Foreign Policy Watch: India-Pakistan

Pakistan’s New Security Policy


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Restoration and normalization of India-Pak ties

Peace with India and its immediate neighbors is set to be the central theme of Pakistan’s first-ever National Security Policy.

Why has this news made headlines?

  • Pakistan’s (official) policy now leaves the door open for trade with India even without the settlement of the Kashmir issue – provided there is headway in bilateral talks.
  • Earlier, Kashmir used to be at the centre-stage of all Pakistani outcry.

New Security Policy

  • The country’s new policy would act as an umbrella document, to be used as a guideline for Pakistan`s foreign, international and defence related policies.
  • The five-year-policy document, which will span 2022-26, is being touted by the Pakistan government as the country’s first-ever strategy paper of its kind.

Key highlights

  • Focus on trade: The 100-page policy document has also put out elaborate plans to open trade and business ties with India.
  • Silent on Kashmir: Kashmir issue with India has been identified as a ‘vital national policy’ issue for Pakistan.
  • No public discussion: Only a part of the national security policy will be made public.
  • Defying hostility with India: The document states that Pakistan is not seeking hostility with India for the next 100 years.
  • Curbing militancy: The new policy also deals with the issue of militant and dissident groups and advocates dialogue with ‘reconcilable elements.’
  • No re-conciliation with India: There are no prospects of rapprochement with India under the current government.
  • Others: On the internal front, the new policy identifies five key areas of population/migration, health, climate and water, food security and gender mainstreaming.

Significance of such policy

  • Pakistan and India have mostly been at loggerheads with each other throughout history.
  • During the first term of Narendra Modi in 2014, the relations took a positive turn when he announced his intentions to have cordial relations with Pakistan.
  • He had also visited Islamabad in 2015 unannounced to attend a marriage ceremony in Ex-PMs family.
  • However, the relations deteriorated following the horrific 2016 Uri attacks.

Way ahead

  • Pivotal equations between India and Pakistan will continue to be dominated by Kashmir, the ongoing proxy war and terrorism.
  • It is unlikely that this prevailing equilibrium is likely to be reset by this classified policy document. That too overnight.
  • The India-centric security obsession will remain the core of this policy.


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