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Monday, July 15, 2024

EXCLUSIVE! Dr. Moeed Yusuf: Connecting the dots on Indian dossier

Pakistan’s National Security & Strategic Policy Planning Advisor explains why it took so long for Pakistan to release the dossier on Indian terrorism, Indian 'deceit' what it means to be the PM’s think tank and how to change Pakistan’s perception in the world.

Dr. Moeed Yusuf is currently serving as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Imran Khan on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning with the status of a minister of state. Prior to his appointment as Special Assistant, Dr. Yusuf was Associate Vice President for Asia at the US Institute of Peace (USIP). Managing editor, Najma Minhas, interviewed him following dossier released by Pakistan on Indian “state-sponsored terrorism”.

GVS: I congratulate your government on putting together a comprehensive and complete dossier on Indian activities to destabilize Pakistan, but what worries me is why did it take you so long. You talk about Malik Faridoon, being one of the masterminds behind the Army Public School (APS) massacre that happened in 2014.

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: Look this is the art that you deal with when you bring out this kind of information, in fact, the real question to ask is what on earth is the miracle that our eastern neighbor performs. Every time there is a violent attack in India, five minutes later a playbook is dusted, brought off the shelf, and outcomes: here is Pakistan, here is this group, here is that group, here is how they came, here is the documentation and so on.

That is deceit, this is a very complicated business, I don’t belong to the Intel world, but when one educates oneself on this, what is not difficult is catching a culprit and finding out the pieces of information. But to put this together, to connect the dots, it’s not overnight. You get leads, you catch people and connect.

So, everything that we have put out, except the APS link is from the past 2 – 2.5 years, and that’s the hard work. The APS connection, because of the Agricultural University [Peshawar] attack [2017] is what led us to the mastermind, that gave us new information that wasn’t available at the time, and that’s where the dots were connected.

Read more: NSA Yusuf urges media, politicians not to ‘politicize’ Pakistan’s national security

Also keep in mind, that sometimes it’s entirely possible that you have information, but you’re not 99% sure, you’re not 102% sure. When you put something out with the state stamp on it, you’re giving it to the UN, you’re giving it to the world, this is information that we were a 150% sure about. We’ve got tons more which we’re still working through and like we’ve said, there is more to come.

GVS: You’ve mentioned yourself that India puts out information, and puts the blame on Pakistan in 5 minutes, your own words, within 5 minutes, India has already told the world this attack happened and Pakistan is behind it, now it’s been five years and we’ve been waiting to hear about Kulbhushan Jadhav, for example, was arrested in March 2016, and we’ve yet to receive a complete dossier on him.

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: No but see, these are the processes I think we should be proud of, the fact that we are a responsible state, that does things according to international law and norms, right. Kulbhushan Yadhav’s case has gone to ICJ, India took the case there now its sub judice, there is a process that is taking place, we are fulfilling the three requirements that ICJ had and once that process is over, there will be a lot more to talk about.

Read more: Indian PM Modi directly running anti-CPEC terror cell

GVS: Ok, let’s go back to the fact that India within 5 minutes will state that Pakistan is behind any terror attack in that country. What they are achieving is an emotional response to that attack and straight away the world, whether it is right or wrong, thinks Pakistan is responsible. By comparison, we took so long to publish a dossier over the APS massacre, 140 children dying, that any emotional response over who is accountable have subdued.

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: If you put a proposition in front of me as an official, as someone advising the prime minister; I’ve got an option to create sensationalism with a lie or a half-baked fact, or I am going to be responsible, emotion may have disappeared, although I do not believe that it will ever disappear on something like APS, I would take the latter option. And why would I take the latter?

Today you can look over the past two years, every western outlet is calling out India, on not only on what is happening in Kashmir, which is not their territory but even within India, now when they talk about ‘oh Pakistan’ it’s a broken record, why? Because they used that lie for too long, even when I was sitting in the US, there was a very clear conversation, Oh we call India a natural ally of the US, is it, is it really the country we think it is.

These things do catch-up, I’m not saying that we should always take this long or whatever, we will do what is right, yes there are downsides, it is less glamorous, it is less shiny and all that.

Read more: Pakistan Foreign Office hits hard on Indian support to terrorism

GVS: Are you taking the morally superior position, that we’re giving out information when we have a hundred percent information, or is it actually because you feel that the international community will not believe you if you came out within 5 minutes and claimed India was behind the attack.

