Domestic dimensions of NSP
THE National Security Policy (NSP) 2022-2026 is a comprehensive document, emphasising many dimensions of the security of Pakistan.
The major focus of the national security policy rests in the security of its citizens; all dimensions of the human security.
The human security includes; national harmony, national cohesion and the economic prosperity of the masses.
The most significant aspects of the human security include guaranteeing the fundamental rights, provision of basic civic facilities and disbursement of social and judicial justice to every Pakistani without any discrimination.
Primarily, these are domestic dimensions of the NSP.These are the most challenging aspects of the NSP, though correctly identified but difficult to achieve in the practical form.
Formulating a comprehensive NSP is a great step towards security of the state and its masses.
Unfortunately, crisis of national security and national integration in Pakistan have severely affected its political stability, social integration and economic stability in it’s over seven decades of history.
In the absence of a national harmony there remained domestic and external challenges for the national security of Pakistan.
In a way, there is a direct relationship between national harmony, national security, political stability and economic prosperity.
In wordings of scholars, the ‘National security is the ability to preserve a nation’s physical integrity and territory; to maintain its economic relations with the rest of the world on reasonable terms; to preserve its nature, institution, and governance from disruption from outside; and to control its borders.’
Harvard University professor Charles views the national security through lens of national power.He defined it in the wordings; “National security…
is best described as a capacity to control those domestic and foreign conditions that the public opinion of a given community believes necessary to enjoy its own self-determination or autonomy, prosperity and wellbeing.
”The current dominant discourse on national security in Pakistan is based not only upon regional and international realities but also on the issues of identities, democracy and issues related to the social transformation of Pakistani society.
Unfortunately, there exist a number of fault-lines within the social sector of the state.These include splits based on; ethnicity, sectarianism and sub-nationalism.
Between the lines, the NSP identified these splits and emphasized to bridge them for a larger national consensus.
Pakistan is an Islamic ideological state and it should safeguard its ideology overtly, since it is the repository of its nationalism, national interests and national power.
Any programme for national integration would pre-suppose a graceful acceptance and realistic recognition of the fact that Pakistan is a multi-cultural, multi-lingual and ethno-national nation-state and society.
The diverse ethnicity of Pakistan can be transformed into a positive asset for attaining optimistic results.
Cultural co-existence resulting from cultural confluence and interaction can best be utilized for promoting the unity in diversity within an outside Pakistan.
The unfortunate aspect is, there has been misuse of these diversities by some segments of the society for their petty gains.
This was a deviation from the Islamic ideology; the baseline for the unity of Pakistan. The political and religious forces have a major role in creating division among the masses for their vested interest.
The history of Pakistan is full of such irrational decisions; which proved against the national interests and national integration.
Relying too much on external powers and following their dictates while ignoring the domestic situation and economic status without doing cost-benefit analysis caused huge losses to the state and society of Pakistan.
Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, had a vision.As a visionary leader, he believed that the state’s first duty towards the people is to maintain law and order so that the life and property of its masses are protected.
A state’s internal peace and stability is the most important ingredient towards nations’ building.
A safe and secure country provides a platform to all the state’s institutions to flourish and perform their functions to their optimum capacity.
The national harmony and national security can greatly contribute towards economic prosperity of the country.
In the contemporary world, the factor which can serve as a catalyst to promote consensus and nation building is technological advancement through a refined and forward looking educational system.
The investment in education sector can provide solution to the causes of a state’s failure. Academically, it is reflected in the ignorance theory of nations’ inequality.
The bottom line is; Low education breeds poor leadership, ill-informed, illiterate, inefficient, ill-advised and ignorant of the worth of the national wealth – ultimately dragging the state to a dismal situation, whereas quality and well planned educational system produces enlightened and informed leaders, advisors, think-tanks and policymakers, capable of taking the country out of crisis.
The element of good governance is the most significant aspect which can contribute towards national harmony.
A state’s responsibility is much beyond just managing the affairs of the state by virtue of the constitutionally vested authority and maintaining writ of the government or the law and order.
An efficient, determined and unbiased state’s machinery is required to provide good governance which can ensure optimum functioning of the state’s institutions especially those linked with provision of public services.
The wholesome behaviour of Pakistan in the domestic affairs and international arena is the mixture of its economic, political, religious, social and security paradoxes.
Therefore, the state’s institutions, elites and governments should discuss all in sync to achieve the essence of national security policy of Pakistan.
— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.