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HomeGeopolitical CompassSouth & Southeast AsiaWhy Pakistan’s First National-Security Policy Matters for Future Regional Stability

Why Pakistan’s First National-Security Policy Matters for Future Regional Stability

Author: Antoine Levesques

Affiliation: The International Institute for Strategic Studies

Organization/Publisher:  The International Institute for Strategic Studies

Date/Place: February 4, 2022/Pakistan

Type of Literature: Analysis

Word Count: 1651

Link: https://www.iiss.org/blogs/analysis/2022/02/why-pakistans-first-national-security-policy-matters-for-future-regional-stability

 

Keywords: National Security Policy, Geo-Strategy, and Economic Prosperity

Brief: 

Pakistan has made public its first national security policy report, engaging with strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats all according to guiding principles. The policy’s focus is on economic prosperity to address weaknesses and underdevelopment in order to have sufficient resources for better security; it is a part of a vision for a robust geo-strategy. Having a solid geo-strategy is for the betterment of stability and a good deterrence tool especially when there is no sign of a slow-down in competition with India, which is under the umbrella of traditional Pakistani security priorities. China is seen as a centerpiece for the prosperity agenda with the ongoing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Pakistan is openly interested in expanding strategic partnership with China into new areas such as space capabilities and cyber security. However, the policy is criticized for being overly optimistic with a danger of underestimating challenges including ongoing terrorist threats, potential economic dependency on China and only a brief mention on Taliban-led Afghanistan. Though these criticisms have merit they do not overshadow that such a policy report has set a precedent for future Pakistani policy making—it is the first of potential many that could certainly be more detailed. This could be the basis of a future policy framework that is clearer and more consistent, resulting in better engagements with different agendas starting with India.

 

Critical Commentary: The author gives an overview of the policy report in a comprehensive way, covering what Pakistani decision makers aspire to achieve and their primary agenda. This also includes some of the criticisms directed towards the report, specifically its vagueness when it comes to the nature of economic relations with China and the policy towards the Taliban. Yet the author makes a fair point that the policy report is a first of its kind and it is natural for it to be lacking in certain aspects, this is in addition to having a portion of the document still classified so some details remain unknown. What is important is to monitor future policy framework making in Pakistan and how they change and improve with time.


By: Omar Fili, CIGA Research Assistant

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