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: Yeah, of course, India has made a lot of effort, especially since 9/11 to malign Pakistan internationally, they’ve spent millions of dollars, we’ve shown you a glimpse of that in the dossier as well, with for example what they have been doing on FATF, I used to sit in Washington and see that all the time.

Today you go to Washington; you tell them you want to hold events, conversations on the dossier you’ll get 5% response. Why? So, they have created propaganda, basically, they have created a negative perception about Pakistan. Now, the reason they’ve been able to create that is not that they had facts on their side, but there is a convergence of interest with India over strategic reasons as we know in the region.

Second, there was another problem there. Afghanistan is where the US troops were, and hundreds of US diplomats and servicemen went and served in Afghanistan and went back to the US, taking back the Kabul view of Pakistan, so it became much easier for India to create [those perceptions]. Yes, we didn’t have that space and yes you are right the burden of proof is on us, but not for long. When we do these things responsibly, we’ve done one, we’ll do a second, we’ll do a third, we’ll do a fourth, over the next two-three-four years you’ll realize.

Read more: Pakistan made a strong case that India is a “state sponsor of terrorism”

GVS: According to the dossier you’ve had over 19,000 terrorist attacks, so you’ve done it all sensibly what has that achieved you, no one is giving you credit.

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: Why do you say that? Look today when we talk about the Samjhota express, doesn’t the world recognize what happened, and you had the same story from India, within 5 minutes after Samjhota. We had two options at that time, react with sensationalism, yes, I mean flawed system all of that is true, the world is not a fair place, but ultimately facts are on our side.

What will change? In a year or two what we’ll find is that those who had made India the darling of the west and talked about India as the counterweight or whatever, will recognize, and some have begun to recognize already, it’s a liability. You create a counter with something that has some capacity, springs under them, what is happening with India, what India is doing to itself, what India has created for the world, it is a liability today.

I want to see what the world says about human rights two or three months from now when the reality of Kashmir, which dawned on them two years ago begins you to be talked about. Yes. I completely agree with you; your question will continue to be relevant for the next sixth months, twelve months, but not longer than that.

Read more: How India uses hybrid warfare to destabilise Pakistan from within


GVS: What is the hardcore evidence that you have provided in the dossier which proves to the most critical opponent of Pakistan that yes India is behind this?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: You’ve got a very clear sense of that from the presser that the foreign minister did, how, you’ve got three or four categories there, you’ve got categories of terror financing, we’ve shown you receipts, we’ve shown you bills, we’ve shown you bank transactions which by the way connect very clearly with the FinCEN leaks that had happened, in which Indian banks were identified as doing illegal transactions.

Second, there are actual terrorist attacks, we’ve named people, we’ve actually shown you how the money transferred in a lot of cases, we’ve shown you Indian officials visiting militant camps who were then going to operate, we’ve shown you audio clips, then we’ve shown you where they do terrorist training, we’ve shown you videos of IEDs and how they’re getting them planted and all that.

AJK & GB, we’ve shown you clearly what their plan is in GB. We even know for a fact what kind of things they were thinking of doing. Then the CPEC cell, I mean that takes the cake, a prime minister of a country sitting on top of something overseeing how to sabotage one of the biggest economic initiatives between two of its neighbors. What else can one put out, I mean show me one other country that has put out this kind of information, this publicly, and this boldly to the world.

Read more: Pakistan presents India terror dossier to UN chief

We can have this conversation in the public domain, but when foreign intelligence agencies evaluate this and they must be evaluating it as we speak, we’ve given it to the P5 and the UN. They are part of that world and will immediately pick up what is true and what is not true, and they will be forced to recognize that this is real information.

GVS: Do you think that these foreign agencies are not aware of a lot of this information already?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: Maybe they are, and they can turn a blind eye, today they’ll have to answer, today if they turn a blind eye we have a question to ask. Here is what we provided you, are you saying that it is not true? Come out and say it.


GVS: Why did your government go public with it at this time?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: There are two ways of doing these things, one is the traditional conservative way of saying: we know, but we’re not going to go there, it is going to create a mudslinging match.

Read more: Pakistan rejects India’s response to its ‘dossier’

One change that I am desperate for, I’ve advocated and others I mean it’s not just me. When I came into the system, I’ve been a scholar for most of my life and worked off open-source information and analysis, what I realized was we have nothing to hide, why are we so shy, why are we so worried about what others are going to think of us.

It is not a beauty contest. To my mind, this is my personal view we’ve been too cautious in our approach with the world. There’s nothing to hide, we’ve got to be proactive, we’ve got to be on the front foot. I’m not saying aggression. I am not saying emotional. Pragmatic, reasoned, but proactive and on the front foot.

