In an attempt to ease down continued tensions with its neighbours, especially with India, Pakistan’s Imran Khan-led government is gearing up to unveil its new National Security Policy with an aim to normalise tensions with New Delhi and work towards opening gateways of economic diplomacy.
The National Security Policy, a 100-page document carries with it a new change of policy Islamabad will be looking to adopt towards India, shifting its principal stance over the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir from primary to a secondary pending dispute.
As per the new security policy details, Pakistan will be looking forward to having more deliberations and engagements with New Delhi over trade and economic opportunities.
“We are not seeking hostility with India for the next 100 years. The new policy seeks peace with immediate neighbours. If there was a dialogue and progress in it, there would be a possibility of normalising trade and commercial ties with India as it had happened in the past,” said an official with knowledge of details of the new security policy.
While the country’s new security policy showcases a clear shift in its approach from geo-strategic to geo-economics; the change is being seen with optimism over the relationship between the two nuclear powered arch-rivals.
“Economic security will be the central theme of the new security policy,” said the government official.
Pakistan and India have been eyeball-to-eyeball over their issues against each other, which have been on a consistent rise in the past.
However, some hopes of normalcy or de-escalation were witnessed when both sides agreed to reinforce a ceasefire understanding along the Line of Control (LoC) during February last year. But the process could not make any further progress and reflect onto other bilateral understandings.
Pakistan and India relations came to a complete standstill in August 2019, when the Modi-led government abrogated Article 370 and 35A, changing the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.
In reaction to the decision, Pakistan suspended all diplomatic ties and stopped bilateral trade with India.
While the new policy will be focused on economic diplomacy with immediate neighbours, the official emphasised that geo-strategic importance will not be ignored.
“Geo-economics does not necessarily mean we overlook our geo-strategic and geo-political interests. The longstanding Kashmir dispute with India has been identified as a vital national policy issue for Pakistan,” he said.
It was also revealed that all details of the national security policy will not be made public and will be kept classified.
The country’s new National Security Policy would act as an umbrella document, to be used as a guideline for Pakistan’s foreign, international and defence related policies.