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First National Security Policy approved: ‘Stronger economy guarantees national security’

By Staff Reporter | The News Dec 28, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The National Security Committee (NSC), under Prime Minister Imran Khan, Monday approved Pakistan’s first-ever National Security Policy (NSP) 2022-2026 with the ultimate purpose of ensuring safety, security and dignity of citizens of Pakistan.

Terming the NSP formulation and approval a historic moment, the PM noted that the policy must guide all organs of the government to ensure that their efforts were synchronised with the overall direction of the new policy.

PM Imran Khan emphasised that the security of Pakistan lies in the security of its citizens and reiterated that Pakistan was well prepared to meet any internal and external threats.

The PM presided over the 36th meeting of the NSC here, which was attended by federal ministers for Foreign Affairs, Defence, Information & Broadcasting, Interior, Finance, Human Rights, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, chief of army staff (COAS), all services chiefs, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) DG, national security advisor (NSA) and senior civil and military officers.

The NSP-2022-2026 was presented for approval by the national security advisor during the meeting, who briefed the participants about the salient features of the policy. He highlighted that Pakistan was shifting to a comprehensive national security framework, whereby the ultimate purpose of the national security was to ensure safety, security and dignity of citizen of Pakistan. To ensure this citizen-centric approach to security, the NSP put economic security at the core.

A stronger economy would create additional resources that would, in turn, be judiciously distributed to further bolster military and human security. The participants were informed that the NSP had been created through a whole-of-government effort over the last seven years, and included extensive consultations among federal government institutions, with all provinces, and with the academia and private sector.

It was highlighted that a detailed implementation framework had been created through which the National Security Division would review progress in collaboration with relevant ministries and departments.

The NSC members, while approving the NSP, appreciated the National Security Division and all other government departments for the effort. The premier instructed the NSA to present an implementation progress report to the NSC every month.

Revitalisation of the planning committee and expansion of NSC advisory board was also unanimously approved by the participants during the meeting. The NSP will now be presented to the cabinet on Tuesday (today) before being officially adopted. A public version of the document will be released in due course of time.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a review meeting on PM's priority sectors here. The meeting was aimed to review progress on implementation regarding agricultural transformation plan and special economic zones.

PM Imran said under the agricultural transformation plan, the government had, for the first time in the country’s history, chalked out a comprehensive plan and was implementing it on priority basis. “Mechanisation of agriculture sector, provision of quality seed, efficient water management system and assistance in livestock farming are transforming the sector into a high yielding economic entity,” he noted.

With the introduction of Kissan Card, subsidy on fertilizer and genetic improvement of livestock, he contended, the government was aiming to achieve even higher yields compared to the record yield in the previous year.

The meeting was informed that for quality seed dissemination to increase the average yield and quality of the produce, relevant approvals have been taken and fund release is in process. For genetic improvement of livestock import of quality semen was proposed, the process is expedited and is given high priority.

Moreover, to assist the livestock farmers, 9,211 helpline has been revived in Punjab while it is nearly complete in KP and Balochistan. The meeting was also informed that the project for mechanisation of farming is nearing completion whereby distribution of machinery to farmers will start soon. This will help to not only increase the yield, but will also help cut the farming costs. In addition to the above, the development of a comprehensive and well managed information and communication technology system for agriculture sector, including extension services to assist farmers will also be launched in the first quarter of the coming year.

A comprehensive update was also given about institutional reforms regarding research institutes whereby 65 per cent of the proposed interventions have already been implemented with a special focus on cotton research institute.

The Centre of Excellence regarding agricultural research is soon being launched in Punjab and other provinces with a focused approach on high yielding crops and the crops that will substantially reduce dependence on imports. The meeting was given a detailed brief on olive cultivation and was informed that import of high yielding plants for 20,000 acres has already been commenced.

Regarding shrimp farming, the meeting was given an update about hatcheries that have been established and are soon to be operationalised in Punjab and Balochistan. The meeting was also apprised regarding the fertilizer situation in the country, consumption of urea, DAP and operation against hoarders.

The meeting was informed about the progress on collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Research whereby transfer of knowledge would be carried out with the aim to introduce innovative agriculture techniques to improve yield and diversity.

The PM ordered to take strict action against hoarders and profiteers and those involved in smuggling of urea fertilizer. The meeting was attended by federal ministers Khusro Bakhtiyar, Fakhar Imam, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) Dr Shahbaz Gill, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema and chief secretaries of all provinces and relevant senior officers.

Under the special economic zones, PM Imran said the government's focus would increase investment in the SEZs for establishment of export oriented industries while the government's business friendly policies and focus on ease of doing business had started producing positive results.

“Increased investment of overseas Pakistanis and foreign investors is the result of the trust which the government has earned by its effective policy measures,” he noted.

The meeting was given detailed presentations on SEZs and Initiatives taken by the Board of Investment (BoI), China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority and relevant ministries to facilitate investors in obtaining the no-objection certificates (NOCs) and complying with different regimes both under provincial and federal governments.

The meeting was informed that four major SEZs, including Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Rashakai, Dhabeji and Bostan are operational with an overall count of 21 SEZs of varying sizes. A One Stop Shop model for investors has been prepared by the BoI to assist in the provision of basic amenities including electricity, gas, water and construction permits.

A unified compliance regime has also been formulated for services under the provincial and federal government. In addition, a proposal regarding the empowerment of management companies to obtain NOCs/permits on behalf of the investors was also given.

The launch of the One Stop Shop, developed by the BoI, in collaboration with the National Information Technology Board (NITB) will be executed soon.

The PM ordered to expedite the process, follow the timelines and remove hindrances to investors on urgent basis. The meeting was attended by federal ministers Asad Umar, Khusro Bakhtiyar, Advisor to PM Abdul Razak Dawood, SAPM Dr Shabaz Gill, Chairman BoI Azfar Ahsan, Chairman CPEC Khalid Mansoor, chief secretaries of all provinces and relevant senior officials.

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