If there is a narrative, we have a counter-narrative, and we need to create proactive narratives. That is the change that our engagement with the world has to bring, it is almost like we feel guilty about upsetting people. Well if the facts are with us, I have no problem.

GVS: You say that we have nothing to hide from the media yet so far, you have given the Pakistani media eight pages of the dossier, now presumably you’ve given it to the P5, UN, and the EU, so there’s not much that is confidential. At the same time, if you want the international media to understand and pick up this story, you need to give it to your local media so that we can put together a coherent and cogent story, but you’ve only given them eight pages, why?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: I think I won’t speak with complete confidence on this, because there are others in the lead on this, not me. One of the thoughts was that we want the counterparts to digest it, we don’t want to make this a conversation where someone can say ‘oh you just create a public spectacle out of this right. But now the time has passed and elapsed, and you know they’ve had it the next step is actually sharing.

Read more: Dossier shows Pakistan’s new ‘resolve and intent’ to counter Indian threats

GVS: So, another thing is the 19,000 terrorist attacks and 83,000 casualties that have been affected. Do we have a list of their names on the ministry of the interior’s website for example? To identify the people that were killed during the terrorist attacks.

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: I do not think it is public. The list I mean I do not know the 83,000 names, the state does, of course, know where the incidents happened and who was there are who wasn’t but I am not entirely sure if it is public information, I can check, but I’m not aware of it.

GVS:  I’ll give you the example of Mexico, after the drug wars, they put together a list and actually put it up for commemoration for these people, for people who died in the drug wars, the US has done it for Vietnam war, isn’t this something that we should be doing?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: I think it is a very good idea. I think it is a very good idea for recognizing people. I’ve just got to ask this question, putting myself in those shoes, would I want something like this out, God-forbid, if it were somebody I knew in my family, culturally. But maybe you are absolutely right it is worth a thought.

Read more: The irksome dossier

GVS: What about the Pakistani collaborators, I mean there must have been a lot of Pakistani collaborators, will we find out who these people were and what kind of action is taking place against them?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: Some people are no more; some people are not in Pakistan, right, so there are people who are perpetrators, who are conduits who are sitting in many countries in the world, some we know and some, of course, are at large. Others, well there are cases already there, so you know Ajmal Pahari’s case, where a lot of the testimony or some of the testimony benefitted us in terms of evidence.

I mean so there are three categories, some that are going through the process some that are about to go through the process, some quite frankly we would love to have in our custody and don’t and other who have died.

GVS: What are the next steps now with the dossier have you raised these questions to the Indian government, have you given them your dossier?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: No, we haven’t. So, I think the idea really is to get the international community, UN and everybody, to do whatever they want with it. In terms of looking at the evidence, do their analysis, once they are convinced that this is true and they will be, there is no other way, then that is the conversation, what diplomatic, what legal, by the way there are a number of legal recourses here, listings and other things.

Najma, this conversation that the world has had, for way too long, that there is one victim and one country that is to blame has to end, and this is the start of that effort. It is not going to happen in six months, it is not going to happen in a year, it is a long, drawn-out process, but there is one country in the region, that is out there for the world to see, that has a relationship of conflict with each of its neighbors, that country is India. Counterweight or no counterweight, this self-contained reality has to dawn on the world, and we will play our part, and we seriously hope that the world listens.

Read more: Indian Intelligence trying to unite terror outfits across Pakistan: Foreign Office

GVS: So you are expecting the international community to have a word with India, for example, P5 you have spoken to, they have strategic ties with India, four out of the five countries, India spends billions of dollars on military hardware. I mean what conversations do you really think will take place?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: I expect the world to do the right thing. When you put out this kind of evidence the listing processes do exist, the label of state sponsorship do exist; I will go to every single thing I can.

GVS: The dossier mentions the direct terror financing that Indian banks are doing, are we going to FATF and the Asia Pacific Group with the information?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: Every single recourse that is legal will be taken. We will play by the rules, we will not be India and going behind closed doors and telling everyone that, yes we know that Pakistan has actually qualified to get out of the FATF grey list – but don’t let that happen. We are going to do things above board, but whatever route that is will be taken.

