KARACHI: National Security Adviser (NSA) to Prime Minister Dr Moeed Yusuf on Wednesday said that the country is in process of creating a comprehensive new National Security Policy (NSP) and the core of which is ‘economic security’.
Addressing as chief guest at an event titled ‘Pakistan’s future direction’, organized by English Speaking Union of Pakistan at a local hotel, Yusuf said that the ultimate goal of the national security is to ensure that the most disempowered Pakistani citizen has means to livelihood and personal safety and security.
You could ask why economic security is at the core of NSP, and why not military security given the neighbourhood we are living, and human welfare? The issue is we need micro-economic stability to ensure that we have enough resources to spend adequately on our military and on our human welfare, he said.
He said that Pakistan’s policy shift from geo-political to geo-economic paradigm is actually transformation in terms of the thinking. For the last 70 years, Pakistan’s location has been the most important strategic debate, but the fact is our location brought us global wars as Afghanistan is the good example for the last 40 years. But now we are looking at how we could utilize our location as a geo-economic location, which has three pillars, he said.
Elaborating, he said the number one is connectivity. Given our location, we connect South Asia with the Central Asia through Afghanistan to have access to warm waters. The Gwadar Port is of great significance in this regard. The incumbent government has cognisance of this reality and the Prime Minister has made three to four visits to the Central Asia, up till now.
He said the second pillar is the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The idea behind CPEC is basically connecting China down to the warm waters for their global trade. The vision of CPEC is very simple; it’s about more infrastructures, more energy, and transit through Pakistan. Theoretically, we can also start connectivity eastward but, unfortunately it’s not possible under the incumbent regime in India.
He said the third one is developing partnerships with the world, not mere assistance. How do we create real partnerships in terms of trade, investment, export, FDI etc? In order to materialise these objectives, he said, internal and regional peace is important. Pakistan is making all-out efforts to ensure domestic and regional peace. The current Afghan situation is not good. Being the immediate neighbour and real victim of Afghan war, Pakistan has been playing its role to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan. Being a frontline ally of US in war against terrorism, Pakistan has rendered as many as 80,000 lives and $150 billion loss to economy during the last two decades. The world should respect us for what we have done for the sake of global peace and security. We have no option to disengage in the region. Afghanistan is critical. The world community should come forward and help at least for the sake of the ordinary Afghans in this testing time.
Yusuf said that military security is also important for Pakistan as it lives in a neighbourhood of a seven-time larger enemy. It shares more than 2600km border with Afghanistan, a country which has been under 40-year turmoil.
He also stressed the need of changing perception about the country. “No matter what Pakistan does for the global peace if your perception remains negative, particularly in the western world, you lose investment; you lose tourism, and everything.”