ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal said Friday that the roadmap to formulate National Internal Security Policy (NISP) is centred on goals defined in Vision 2025 that envisages sharing peace, stability and development.
Chairing a high-level meeting on the formulation of NISP 2018-2023, the interior minister said that the present government had steered the country towards progress by creating an environment of peace and stability.
“We now need to take practical steps in order to consolidate the gains made over the years and improve our capabilities for future threats to our peace and security,” he said. The meeting was also attended by officials from law enforcement agencies (LEAs), Counter-Terrorism Force, provincial home ministries, Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Ministry of Interior.
The participants approved a detailed roadmap for the policy formulation process, that included three rounds of consultation sessions involving key stakeholders and a national conference on internal security. This would represent a move towards evidence-based policy making in order to design policy interventions that dealt with not only the symptoms but also the root causes of security issues.
Ahsan Iqbal said that political stability played a vital role for development which could be achieved by avoiding conflicts in all forms and manifestations. National security had become a broad subject, he said, while adding the nature of threats was changing with the help of the technological revolution.
He further said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had changed geopolitical equilibrium in the region, due to which new geo-political pressures were developing on Pakistan.
“We must develop a comprehensive approach with the ownership of all stakeholders to succeed in implementing our long-term goals,” he said, while stressing that the youth in Pakistan constituted a major part of the population and were an asset for the country.
“It is our priority to mobilise the youth to achieve the goal of long-lasting peace and stability by providing them with an ideal environment,” he added.
Furthermore, the interior minister said that new internal security policy framework was aimed at establishing a new paradigm for policy on security and peace, while adding that a more empirical and evidence-based approach had been adopted to implement the security policy framework.
He said that ownership and participation of key government departments, as well as, key state institutions and the civil society was critical to the success of the policy. He requested feedback from all stakeholders and their continued engagement during the policymaking process.
He also said that internal and external affairs were interconnected and have implications on domestic and foreign policies as well. Moreover, steps have been envisaged in the framework to formulate policy, planning and initial meeting with internal stakeholders, desk research, consultation sessions with relevant stakeholders, national internal security conference, interviews of experts, data analysis, reconciling differing views, circulating initial draft for feedback, developing and refining a final draft, seeking executive approval, setting up mechanism for implementation and launching/dissemination of policy, he added.
It is important to mention here that the basic tenets of the policy encapsulated four key areas to improve peace and security viz. creating a shared vision, establishing rule of law, ensuring political stability and providing social justice.
The policy framework had also identified political parties/policymakers, academics/analysts, educationists, journalists/media persons, religious scholars, legal experts, civil society organisations and representatives of marginalised groups, including the youth, minorities and women, who would be engaged during the process of policy formulation as major stakeholders.
The key inputs required from government departments, included an assessment of key initiatives that have been effective in ensuring security and those that were now redundant, along with an assessment of key bottlenecks and blockages that impeded optimal performance. In addition, suggestions to remove these impediments and make the government departments and LEAs more effective were also necessary.
It was noted that similar policy exercises held in the past lacked implementation, therefore, detailed implementation strategy, monitoring and evaluation mechanism and funding requirements would be included in the policy and given special attention.