Read more: Indian Colonel Rajesh directing terror in Pakistan from Kabul: DG ISPR

GVS: What impact does this have now on Pak-India Relations? PM Imran Khan 2 years ago made a statement that if India takes one step, we will take two steps forward – how does he feel about that now?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: When I did the interview with Karan Thapar, the Indian media, he [PM] specifically told me, this is where I came in thinking, this is where I am, but we are not dealing with India, that we thought would be there, or any rational human being would want to be there. With this India, who is trying to tell Kashmiris that, oh Kashmir is done and dusted, killing Pakistani citizens every day, so we laid out a very straight path forward, we still stand for peace, but is this the India that we can trust? Absolutely not.

GVS: I would like to ask about the National Intelligence Coordination Committee government has set up, was this in response to your understanding from the dossier or the success of NCOC?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: Frankly, I have been reading about it. This is media, I mean there is nothing announced. I also saw that I am heading that committee!

Read more: Indian PM Modi directly running anti-CPEC terror cell

GVS: You are saying it doesn’t exist, it hasn’t been announced yet?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: What I am saying is that when the state is ready to do something, it will officially come forth and have a conversation about it.

GVS: Does it make sense to you to have a committee like that?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: Absolutely. Not only a committee, but one of the biggest problems I have felt in my time in office is that we are not good at coordinating, generally across government, it is not particularly about any subject. Provincial governments still have chief secretaries that are able to do that, the federal government does not have that mechanism in place so its piecemeal, and what is more important than security in terms of coordinating.

So, whether it is this or anything else, I am a big fan of creating efficient coordinating mechanisms as an analyst, and wherever we can bring those in we need to bring those in, but this particular conversation is a news item for now.

GVS: I would like to take you back to DC. There is a new president who will be coming in January. We did a lot in Afghanistan, the whole of Trump administration admitted, Zalmay Khalilzad praised Pakistan’s efforts, but we got no quid pro quo. The Americans did not help us on FATF, for example.

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: Quite frankly, I hope that what we get in return is peace in Afghanistan. I am not entirely sure if we were ever in this for a transaction. This, at least, wasn’t my mindset. On FATF, ultimately what Pakistan has done no country could have achieved in the last two years, and we have got a very clear position. We definitely qualify to be out of the list, if it is a completely technocratic body looking at only technical things, lets list countries that are not even close to where we are and still they are not there [on the FATF list].

So that to me is very unfair at this point that we still remain on that list. In terms of Afghanistan, what we are really looking for frankly is a political dispensation which Afghans agree on and thus less violence. Then we can get on with becoming a real connectivity hub for the region, open up to Central Asia, open up to Afghanistan in every single possible way, extend CPEC to Afghanistan, all of that is going to remain elusive till quite frankly there is peace in Afghanistan.

Read more: ‘Anti-India jihadi’: Indian Twitter brands Karan Thapar ‘traitor’ for Moeed Yusuf interview

GVS: What do you see as the possible difference in the relationship between the Biden Administration that is going to come in versus the Trump administration experience that you have had?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: I actually think as a state to me whoever is ruling any country is the counterpart and so I have got to put my arguments to them, I have got to put to them what I need and what I expect from them, right.

And that is the conversation you have with any ruler. At this point, what we have been pushing for: Regional peace remains on the agenda and will remain so, peace in Afghanistan will remain on the agenda, and connectivity in the region, Central Asia. Bilateral relationships on the economic side are crucial.

I don’t think we have had enough conversations there. Too quickly, the conversation moves to tactical security issues. We need to bolster that space; there’s agriculture, there is IT, shale gas and energy, I mean there is tons of stuff to be done there. And fourth and perhaps most important; update your narrative about Pakistan.


The one thing that will be important is the new administration that comes in, these are all people who have worked with Pakistan for a number of years in the earlier Obama-Biden administration. They will have that memory, and their muscle memory will kick in to restart the conversation from where they left it. We now have a very different Pakistan. There is no terrorism for one.

GVS: So how do you intend to make sure that they start the conversation with a new fresh?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: This is the change I am talking about. We have to be proactive. We can’t wait for others to come and start a conversation and then say change. We have to be proactive, that’s what we are working on right now, and we have a couple of months before they come to the office.

Read more: Pakistan’s enemy is naked in its aggression, Dr. Moeed Yusuf

GVS: You are Pakistan’s National Security Advisor and Strategic Policy Planning, but the last part of your title is new. What is the Strategic Policy planning that you are now leading?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: I am grateful you asked this question. A lot of people are asking about this India did a whole propaganda “oh the title is not NSA.” I am basically the prime minister’s assistant on national security defined in its broadest sense. A lot of people take this wrongly to say security equals military, that’s been the mindset. No, we look at security in its broadest sense encompassing food security, energy security, economic security, human security and hard security and diplomacy.  That’s the first part – this is not a tactical operation room, that’s not the job.

