Pakistan’s first National Security Policy

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    In Context 

    The National Security Policy of Pakistan is scheduled to be formally unveiled by the Pakistan Prime Minister.

    Major Highlights of Policy  

    • The five-year-policy document covering a period between 2022-26, is being propped up by the Pakistan government as the country’s first-ever strategy paper of its kind that spells out the national security vision and guidelines for the attainment of those goals.
    • The 100-page policy document has also put out elaborate plans to open trade and business ties with India without final settlement of the Kashmir dispute provided there is progress in the talks between the two neighbours. 
      • Peace with India and its immediate neighbours is set to be the central theme.
    • It is aimed at normalising trade ties with India and other neighbours.

    India’s stand 

    • India is open for a better relationship with Pakistan provided the country stop supporting terrorist groups against India. 
    •   India will not compromise on issues relating to national security and will take firm and decisive steps to deal with all attempts to undermine India’s security and territorial integrity.

    Bilateral Brief: India-Pakistan Relations

    • In keeping with its “Neighbourhood First Policy”, India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan. 
    • India has made a number of attempts to build normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan.
    • On 7 August 2019, Pakistan announced unilateral measures, including downgrading of diplomatic relations, suspension of bilateral trade and review of bilateral agreements with India.
      • Subsequently, Pakistan suspended all bus and train services between India and Pakistan.
    • India has urged Pakistan to review its unilateral actions with respect to relations with India so that normal channels of diplomatic communications are preserved.

    Cross-border Terrorism:

    • Terrorism emanating from territories under Pakistan’s control remains a core concern in bilateral relations. 
    • Following the cross-border terrorist attack on an army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on 18 September 2016 and continued incidents of terrorist infiltrations, the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes at various terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control and inflicted significant casualties to terrorists and those providing support to them.
    •  Pulwama cross-border terror attack: In a heinous and despicable act of cross border terror attack on the convey of Indian security forces in Pulwama, Jammu & Kashmir on 14 February 2019 by Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) .

    Jammu and Kashmir Issue: 

    • With the British withdrawal from South Asia in 1947, India and Pakistan agreed for the partition, the rulers of princely states were given the right to opt for either Pakistan or India or—with certain reservations—to remain independent. 
      • Hari Singh, the maharaja of Kashmir, initially believed that by delaying his decision he could maintain the independence of Kashmir, but, caught up in a train of events that included a revolution among his Muslim subjects along the western borders of the state and the intervention of Pashtun tribesmen, he signed an Instrument of Accession to the Indian union in October 1947.
      •  This was the signal for intervention both by Pakistan, which considered the state to be a natural extension of Pakistan, and by India, which intended to confirm the act of accession.
      •  Localized warfare continued during 1948 and ended, through the intercession of the United Nations, in a cease-fire that took effect in January 1949. 
        • In July of that year, India and Pakistan defined a cease-fire line—the line of control—that divided the administration of the territory. 
          • Regarded at the time as a temporary expedient, the partition along that line still exists.
    • Ties took another hit after India announced withdrawing the special powers of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories in August, 2019.

    Trade and Commerce

    The figures for India Pakistan bilateral trade in the last 5 years is as follows:

     Image Courtesy: Mea.gov.in

     

    • India had accorded MFN status to Pakistan in 1996. A Pakistan Cabinet decision as of November 02, 2011, to reciprocate remains unimplemented. 
    • In August 2012, India announced a reduction of 30% in its SAFTA Sensitive List for non-Least Developed Countries of SAFTA [including Pakistan], bringing down tariff on 264 items to 5% within a period of three years. 
    • However, Pakistan continued to follow a restrictive trade policy towards India. 
    • In the aftermath of cross border terror attack in Pulwama, India, on 15 February 2019 withdrew Most Favored Nation Status to Pakistan. 
    • India also hiked customs duty on exports from Pakistan to 200% on 16 February 2019. Subsequently, as part of its unilateral measures, Pakistan suspended bilateral trade with India on 7 August 2019.

    Indus Water Treaty (IWT)

    • It was signed between then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and former Pakistan President Ayub Khan on 19th September 1960.
      • The Treaty was brokered by the World Bank and is one of the most durable agreements between both nations and has survived several wars and disruptions in bilateral relations over the decades.

    People to People Relations

    • The visit to religious shrines between India and Pakistan is governed by the Bilateral Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines signed between India and Pakistan in 1974.
    •  The protocol provides for three Hindu pilgrimages and four Sikh pilgrimages every year to visit 15 shrines in Pakistan while five Pakistan pilgrims visit 7 shrines in India.

    Kartarpur Corridor

    • Often dubbed as the “Road to Peace”, it connects the Darbar Sahib Gurdwara in the Narowal district of Pakistan with the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in the Gurdaspur district in India’s Punjab province.
    • The corridor was built to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism on 12th November 2019.

    Source: Print