Islamabad, December 29, 2021: Discussing the National Security Policy (NSP), Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman said, “We have found out through print and electronic media that the new NSP will be based on economic centrality. Despite being the primary arena for policy development, the NSP has not been presented in Parliament and has been approved at a National Security Council meeting without expected consultation from Parliamentarians.”
“Instead of establishing consensus in Parliament over the NSP and other issues of economic importance and civilian safety, the government continues to bulldoze bills and disregard democratic norms. How can the country be secured if it’s economic and security policies are not audited by its public representatives? There has been no consultation with the opposition regarding the NSP, nor has the draft of the NSP been presented to the parliamentarians. Our history is replete with failed policies which did not succeed because they were made behind closed doors,” she added.
Rehman asked, “There is a paper out there saying that the economy will be central but what is this new economic security policy? Is Pakistan going to be secure with the mini budget run directly from IMF or by the State Bank which is no longer going to be answerable to Pakistan? If economic security will flow from the IMF’s complete and crippling control of the economy, then this policy is highly questionable”.
“How can the government speak about an NSP that focuses on economic development, when the economic situation under the incumbent government has proven disastrous for the people? This government is responsible for unprecedented levels of PKR devaluation, a current account deficit of $7 billion in this financial year alone, inflation rate of 11.50% and have racked up Rs50.5 trillion in debt and liabilities for Pakistan. People are unable to afford two square meals and those who can afford them do not have enough gas in their stoves to cook,” she added.
Rehman said, “Reports have revealed that the NSP will encompass anti-terror efforts to ensure civilian safety and economic development. Securing Pakistan’s economy and population from violent extremism are the country’s main priorities. But what’s actually happening is far different as groups like TTP, who have declared jihad against the Pakistani state, are being offered amnesty. Additionally, the government has not made a draft of the NSP available to the public, how can a document focusing on safety and security not be provided to those it aims to protect?”
“The government claims that this is a revolutionary and unprecedented policy, however incorporating economic development within national security policies has been done time and time again during the tenure of previous governments. During the PPP government, we focused on regional trade from a framework of national security and implemented policies to uplift Pakistan’s economic standing both nationally and regionally. The PPP is used to making national security policy in complete consultation with the parliament and opposition. It was always done by the PM; we are not about to get used to another system where no parliamentary leader takes responsibility for policy,” concluded Vice President PPP, Senator Sherry Rehman.