“Appreciating this symbiotic relationship between economic, traditional, and human security allows the articulation of holistic policy actions that will prepare Pakistan to optimize national security outcomes in the coming decades,” noted National Security Policy Executive Summary. National security matters are of great complexity and are intertwined with other sensitive economic, social, and geo-strategic issues. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to identify whether these 50 pages made public result from fruitful symbiosis capable of delivering on its promise or just a symbolic act to gain popularity. The formal introduction of the national security policy is a welcome step towards strengthening the sovereignty of Pakistan – for which the current government must be appreciated. This is not to forego that the initiative began in 2014 under the PML-N government. However, what is problematic is the duration it has taken for the country’s think tank to compile the policy. I hope that the document will be implemented in its true spirit. I am also astonished at the amount of criticism that the recently revealed policy has gathered within the national circle – it was naturally expected from international critics. The importance of a sound National Security Policy and a country’s social and economic stability or well known. Let’s assume the case of China and Japan, whose rivalry has made several history books. A staggering 14 to 20 million Chinese lost their lives in the Sino-Japanese wars in a resistance that produced over 80 to 100 million refugees. The decades-long Japanese imperialist policy of dominating China had bruised generations with anger and hatred. But I may dare mention here that China was one of the biggest beneficiaries of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) program between 1979 and mid-2000s worth 3.65 trillion yen ($32.4 billion) in loans, grants, and technical cooperation. This is not it; Japan is China’s third-largest trading partner and its third-largest Foreign Direct Investment source. The trade between the two countries stood at a staggering $317 billion in 2021. We all know that the current $18 trillion Chinese economy has all the potential to surpass the US economy by 2030, as many experts predict. Economic progress must surpass mass sentiments regardless of how hard it may be for the government. This evolving Sino-Japan relationship teaches us a few important lessons. Firstly, economic progress must surpass mass sentiments regardless of how hard it may be for the government. Secondly, a country’s sovereignty and security cannot achieve economic stability. Thirdly, economic prosperity can also change the mass sentiments, as seen in this case. In his final book, Facing History, Ezra Vogel reported an improvement in the positivism improvement of 10 per cent between Chinese and Japanese. Another similar and more intriguing historical reference is the evolving relationship between Vietnam and the US. In 2021, Vietnam received $19.74 billion in Foreign Direct Investment from the US. Even though the figure is 1.2 per cent lower than the preceding year, the FDI pledges for 2022 noticed a growth of 9.2 per cent and are expected to rise to $31 billion in the future. The importance of the FDI in this relationship is that nearly 70 per cent of Vietnamese firms are dependent on FDI – a key growth component for the country. Today putting their bitter history behind Vietnam and the US enjoy trade, military, intelligence, and law enforcement cooperation. What is truly critical to understand here is that these countries were able to experience this economic, political, and even social shift by devising a solid plan of execution and following it to a tee. Our National Security Policy has come at a time when our domestic and external debt is 94 per cent of our economy. These are the times when our economic sovereignty is overshadowed by various international lending bodies. While the country’s leaders seem to have identified a destination for the nation, this national security policy does not clarify the road or mechanics to reach that destination. I have reiterated this thought in many of my past pieces that call for a technocratic government structure-one that strengthens public institutions, promotes performance-driven culture, and is guided by the larger national security policy objectives. Another great Chinese political model is to “hold the Larger and let the Small go”, which indicates that the government should privatize the institutes and assets that are economically not critical and focus on the improvement of public offices through the technocratic structure. Remember, beggars can’t be choosers – our current discussions with the IMF are a testament to it. Despite all their objections, whether tariff increase or tighter monetary conditions, the government think tanks and officials had to bend the knee and are now on their way to implementing the suggested actions. This means that the National Security Policy and the Economic Experts at the governmental level must now introduce a consolidated, well-thought, and put-together action plan that builds peoples’ trust in its leadership. Having a shared vision is good, which has come out as the NSP document. However, what is needed is the national level awareness and execution – an ECONOMIC NATIONAL ACTION PLAN. The importance of healthy international relations cannot be negated, but identifying a stance with various global and regional partners is more important to me. Siding with its historical ally, such as China, on all forums may be a scary thought but a fruitful one in the long term. In the past 70 odd years, Pakistanis have witnessed many promises and no deliverance. With the national vision now documented, I hope we also move towards wisely crafted policies that support this plan in various sectors, including Small and Medium Enterprises, IT with emphasis on digitisation, Exports Industry, Foreign Direct Policies, and more – all driven by industry experts and technocrats. The writer is the Foreign Secretary-General for BRI College, China. He tweets @DrHasnain_javed.