The new National Security Policy is making vibes. It confirms the notion that Pakistan is a forward looking nation-state, quite capable of reorienting itself to the changing dynamics around it. By broadening its horizons in socio-economic, environmental, diplomatic and domestic reforms, the new state policy seems to be organic to the core. To be unveiled officially on Friday by Prime Minister Imran Khan, it promises a more resilient Pakistan and one that has no qualms in striking perpetual peace with India.
The fact that Islamabad pronounces to end hostility with its traditional adversary is a leap forward, and underlines the strength from which Pakistan is talking. It is a tribute to its pragmatism, and a definite compliment to several stakeholders involved in formulating this new piece of doctrine, especially the armed forces. The new dogma to cherish Pakistan’s geo-economic potential is the way to go, and this shift in policy is, of course, in need of being reciprocated by New Delhi.
With peace and economic diplomacy as the new talking points, Pakistan has made a vibrant case in self-confidence. Though it is still a mixed bag of ifs and buts when it pertains to India, one thing that is clear is that Pakistan wants to engage Delhi for a better tomorrow for the entire region. So the doors for trade and commercial ties are being thrown open even without the final settlement of the Kashmir dispute, provided there is progress in talks on the holistic front. This is leadership with a vision. The parallel track of engagement, however, should never be seen as a compromise on Pakistan’s stance on Kashmiris’ right to self-determination, and it will never be the case.
The specifics of the ‘umbrella document’, the first of its kind in Pakistan, are supposed to remain in secrecy. But what makes it promising and enterprising is that it talks about ‘intellectual expression’ and ‘reconciling’ with dissent as a cornerstone of its modus operandi. This will usher in a new era of populism as the state will act not only as a good listener, but also as a facilitator in ironing out odds at home and abroad. Real security is human security, and this new policy lays out a roadmap for it.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2022.
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