Pakistan is set to have an inclusive and all-encompassing national security policy by the end of this year. Dr. Moeed Yusuf, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning, said on Sunday that Pakistan is going to have a coherent national security policy with inclusive economic diplomacy by the end of this year, ensuring security in all respects for every Pakistani.
Replying to a question about the prime minister’s decision of not going to Malaysia to attend a summit, he said it was good and made in the best national interest. https://t.co/zSsP71NSVT
— Dawn.com (@dawn_com) January 13, 2020
He was speaking at a session on Defining National Security at the Afkar-i-Taza ThinkFest here at Alhamra. Journalist Ejaz Haider moderated the session.
Mr. Yusuf explained salient features of the planned policy and termed it a paradigm shift, saying it would include all sectors, including health, education and climate change. The new policy, he added, would not deal with national security only, but all aspects of the country with multiple level inputs. It would not produce results overnight, he said.
He added that including education in the overall national security policy did not mean deploying guards outside schools. It would mean securing society by educating people and giving them jobs. The economic diplomacy was the basic element of the government’s planned inclusive foreign policy.
Education in Pakistan is in a dismal state where no original thinking or fresh ideas are created, believes analysts. Pakistan’s prominent educationist and physicist Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy believes that “creating well-functioning educational institutions suitable for the modern age requires more than just money and good governance. Unlike hospitals or airports, they are the result of particular cultural and ideological choices. So far every attempt to modernize education has run into an invisible brick wall. Understanding this is crucial”.
Why attempts to reform #Pakistani education fail. The state, in seeking to establish its legitimacy, uses education as a tool for indoctrination. This has turned #Pakistan into a more conservative country than most other #Muslim countries.
— Zaffar Baloch (@ZaffarBaloch) October 29, 2018
But he notes that Pakistanis overwhelmingly prefer traditional education. A survey in 2003 conducted around the Rawalpindi area by Matthew Nelson, professor at the University of London, discovered a whopping 41pc preference for the statement: “A good school is a school that creates good Muslims. In other words, good schools provide students with strong values and strong religious beliefs.” A mere 10pc approved the case for evidence-based modern education.
Dr. Hoodbhoy recently noted that “the state, seeking to establish its legitimacy, uses education as a tool for indoctrination. This has turned Pakistan into a more conservative country than most other Muslim countries. Even as it abdicates its basic responsibility by outsourcing education to private hands, the state nevertheless remains vigilant against the penetration of secular ideas into the system”.
Dr. Yusuf seems determined to help Pakistan have a well-developed inclusive national social policy, particularly focusing on education and food.
PM Imran did not visit Malaysia in the best national interest
Replying to a question about the prime minister’s decision of not going to Malaysia to attend a summit, he said it was good and made in the best national interest. “We are going to drive our foreign policy wherever we can. We are working on how to keep external walls out of Pakistan,” he said.
— Arab News Pakistan (@arabnewspk) January 9, 2020
He said, in the government’s view, division in the Muslim world was not good and it would try its level best to stop this wherever it could. But while doing so, he said, the government would watch the best national interests. The prime minister did not go to Malaysia with this objective in mind, he explained.
“The decision did not affect Pakistan’s relations with Malaysia or Turkey. The prime minister is visiting Malaysia next month. We are the only Muslim country that can talk to every Muslim country. Turkey, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia are in our camp,” he said.
Mr. Yusuf said right now, Pakistan was talking of de-escalation of tensions and both Iran and Saudi Arabia were its friends.
Prof. Dr. Muhammad Saleem Mazhar, Dean Faculty of Oriental Learning and Chairman Department of Persian, University of Punjab, believes that the situation in the region is highly complex. He believes that “outwardly, Pakistan faces double-edged long-term security challenges with India and Afghanistan. In each case, rather than pursuing peace and cooperation, the states are in constant competition. These South Asian nations and states have become proxies in the hands of world powers.
In contemporary times, the countries of the world underwent major global strategic developments that had direct and indirect repercussions for Pakistan in terms of security; 1. Post-World War order in the Arab world; and situation of Middle East 2. Emergence China and a new wave of rivalry between China and the US have given rise to a new Great Game on this continent; and 3. An era of new Cold War- a new phase of tensions between Russia and West”.
Therefore, Pakistan’s role is crucial in the regional situation. Dr. Yusuf maintained that Pakistan is taking all factors into consideration before outlining a long-term policy.