Changing paradigms of security
THE notion of security has its inception in human existence. However, the concept of security was redefined in the late 20th century.
At the outset, the only goal of humans was self-security. With the emergence of the idea of society, humans started living in groups and the security of those groups became their priority.
Over time, the creation of the modern state system shaped the idea of security in a new manner and the security of the State became the only way to secure oneself.
Hans J.Morgenthau introduced classicism realism through his book – Politics among nations. The proponents of this thought support a state-centric approach.
They propounded that the raison d’etat of the state shall be observed. It stresses preserving state security over individual security.
Moreover, state security can be obtained by the survival of the state, and that survival can be procured by self-help in the anarchical system.The belief in traditional security was challenged by non-traditional security threats.
The alternatives to classical realism’s concepts of national security came after the end of catastrophic World War II, and with the essence of the United Nations.
The liberals set forth that survival and protection can be acquired by international security. They maintained that to attain security the States must work hand in hand and turn their sovereignty into pool sovereignty.
The end of the Cold War interposed the idea of human security. The advocates of human security maintain that the ideas of state security and international security are contingent on one another.
Ergo, when a person is perilous in any corner of the world, then any act on him may bring ramifications on any other person in any other corner of the world.
For instance, the outbreak of the war on terror in Afghanistan fuelled refugees in Pakistan, and she is still facing instability pertaining to this. The Global Human Development Report 1994 harbingered the resuscitation of human security stratagem.
Pakistan has always been state-centric and prioritizes countering traditional security threats. Pakistan was born out of insecurity syndrome because of its hostile neighbour – India. In 1971, it lost its second wing which further insulted the injury.
The secession of east Pakistan augmented the fear of India’s eagerness to balkanize Pakistan. Furthermore, the war on terror bolstered the militancy waves in Pakistan, especially in the northwest.
These horrific incidents have tied Pakistan to pursue defensive realism and investing to be a military might.
Gradually, Pakistan’s negligence in keeping an eye on non-traditional security threats transpired horrendously for the country.
According to the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) report, Pakistan stands at 154 out of 189 countries.
Moreover, the report – The global climate risk 2018 – revealed by Germanwatch warned that Pakistan is the fifth most vulnerable country to climate change. Ergo, all of this suggests Pakistan’s jeopardized state to non-traditional threats.
Owing to the aforesaid, Pakistan is grappling with almost every non-traditional threat in one or another way.
Unequivocally, Pakistan is facing malefic for a long such as the dwindling economy, increasing population, droughts, and infectious diseases, among others.
However, the recent environmental degradation and climate change have fuelled the fire of perils for Pakistan.
In February 2020, Pakistan was caught up with COVID-19. Following that, in mid of 2020, the devastating locusts’ attack pushed Pakistan to worst food insecurity and growth. Currently, the torrential rains have resulted in unprecedented floods in Pakistan.
Worst still, such calamities instigate all the menaces in the same cup of tea. The ongoing flood in Pakistan has raged the plight of its citizens, especially those belonging to the middle and lower classes.
It left hundreds and thousands homeless, displaced, devastated, or dead. Homelessness resulted in increasing hunger and bolstering food insecurity.
Ultimately, aggravated poverty and exposed the affectees to diseases and viruses. Certainly, the apocalyptic floods will leave grievous repercussions by undermining human security.
The non-traditional security threats and human security grabbed Pakistan’s attention in 2022. The National Security Policy (NSP) emphasized preventing non-traditional security threats and prioritizing human security. However, to achieve the same is strenuous for it.
To preserve human security and to work for human development necessities a chunk of the dwindling economy. To attain the same, Pakistan would be required to cut the budget of its other segments.
Thus, the positive result of the human security stratagem requires structural reforms in the economy and development.
As all said, the existing vague policies will not plummet the plight of humans. Pakistan needs to adopt a comprehensive policy to attain human security. The policy must be people-centered, participatory, and inclusive.
Pakistan needs to analyze its non-traditional threats in-depth and adopt a pragmatic approach. The looming threats need a lump sum of budget allocation in human security. Although it requires strenuous steps to be taken, it is not approachable and unattainable.
The writer is a practising a lawyer , based in Islamabad