Prime Minister Imran Khan emphasised that the security of Pakistan rested in the security of its citizens and reposed confidence that Pakistan was well prepared to meet any internal and external threats.

Terming the NSP’s formulation and approval a historic moment, the premier 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 directed the NSA to present an implementation progress report to the NSC every month.

The NSC members, while approving the policy, appreciated the National Security Division and all other government departments for the effort, the statement added.

Meanwhile, revitalisation of the Planning Committee and the expansion of NSC’s Advisory Board was also unanimously approved by the participants during the meeting.

The new policy will now be presented to the federal cabinet for its imprimatur before it is officially adopted. “A public version of the document will be released in due course.”

Earlier this month, the premier had said that national security was more than just a matter of focusing on military might, adding that it encompassed inclusive growth as well.

The prime minister said a similar focus was needed on human development as well and called upon the audience to highlight the issues in Pakistan’s three-tiered education system.


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