On Tuesday, the federal cabinet approved the country’s first-ever National Security Policy (NSP), but it postponed approval of the supplementary finance bill [mini-budget] that was set to be tabled in the National Assembly on Wednesday (today).
The cabinet authorised the publishing of members of parliament’s (MPs) 2019 tax directory, stating that “no other sector has as much accountability as politicians.”
In a post-cabinet meeting press conference, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said, “The cabinet deferred [approval of] the [supplementary finance] bill today because it wants a threadbare discussion on it before sending it to the parliament for passage.” He stated a special cabinet meeting would be scheduled soon to discuss a single item on the agenda: the supplementary budget bill. He stated that the measure would be tabled in the current session of parliament, and that the proposal had been discussed in the cabinet meeting.
The minister stated that the federal cabinet had approved the country’s first-ever national security strategy, which was announced on Monday by the high-powered National Security Committee, which was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“This is the first time that economic strategy has been tied to geostrategic policy, because a country’s security cannot be guaranteed if its economy is weak. The country’s security will remain in jeopardy until the ordinary man is satisfied with the economic, social, and legal condition,” he stated.
The minister said the paper would be published with the media within 10 days and that the National Security Policy was centred on the ordinary man.
He added that work on the policy began in 2014 and that it was approved in 2021, implying that it took nearly nine years to prepare after input from 18 different ministries.
According to the minister, there had never been a consensus on national security policy, and this was the first time that the current administration had taken into account the perspectives of all stakeholders.
“Under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s leadership, we have achieved a significant milestone for the first time,” he continued.
Other associated ministries’ policies, including as internal policy and food security policy, he noted, were also tied to the National Security Policy.
National Security Adviser (NSA) Dr Moeed Yusuf described the NSP as the country’s first comprehensive citizen-centric security policy based on economic security during the same press conference. “I’d like to congratulate the nation on this great initiative,” he continued, “since policymaking in any country with an undefined national security vision is extremely tough.”
“The policy focuses on all aspects of national security, and it has been agreed that economic security will be at its centre.” He went on to say that a strong economy will mean more spending on military and human security.
He emphasised the importance of external activities and stated that the policy’s goal was peace. “In search of peace in the neighbourhood and throughout the world.”
“We are an Islamic state with an Islamic worldview,” Mr Yusuf explained. As a result, policy aspects of national cohesion should be centred on the country’s diversity. All dimensions of diversity, as well as other NSP characteristics, would be considered.”
According to him, the population was the most important part of the NSP, followed by health security, climate, water, food security, and gender.
External imbalance, export and import concerns leading to an increase in the current account deficit, energy security, and education, he added, were all included in the economy because education’s one component — namely, unification and radicalism — was linked to national security.
According to the NSA, Pakistan’s second major issue is to generate high-quality human resources, which will have a direct impact on the economy at the local level, and this was mentioned in the chapter on economic security.
The policy’s other components focus on sovereignty and territorial integrity, which are hard security issues relating to defence and military security.
In response to complaints that the commercial sector, academia, and experts were excluded from the policymaking process, Di Yusuf stated that over 600 specialists from academia and the private sector, as well as university students, were enlisted to contribute to the creation of the NSP.
Prime Minister Khan, he claimed, had asked the National Security Division (NSD) to provide a monthly update on the NSP’s execution and any issues that arose.
The cabinet had also authorised the disclosure of MPs’ 2019 tax directory, according to the information minister, adding that no other sector had as much accountability as politicians. “Transparency is the foundation of a government,” he continued.
Mr Chaudhry stated that the cabinet approved the names of the members of the new board of directors of the House Building Finance Corporation on the suggestion of the Finance Ministry.
According to him, the cabinet also adopted a law that aims to improve collaboration between various school bodies.
He added that the cabinet also accepted Mohammad Asim’s nomination as an executive member of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority.
The cabinet also gave its assent to the formation of a joint inquiry team to look into the assassination of Nazim Jokhio in Karachi.
The minister claimed that the police investigation into his murder case had been tainted in order to spare Mr Jokhio’s killers.
Mr Chaudhry stated that the cabinet had approved the idea to convert the Citizen Club in F-9 Park, Islamabad, into the Gandhara Heritage and Cultural Centre, with the Prime Minister serving as the chairman of the management committee.
He said that the cabinet had authorised a proposal to supply Rs23 million worth of made-in-Pakistan Covid-related medical equipment to Cuba. Face masks, hand sanitizers, and personal protective equipment are among the items included in the shipment.
He said that the ministries had been given the authority to fill vacant positions with temporary appointments for a period of six months.