NON TRADITIONALSECURITY CHALLENGES TO PAKISTAN
1. Non-Traditional Security Challenges are intimidations to the survival and well-being of peoples and states that arise primarily out of non-military sources such as climate change, infectious diseases, natural disasters, irregular migration, terrorism, extremism, sectarianism and ethnic diversity, food and water shortages and other forms of transnational crimes. These threats have made the national security landscape more multifaceted and vulnerable than ever before. Pakistan’s state institutions have largely remained focused on maintaining stable law and order situation amidst fog of unprecedented internal and external threats. Moreover, like other South Asian countries, Pakistan has also been facing a number of non-traditional security challenges that have seriously impacted its development, growth, economic and political stability. Pakistan has been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries to environmental degradation, especially when faced with the adverse implications of global climate change.
2. To carry out in-depth study of non-traditional challenges faced by Pakistan, its effect and proffer a way forward.
3. The paper will be unfolded in following sequence:-
a. Common Characteristics of non-traditional challenges
b. Non-traditional Challenges faced by Pakistan.
c. Reasons/ impact for non-traditional challenges.
d. Way forward.
Common Characteristics of Non-Traditional Challenges
4. Aside from their non-traditional nature, these challenges share some common characteristics which have made the thinkers and the policy makers to take note of them with a solid working framework:-
a. Impermanent in Nature. Non- traditional threats are transnational in nature. These threats are not considered as domestic or an inter-state affair.
b. Small and Intense. They arise at very short notice and are capable of transmitting rapidly as a result of the revolution of globalization and communication.
c. Multipart and Reliant. Just because of their complexity and dependency on varied domestic and global factor, they are hard to contain entirely, but can be alleviated through coping mechanism.
d. Effects of External Involvement. Again, due to the involvement of external factors, a national solution is hard to achieve. An inclusion of regional as well as multilateral /international cooperation is essential.
e. Entity of security. Last but not the least, the object of security is not state, its territorial security and sovereignty but the people, their survival, security, well-being and dignity on all levels – individual, national and international.
Non-Traditional Challenges Faced by Pakistan
5. Distant from Traditional threats confronted by Pakistan there are plentiful non-traditional challenges which effects Pakistan a lot and crafts copious defies for Pakistan
a. Climatic Change. Since last two decades the uneven change in climate and its impacts on human life in Pakistan are quite evident. Unlike to its other South Asian neighbors, Pakistan is predominantly vulnerable to climate change and because its economy is largely agrarian and highly climate sensitive. The climate change is negatively affecting human activities and livelihoods in Pakistan through increasingly frequent extreme weather events and changes in temperature and precipitation.
b. Water Shortage. Water security is the most serious challenge for Pakistan due to several factors, particularly the increasing pressure of population and urbanization, massive expansion of tube-well irrigation, reduced levels of precipitation caused by climate change, and the accelerated retreat of Himalayan glaciers. Pakistan receives less the average rainfall in the world, therefore, the Indus River System which is the lifeline for Pakistan has been severely affected. However, the political, economic, and technological management of water resources has been woeful because of the lack of consensus on the construction of mega projects. According to the World Bank, Pakistan is moving from a water stressed country to a water scarce country. From agricultural purposes to power generation; from domestic use to industrial purposes, the water resources have been used extensively without enough management on sustainable grounds. Recently, Pakistan’s eastern neighbor has adopted an extremely hostile posture, linking cooperation on Indus Water Treaty with situation in Occupied Kashmir. If not amicably resolved, this would further aggravate the water security issue.
c. Natural Disaster. Pakistan is also facing a serious threat and great challenges from large-scale natural as well as anthropogenic disasters, such as, seismic events, landslides, droughts, floods, fog, torrential rains, tropical cyclones, dust storms, fires, locusts, oil-spills, depletion of glaciers, etc. the human impact of natural disasters in Pakistan can be judged from the fact that 60,037 people were killed and 8,989,631 affected in the period between 2002 and 2015. Pakistan is one of the five south Asian countries with the highest annual average number of people physically exposed to floods, which occur normally due to storm systems that originate from the bay of Bengal during the monsoon from July to September. Besides monsoon floods, the country faces many types of floods throughout the year including flash floods in northern areas; floods due to canal breaches or river embankment; urban floods in major cities of Pakistan and coastal floods due to a tropical storm on the coast of Makran and Sind’s coastal belt. All these cause great loss of agrarian and residential lands along with the loss of human life and the animal livestock, plantation and administrative infrastructure. The drought has become a periodic problem of the country’s security. In recent years drought is reported to have brought extensive damages to Baluchistan, Sindh and southern Punjab where average rainfall is as low as 200-250 mm. Severe drought periods in years 2000, 2002, 2010 – 2014 affected livelihoods, resulted in human deaths, pushed tens of thousands of people to migrate and killed large numbers of cattle. This drought led to 120 deaths and affected 2,200,000 people.
