Climate change is turning out to be the most fundamental non-traditional security threat for Pakistan and its impacts can already be felt in the form of floods, droughts, cyclones and sea level rise in and around Pakistan.
SDPI’s Senior Research Associate Shakeel Ahmad Ramay said at a seminar on ‘Non-traditional security threats: global governance system to combat the challenges’ organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
Ramay said that non-traditional security threats are challenges, that arise primarily out of non-military sources, such as climate change, resource scarcity, infectious diseases, natural disasters, irregular migrations and food shortages. He said that these dangers are often trans-national in scope, defying unilateral remedies and requiring comprehensive political, economic and social responses.
He said that non-traditional security threats are trans-national and not confined to national boundaries and so we need international framework to address the issue. But regrettably, he lamented, there is no coordinated effort at global level with clear mandate and scope to tackle the issue, which needs our urgent attention.
Former UN assistant secretary-general said that non- traditional security threats for Pakistan included terrorism, fragile and interconnected water, food and energy security, population explosion, poverty, irregular urbanisation, narcotics, ill health, and deteriorating economic conditions. He said that Pakistan never had a national security doctrine and it is time that we prepare one now. He said that impacts of non-traditional security threats are serious enough and warrants envisioning a new paradigm. He referred to Chapter 2 of Constitution, which lists principles of state responsibilities and proposed that it must be included into new national security doctrine.
He argued that most of the non-traditional security threats are manageable through better management and innovations. Referring to water scarcity, he said 93 per cent of water resources in Pakistan are used by agriculture whereas the world average is 60-70% and if we can bring down water usage in agriculture to world average, water scarcity can be solved.
Kakakhel cited the words of renowned American expert and advocate of green energy, Carl Pope, who on his recent visit to Pakistan has said that Pakistan, with its abundance of renewable energy potential, should have by now the most energy affluent country. He said the only thing not controllable is natural disasters and the best remedial measure possible is the strengthening resilience of local communities to cope with the negative impacts of disasters.
Chairing the session, Akram Zaki, former foreign secretary, however, said that the bad governance is the most serious non-traditional security threat to the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. All existing traditional as well as other social, economic, political, and environmental induced threats have been emancipated from decades of bad-governance, corruption and mismanagement. He said that we have to introduce good governance in Pakistan to tackle grave issues concerning Pakistan. He also called for immediate restoration of local government system in the country. He said that Pakistan needs a new social contract where basic minimum needs of citizens based on social and economic justice and equity are fulfilled.