Islamabad—Government needs to proactively respond to emerging national security risks and threats particularly the non-traditional challenges, experts said on Monday. The experts were speaking on the first day of a three-day workshop on ‘National Security, Deterrence and Regional Stability in South Asia’ organized by an Islamabad based think tank Strategic Vision Institute (SVI).
The workshop is being attended by mid-career civil and military officers, students and journalists. SVI has regularly been organizing workshops for young professionals and students to provide them an opportunity to exchange views with experts on issues related to national security and strategic stability. Former Defense Secretary Lt Gen (retd) Asif Yasin Malik, who was the chief guest at the inaugural session, said people were the “pivot of security” as it (the security) comes from the confidence of the citizens in the state. He regretted that sense was missing in the country.
“Biggest threat to Pakistan is from the pathetic state of governance,” he maintained. He called for a complete overhaul of the governance with special emphasis on foreign and economic policies. Gen Malik said Pakistan was known for its resilience, but lacked “sincere leadership, which is dedicated to the national cause and has vision to rise”. Pakistan, he recalled, was “a product of conflict” and has struggled to come out of that mode. Therefore, he suggested, national security has remained at the forefront of the successive governments in the country. Speaking about the perceived encirclement of the country, he said, it was a foreign policy failure caused by absence of a full time foreign minister and a dysfunctional Foreign Office.