d. Food Insecurity. It is often said, “Food insecurity anywhere, threatens peace everywhere”. Food insecurity may cause unrest or even political instability. Based on a composite index of the above mentioned pillars of food security, it is observed that state of food security in Pakistan has deteriorated since 2003. The conditions for food security are inadequate in 61 percent districts (80 out of 131districts) of Pakistan. This is a sharp increase from 2003, when conditions for food security were inadequate in 45 percent districts (54 out of 120 districts) of Pakistan. Almost half of the population of Pakistan (48.6 percent) doesn’t have access to sufficient food for active and healthy life at all times. The report comes up with substantial evidence that inter and intra provincial disparities exist in terms of food security. FATA has the highest percentage of food insecure population (67.7 percent) followed by Baluchistan (61.2 percent), and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) (56.2 percent). The lowest percentage of food insecure population (23.6 percent) is in Islamabad. Among the districts, DeraBugti in Baluchistan has the highest percentage of food insecure people (82.4 percent).
e. Economic Growth. Economic growth rate and infrastructure development in Pakistan are far weaker as compare to its population growth and human capital base. Infrastructure is uneven; only 45,000 villages have access to the main trading centers of the country. Unfair/ uneven distribution of assets and resources has caused political instability, frustrations and created severe law and order problems. Protracted/ inefficient legal system and worsening law ; order situation have damaged overall environment for economic growth thereby affecting major section of the population. Since economic growth of the country is profoundly dependent upon foreign investments, it is grossly being affected due to these hurdles.
f. Sectarianism, Extremism ; Terrorism. Genesis for struggle of Pakistan was formed by the religious identity. This very factor over the passage of time was misused and exploited as an instrument rather than projecting it in its true color. It became a tool in the hands of the leaders and rightist to manage their desires and remain in power. Spirit of brotherhood as an essence of Islam was taken away and the seed of cleavages, perpetuating animosity and hatred were sown on the name of religion. Internal security issue of Pakistan, by and large, has been stained by the religious and sectarian problems. Sectarian danger poses even a great threat and may prove to be devastating for the country. Some of the observers consider Pakistan as a vulnerable and weak country being endangered by the forces of sectarianism and ethnicity. A horizontal threat is posed by sectarianism to security of Pakistan. As stated earlier, sectarian fishers existed in Pakistan’s society since its creation but the Soviet incursion in Afghanistan and subsequent Afghan Jihad further flared the existing sectarian tension in the country. Since late 1980, Iran – Saudi Arabia rivalry also found proxies in Pakistan and the country became a battlefield of sectarian war. The war is contested by the religious scholars and their followers supported by the external powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Government of Pakistan also believes that India is using this proxy war in her advantage and it might be supporting Sipah-I-Sahaba against Shias.
g. Corruption In our society, corruption has assumed form of a fashion and engrossed firmly in its roots. Corruption has become integral part of our culture and a way of life in all the government departments. From bureaucrats and higher officials to clerical all are involved in some kind of corruption which is eroding and weakening the institutions. Resultantly corrupted and eroded systems and institutions have become great threat to the existence of the state.
Reasons Non-Traditional Challenges
6. Environmental Degradation. Omission of Fossil Fuels is number one factor for environmental degradation. Carbon dioxide is the best-known, with natural sources including decomposition and animal respiration. The main source of excess carbon dioxide emissions is the burning of fossil fuels, while deforestation has reduced the amount of plant life available to turn CO2 into oxygen. For many years, oil companies were heavily invested in pushing the narrative that fossil fuels did not have an impact on climate change. To this end, they bought advertising and funded organizations to cast doubt on climate change, even while their own research conclusively showed that fossil fuels are a major contributing cause of climate change. Since 1990, yearly emissions have gone up by about 6 billion metric tons of “carbon dioxide equivalent” worldwide, more than a 20 percent increase.
