The crumbling state of the economy of Pakistan is known to the world. Internal economic instabilities and external turbulences such as the Pandemic have aggravated the imbalanced situation in the country.
To address this challenge the Government of Pakistan has come up with the first of its National Security Policy (NSP) 2022-26 this week on January 14, 2022. The full 110-page NSP document will remain classified. However, a short version of around 60 pages has been published for the public.
The main themes of the National Security Policy are national cohesion, securing an economic future, defence and territorial integrity, internal security, foreign policy in a changing world, and human security.
It was launched a day after Pakistan’s parliament passed a mini-budget and controversial State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) amendment bill to meet the requirements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ahead of the release of US$ 1 billion bailout package. The package is a part of the US$ 6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme that Pakistan had agreed with the IMF in July 2019.
Prime Minister, Imran Khan said the new policy was more focused to strengthen the economy of Pakistan. “Our foreign policy will also focus much more on economic diplomacy going forward,” he said.
He said inclusive growth was needed but Pakistan had to go after loans from institutions like the International Monetary Fund, lamenting that the country never had a plan to secure itself economically. Any national security approach must prioritize national cohesion and the prosperity of people while guaranteeing fundamental rights and social justice without discrimination, he said.
As mentioned in the document, the Policy places economic security at the core of comprehensive national security, emphasizing 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.
Ahead of the SAARC summit which Pakistan intends to hold, Islamabad wants to show to the world that Pakistan is not the same country, that is, home to the terrorists, but is actually a progressive nation. They want to rebuild the trust that has been lost due to their constant support to the Taliban that was revealed to the world with the Taliban overtaking the government in Afghanistan. They wanted to leverage the situation in Afghanistan. However, due to some disagreements with the Taliban, they are finding it difficult to convince the world that the Taliban is the ruling government with beneficial intentions for the people.
Therefore, rather than looking into the matters of other countries, it changed the strategy towards internal development as mentioned in the NSP. Time will show to us if they really mean to focus on internal matters and concerns regarding their people, and, development. In this regard, be it either for developmental purposes or for other activities carried out by the Government, they require strong economic support or funds.
All the actions were taken by them, the release of NSP, support from China, Taliban in Afghanistan, holding SAARC summit, discussions regarding regional stability, and, expanding the reach of their foreign policy, indicate their dire demand of money, supply of which should be undertaken with precautions.