The second part to me is far more important in terms of explaining what it is and why? So why does strategic policy planning come up? One of the biggest weaknesses I think we have had over the years is that we have a number of places to think short-term, think tactically, and make operational decisions. But, we had no place on the civilian side, where the prime minister could task somebody to have long-term strategic thinking on a broader defined national security.

So, I explain the second part of my job, as being the prime minister’s think tank. And why do I say that? Because without having this prime minister’s think tank for a long-term vision, the rest of the national security decision-making is always going to be short term. In some ways, I would love to have a title reversed and, frankly, that’s how I approach my job.

This is a place – which is a shop of ideas – that puts out new thinking patterns, which actually throws a spanner in the works every day. The idea is pushing the envelope if you do that, then that also informs your short-term thinking and decision-making.

Read more: The Lankan Example – By Moeed Yusuf

GVS: Where do strategic communications (internal and external) fit in, and what are you doing in that field?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: Tons of work. First of all, without saying too much, we have never been more coordinated in government, within civil, civil-military and federal-provincial, when it comes to the issues that we are dealing with. So, a lot of times, my work also becomes coordinating on issues where separate efforts are being made.

You know we have got groups where all stakeholders come together to do virtually everything in my domain. So that in itself is a big change, but what you won’t find now is on these issues are different points of view and conversations by different people. I am not talking politics that is not my remit, but in terms of the conversation on where is Pakistan on Kashmir, where is Pakistan on the dossier.

You won’t find that. The dossier is a great example. You have a civilian and a military representative sitting there and presenting, and then my office and others in the background to work on that. So, we are trying to coordinate as much as possible in this space because one of the key challenges in today’s world is speed. You can’t wait for a file to move through different channels for six days before you make a decision on something, so those are some of the things that are being reformed.

GVS: On August 5, 2020, the Indian government decided to celebrate the Ram Janmabhoomi day on that same day, an attempt to take the whole focus of the media away from talking about Kashmir’s change of status. Now is this a kind of thing that we should be thinking and doing in terms of December 16th?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: Yes, that is what they tried, but failed miserably. I will give you a simple example because again, that is an issue of coordinated messaging, Times Square. Times Square displayed Kashmir as an issue on its main screen, which as you know is not easy to get. And it wasn’t us, it was the Kashmiri diaspora, but the more important part is that India had bought that space for pooja, where Modi was – India was – presenting itself as a land of peace and whatever. That was cancelled, and the space was given to something else.

Why? Because the world is beginning to recognize, you can’t fool the world all the time. There are real issues, and there are made-up issues. 5 August, La Monde (French paper) carried a three-column story on Kashmir, so the world actually did pick up, that this is gross injustice and the anniversary of that day needs to be marked as a black day, and these are western outlets, that frankly don’t usually do this. Of course, they [India] were going to deflect, they don’t have something to present as fact, that’s what they are going to do.

Read more: Chinese Defence Minister hails Pakistan as ‘Iron Brother’

But I will also say something, countries that succeed do two things simultaneously: They proactively point out what they stand for and where their adversary or someone else is mischaracterizing them, they don’t wait to act. And second, simultaneously, they introspect, where do we go wrong, where did we go wrong, what are the things that where we have gone wrong on, and we’ve changed. It’s no point just continuing to say I have got everything perfectly lined up, it’s the other.

Yes, the other may play a big part, but with it, introspection is key. If you ask me what’s the broadest vision – where I sit, it is putting Pakistan on the map, on the front foot proactively, and having very hard internal conversations to remove our blind spots and fix whatever weaknesses we find and coordination is one.

GVS: How do you think Pakistan can change its perception in the world.

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: So, another starting point on this is what are We for the world. So, the first is internal clarity, and then you project; and where Pakistan has been treated very unfairly, is that we continue to talk about a different Pakistan and the world refuses to acknowledge it. The weakness there perhaps is that we are not the best communicators either; communication has not been our forte in the past. And for whatever reason, for the past ten years, the foreign policy was fairly mum on some issues.

Read more: India using FCRA to target NGOs reporting human right violations in IOK

What are We? I would say we need to explain this to the world and we are explaining, and you will see more of this. Pakistan wants to be the melting pot of positive global economic interests. How do you do that? You have a geo-economic location, because the geo-strategic part of it has only brought us wars, unfortunately. So, you have got a geo-economic location. What do you stand for? Number one, connectivity, number two, development partnerships not assistance, and number three, responsibility within its citizens and responsibility out which means regional peace.