7. Water Scarcity. Following are the few reasons for water scarcity in Pakistan:-
a. Absence of Country’s water Policy. Pakistani authorities has not step any worth mentions efforts to overcome the water crisis, which is partly man-made. Pakistan’s leaders and stakeholders are not taking ownership of this challenge and declaring their intention to tackle it. Simply blaming previous governments, or blaming India, for the crisis won’t solve anything. Government has not instituted any major paradigm shift that promotes more judicious use of water.
b. Water Reservoirs. Tarbela and Mangla dams, the country’s two major water reservoirs, reached their “dead” levels. We have only two big reservoirs and we can save water only for 30 days. India can store water for 190 days whereas the US can do it for 900 days. Pakistan receives around 145 million-acre feet of water every year but can only save 13.7 million-acre feet. Pakistan needs 40 million acre feet of water but 29 million acre feet of our floodwater is wasted because we have few dams. New Delhi raised this issue with international bodies, arguing that it should be allowed to use the western rivers because Pakistan can’t use them properly.
c. Water Losses. Apart from the water storage issue, experts say that water wastage is also a big issue in the country. Pakistan ranks third amongst countries facing water shortage. One major reason is excessive use. 100 liters wasted washing a car with running tap water. Seepage and non-availability of brick lining of canals are adding factors to water losses.
d. Outdated Irrigation Method. Pakistan is still using flood irrigation method to grow the crops which is an old-fashioned technique.
e. Natural Calamity. Pakistan has not taken any structural and non-structural measures to tackle with natural calamities. NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) is unable to provide timely forecast for any natural hazard. Due many structural deficiencies, they always look towards other institutes at the hour of need.
f. Food Insecurity. The experts term the climate change and water shortage as a main cause of food insecurity and demanded for tangible efforts to tackle this burning issue of the country. Presently 60 percent of the population is facing food insecurity. This is due primarily to limited economic access by the poorest and most vulnerable – particularly women – to an adequate and diverse diet. An average Pakistani household spends 50.8 percent of monthly income on food, and shocks, including high food prices, flooding, and significant population displacement in the northwest since 2008 exacerbate the situation.
g. Poor Economic Growth. Following are few reasons for poor economic growth in Pakistan: –
(1) Vicious Circle of Poverty. Vicious circle of poverty is the largest reason of low economic growth. Developing countries including Pakistan are trapped into VCP. A poor country is poor forever due to the VCP. 21.0 % population is very poor population in Pakistan.
(2) Unemployment. Unemployment is the major cause of low per capita income. Unemployment means no source of income and result is low per capita income. Rate of unemployment is 5.5 %, 16 % is underemployed and 20% is disguised unemployed in Pakistan.
(3) Lack of Foreign Investment. Due to backwardness, political instabilities and improper availability of infrastructure the attraction for foreign investment is not suitable. Foreign investment (Jul-Mar) is $ 1.8 billion in Pakistan. Foreign investment is reduced by 45%. Lack of foreign investment means less employment opportunities.
(4) Low National Income. Poor economic growth Pakistan is also the result of low level of national income. Low level of national income means low level of saving and low level of investment. All these factors contribute toward poverty.
(5) Use of Backward Technology. Techniques of productions used by developing countries are backward. Due to outdated methods of production, productivity level is low. Low level of productivity means narrowness of market and reduction in exports and increase in imports.
(6) Increase in Utility Charges. Utility charges like water, gas, electricity, telephone bills etc. are increasing day by day in Pakistan. More utility charges lead to reduction in the saving of population and its result is low per capita income. At present growth rate of electricity and gas sector is 0.4 %.
(7) Poverty. Poverty in Pakistan is very common; 21.0 % population is treated as poor population. Poverty is also a cause of low per capita income. Low per capita income means low level of saving and low level of investment. Its result is poverty.
(8) Backward Agricultural Sector. People have adopted just subsistence farming styles in agriculture sector. They are not farming according to the commercial patterns. Sometimes, due to natural calamities and use of backward techniques of production, there is reduction in production and it decreases the income of poor farmers. Its share in GDP is only 21.5 %.
