Pakistan’s National Strategic Policy
Pakistan since its inception remained in chaos including internal and external contradictions that made it unstable and insecure both at national and international level.
Regrettably, the dynamical consequences of international War on Terror (WOT) and absence of national parameters to combat the hazardous menace of terror campaign along with transnational terrorist organizations, needs a redefined and redesigned security policy. Therefore, the national security strategy of Pakistan is dependent on inter-state as well as on its intra-state security imperatives.
Since the end of the Cold War the definition of national or international security has got widened due to the changing dynamics of internal and external threat perceptions by enhancing the range of issues and crises with the newly emerging regional actors along with non-state actors.
For effectively confronting these threats of the 21st century, it requires careful engagement to develop relationship between national and international security and a new kind of integrated strategic thinking is needed in developing national security policy. Since securitization of security of Pakistan is also under the subject of new threats, challenges and opportunities, accordingly it needs holistic strategy to convert the challenges into opportunities and safeguard the geographical entities of the state. It is worth essential to move forward by analyzing the traditional and non-traditional security threats in front of Pakistan keeping in view the national, regional and international security imperatives, their impact on Pakistan’s security and on the inter-state alliances of shaping the National Security Policy (NSP) for Pakistan.
Today Pakistan is facing internal and external threats to its national security, which have interlinked to each other directly or indirectly. It is noticeable that some external opportunist fundamentals for their widespread strategic interests are part to the conspiracy of a plot to destabilize Pakistan, also Prime Minister Gilani has disclosed that there were “several enemies of the country” and “foreign hands were also involved in the acts of terrorism”.
Pakistan is not alone subject to these threats as India’s war-mongering policy is also part of it. Indian senior official has many times articulated that it is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan” since it considers China and Pakistan a major threat to India’s security.
Specifically, the internal security holds central and fundamental place in the formation of national security policy of any country. The existing scenario in Pakistan could form a basis that provides a thrust to strategic thinking about a practical vision for a specified nationalized Security Policy.
The NSP of Pakistan would calculate the military security, political sovereignty, economic growth, environmental security, security of energy and natural resources, food security, rule of law, rights & freedoms, nuclear security and issue of terrorism etc. Now it has become imperative for Pakistani policy makers, strategist and academicians to look for the reasons of being insecure state and find a way out by providing strategic thinking about how national security policy are structured to guard against a range of threats facing by the country.
Since the rise of Kashmir issue as a major security matter among India and Pakistan along with the spillover effects of Afghanistan invasion post 9/11, incursion of border terrorism and suicidal attacks endangered the strategic stability and transformed the concept of strategic culture and strategic depth of Pakistan. Likewise, supporting the argument General Kayani, stressed the homegrown militancy as the biggest threat to national security; simultaneously there is an ultimate need for internal security that called for securing people of the country more importantly along with its border security.
Many nations today do possess their declared NSS; the US President on May 26, 2010 through the US National Security Policy and Strategy Document replaced Islamic radicalism with the notion of terrorism along with many other alarming orders. According to sources although, Pakistan is in process of formulating its National Security Strategy and Policy (NSSP) since 9/11 but it is being classified as “Top Secret” yet that needs to be on the screen now as early as possible.
More to the point, Pakistan faces a variety of security challenges in an around the entire south Asia region today. It’s not a test case of Pakistani leadership to enact law and security as its need of hour by force to develop a consensus on a holistic National Security Policy and use its strategic influence in a globalized world to secure support for its implementation. Above and beyond, nuclear weapons-the national power element of Pakistan are the mechanism of policy to safeguard national security interests of the country.
Since the national security is a wide-ranging concept that goes further than military power so it is up to political leadership now as, how to formulate a security stratagem to make the most of its potential. Eventually, at this decisive stage, Pakistan’s political and military establishment along with general masses needs a strong sense of unity to look over Pakistan’s strategic framework and formalize a National Security Strategy with consensus to cope up with internal and external threats to the national security of Pakistan.
Last but not the least, the achievement of strategic and security objectives in a definite environment make strategic culture an essential matter to undergo. However, Pakistan’s strategic culture can go through a positive shift only, if Pakistan and its regional countries both behave rationally keeping in view the geo-strategic indispensable realities and magnitude of their relations.
(Beenish Altaf-The writer works for Strategic Vision Institute)