On connectivity, CPEC is a great example. Where do we want to go? Central Asia, Afghanistan, we even want to go east, if our Eastern neighbour will come to its senses. Development assistance? Yes, we need assistance, but what are we talking about? Partnerships, interdependence, melting pot, anybody wants to invest in CPEC? Please come. CPEC extends to Afghanistan – Brilliant. Other projects? Anybody wants to come? Yes. Is it an easy path? No. We have got to improve our reality, but also the easiest path in the Middle-East is to pick one side. We are continuing to say that we are the country that can talk to everybody in a friendly manner.

We are open to investment from anybody. Yes, responsibility within to our citizens. What is the Islamic welfare concept? That’s essentially what it is. Responsibility outside:  What is our Kashmir policy? Human rights. International law. China-India have a spat – India says, Oh! two-front war. What does Pakistan do? Tell the world  – peace is where we want to stand. Yes. But, if you try and do a Balakot, you will get a response that you got many-folds next time as well. But short of that, that’s Pakistan’s vision.

We want to use our location for connectivity, for economics, for the betterment of our people and the region. This is the conversation to have. When I or anybody in my position or other officials sit with foreign counterparts, I want to spend 25 minutes explaining Pakistan’s vision. In that, you then have a conversation. This vision is not going to be achieved if India keeps what it’s doing. If Kashmir remains where it is. Who is losing – the entire world! We are ultimately a nuclear region. You the West  – want Afghanistan to be stable. When do you get access to Central Asia? When it’s stable. Invest in Afghanistan, let Pakistan invest, and let China invest, you have been interdependent. That’s the vision Pakistan has.

I haven’t said anywhere the word ‘terrorism’. I haven’t said anywhere the word ‘military’. Are they missing? No. They are very much there. But the world has to understand our framing and where we want to go and recognize the reason, we are unable to achieve our vision entirely because they are courting partners in countries who are the agents of destabilization in the region. That’s what needs to be changed.

Read more: Kashmir black day: A day to protest Muslim genocide in IOK

GVS: What is your thought on national security in Pakistan? Do we have a strong defined idea of what this actually is?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: National security strategies exist. National interest exists. I think it’s a very polarized debate in Pakistan historically. But, let me say two things. One, let me first dispel this myth that the military controls national security and the only conversation to be had is about hard security, traditional security.

The civilian and military leadership in Pakistan is on one page, which is national security on the broadest sense of the term: economic, human, military security together in a symbiotic manner. Otherwise, one on its own means nothing and let me also tell you and I will say this on record to you. In my 14 months, I am a civilian, no political backing, no bureaucratic background. I have received 100% support from the prime minister of Pakistan and the military leadership of Pakistan. There is clarity and vision of where we want to go. If that wasn’t there, a person of my profile won’t be sitting here.

It makes no sense for the prime minister of Pakistan to put me in this position if there isn’t a vision on which there is a consensus. In 14 months, if there is anybody who says that the National Security Division has been useless, it has failed, its Moeed Yusuf’s failure, not the prime minister of Pakistan’s and the Pakistani military leadership’s. I am saying this on record, it’s on me if there is a failing, I have failed. I have no obstacles to deal with when it comes to the system.

Read more: Pakistan would launch nine missiles in case of any misadventure, Pakistan told Ajit Doval

GVS: We all know what the Ajit Doval doctrine is, what is going to be the Moeed Yusuf Doctrine?

Dr. Moeed Yusuf: Peace, peace and peace. Economic stability. The Geoeconomic location used to its best advantage. You would be surprised that this office supposedly national security, but spends most of its time talking about the linkages between economic security at the core and military and human security flowing from that and connected through a symbiotic relationship. Let me also tell you and what my counterpart is doing.

I am not making this up, but getting articles against Pakistani officials and institutions, walking out of meetings because there is a legitimate map of another country, on that country’s official’s wall, leading the intelligence operations under the guidance of his boss [PM Modi] to undermine CPEC, and openly talking about the fact that there will be military actions in AJK or GB,  in a nuclear environment.

That is what is happening on the other side. Should I or anybody sitting here, respond in the same petty and childish manner? No. We are going places, and they are feeling the heat. Two years from now, my dream for Pakistan, whether I am here or anybody else is here, that conversation becomes so useless for the world, that they talk to Pakistan about what I am telling you and say forget about the neighbour, they are a liability as they are. That’s the goal we have. We are not going to play at their pitch and certainly not come down to their level.