10 Feb

Introduction :

Non-traditional security (NTS) may be perceived as the challenges to the survival and well-being of peoples and states that arise primarily out of non-military sources, such as climate change, cross-border environmental degradation and resource depletion, infectious diseases, natural disasters, irregular migration, food shortages, drug smuggling, people trafficking and other forms of transnational crime. Non-traditional security (NTS) threats present a severe challenge to the social welfare, economic development and political stability of a country. Examples of major Non-traditional security Threats (NTST)  include Hurricane Katrina in US, Earthquake of 2005 and Floods of 2010 in Pakistan, Asian Financial crises of 1997, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002-2003, and tsunami triggered Fukushima disaster of 2010 and global recession of 2007. NTST are mainly global/ transnational in nature. Regrettably, there is lack of global institutions with clear mandate and scope of work to tackle the issues of non-traditional security threats. There is a need of good governance system to overcome these NTST.

 Major non-traditional security threats :

Generally, six broad branches of NTST have been identified namely: International terrorism, Transnational organized crime, Environmental security, Illegal migration, Energy security, and Human society. NTST are unpredictable, low probability and high-impact events.

At a seminar on 'Non-traditional security threats: global governance system to combat the challenges' organized by Sustainable Development Policy institute (SDPI) following non-traditional security threats, being faced by Pakistan, were mentioned by the authorities including Shakeel Ahmad Ramay (SDPI's Senior Research Associate), Kakakhel (Former UN assistant secretary-general), and Akram Zaki (former foreign secretary ). These include:

1. Climate change

In Pakistan, climate change has resulted in changing monsoon patterns, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, desertification of land and increase in water scarcity.

2. Natural disasters

Due to climate change and extreme weather conditions there has been increase in floods, droughts, storms, cyclones.

3. Resource scarcity

Non-renewable natural resources like oil, gas, coal, minerals etc are continuously decreasing which pose challenge to the economic stability of Pakistan.

4. Water scarcity

Due to population increase, urbanization, tube-well irrigation, and lack of reservoirs, Pakistan is facing the problem of water scarcity.

5. Infectious diseases

Infectious diseases like TB, HIV, Malaria, Measles, and Polio present non-traditional challenge to the population of Pakistan.

6. Irregular migrations 

Unplanned urbanization is creating the problems of law and order. It is leading to increase in crime rates and traffic problems.

7. Food shortages

In future, Pakistan can face the problem of food shortage due to increase in population, drought, floods, and desertification of lands.

8. Terrorism

Increase in terrorism and extremism due to domestic socio- economic-politico deterioration and foreign factors is a severe NTST to the survival of Pakistan.

9. Population explosion

Large population and high growth rate is creating the challenges of pure drinking water, space for housing, and problems relating to education, health and jobs.

10. Poverty

In Pakistan, a large number of people live below the poverty line. Poverty poses NTS challenge to socio-economic-politico stability of Pakistan.

11. People trafficking and Drug smuggling

Illegal inflow and outflow of people and drugs also pose serious non-traditional challenge to the security of Pakistan. People trafficking may lead to increase in terrorism and drug smuggling may lead to poor health condition in the country.

12. Deteriorating economic conditions

Weak economic condition of Pakistan is a hurdle in the way of ensuring HR and achieving MDGs. Weak economic condition also poses challenge to the security of Pakistan.

13. Bad governance and Corruption

Almost all of the NTS threats being faced by Pakistan are due to bad governance and corruption. Bad governance and corruption contribute to socio-politico-economic deterioration of Pakistan.

Impact of non-traditional security challenges

  • NTST lead to economic losses.
  • These also lead to human losses.
  • These lead to social deterioration.
  • These have led to floods, droughts, storms and cyclones.
  • These have led to issues related to education, health, urbanization, traffic, and crimes.
  • These have led to food and water shortage especially in Sindh.

Recommended Solutions to overcome the non-traditional security challenges

  • Social policy is as important as economic policy.
  • Steps should be taken for HRD including better education, health, population welfare, and skill development.
  • International support should be sought.
  • Followings should be achieved:

a. Technological advances in infrastructure construction,

b. improved sanitation system,

c. disaster management system,

d. flood forecasting warning systems,

e. local rainwater harvesting,

f. developing new varieties of resilient crops,

g. promoting renewable energy sources, and

h. more efficient public transport.

  • Borders should be made strong to prevent people trafficking and drug smuggling.
  • Good relationships should be created with neighboring countries.
  • Steps should be taken for robust economy.
  • Investment should be made in women and girls to reap multiple benefits.
  • Literacy rate should be improved at any cost.
  • There should be peaceful resolution of disputes including Kashmir issue.
  • Good governance should be achieved as it is very important for managing NTST.

Conclusion :

NTS challenges being faced by Pakistan are badly affecting its socio-politico-economic fabric. No stone should be left turned for combating these challenges. This is only through overcoming the NTS challenges that we can realize the dream of prosperous and developed Pakistan.

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