(9) Absence of Credit Facilities. Poor population is needed credit facilities to take an active part in economic activities to remove low per capita income. But in Pakistan, availability of credit is not desirable. Poor people has no access to credit it is only for rich landlords. Conditions for credit issuing are so tights and credit is not given in time.
(10) Improper Income Distribution. Imbalanced distribution of resources is an additional cause of low per capita income in Pakistan. This situation leads to increase the gap between rich and poor. Due to undesirable distribution of income and wealth, poor population is unable to take part in economic activities to remove poverty. 20 % rich population has complete control over the 50 % national resources in Pakistan.
(11) Low level of Productivity. Due to use of backward technologies and inefficiencies of labor; entrepreneur, productivity level in Pakistan is very low as compare to developed countries. Value of annual productivity of Pakistani labor is much lower than the value of labor of rich nations. Annual value of productivity of labor is only $ 100 against $ 2500 in advanced countries in Pakistan.
h. Energy Crisis. The constant leading power cut-off challenge has troubled the economy. Since the year 2000 this curse has wreaked havoc on the overall economy. As admitted by Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif during a National Assembly session a few days ago that the power shortfall has exceeded up to 5,000MW. Until energy lingering crisis is not resolved the determined economic development is a far-off dream.
i. Terrorism. It is a huge stumbling-block for economic generation in Pakistan. Since 2002 we are a war-torn country. The State Bank of Pakistan report (2016) says that war on terrorism has cost $118 billion. According to Global Terrorism Index (2016), out of 163 countries, Pakistan stands 4th worst hit. This has long been a reason for Pakistan’s negative international image which has limited the foreign investment in the country.
j. Corruption. Since 1947, the ongoing corruption has steadily planted its roots. The corruption has proven to be a menace for institutions. According to corruption perception index (CPI 2016) out of 175 countries Pakistan stands at 116.
k. Lack of Good Governance. We lag good governance and pro-poor fiscal policies.
l. Youth Unemployment. We are blessed in having about 63 percent of youth population. Half of them are unemployed. According to Asian Development Bank (ADB) 50.7 percent of the population aged 15 years and above is employed. Of it, the female ratio is very less. The rest are struggling for survival. On an average, Pakistan needs to create 20 million job annually for young people alone.
m. Lack in Quality Education. Education is a key component for economic progress. Unfortunately, our current literacy is 60 percent, least in South Asian countries. About 25 million children in are out of school. More importantly, on grass root level, thousands of schools are lacking very basic facilities such of sanitation, water, electricity, boundary walls.
8. Sectarianism/ Terrorism. Sectarianism/ extremism related violence in Pakistan has also changed over the period. Most of the sectarian killings, till mid 1990s, occurred in Punjab. By the end of 1990s, number of violent incidents increased in Baluchistan, NWFP and Karachi. By 2011, highest number of sectarian incidents occurred in Karachi followed by FATA and NWFP. In recent years, apart from worship places, hundreds of religious scholars, lawyers and doctors became victims of target killing of sectarian terrorists in Karachi alone. After Pakistan becoming ally of the US coalition in War against Terrorism, anti Western and anti Christian acts of terrorism have also increased. There was very modest number of Madrassahs in Pakistan till 1970s. Madrassahs started mushrooming after Pakistan support to Afghan Jihad against Soviet occupation in 1980s. Madrassahs hastily proliferated throughout country, particularly, in Afghan refugee camps situated in Baluchistan and NWFP, where Afghan Mujahids were reportedly trained. During the past 25 years, remarkable increase in numbers of Madrassahs has been witnessed.
9. Corruption. Although corruption has wide-ranging deleterious effects on society and governance but its most deadly impact is always on the poor. Menace of corruption is in work due to following few prime reasons:-
a. Low Salaries. The basic reason for corruption is low salaries as everyone is finding a way to better their living standard as much as they can; it’s also a human nature that he has everything more and more. So mostly corruption is to be seen where there are people having fewer salaries they use corrupt ways to achieve the goal. It is true that they do not have any other way to fulfill their wants.
b. Lack of Accountability and Regulation. Corruption is more prevalentbecause lack of accountability and regulation. If money that the government receives is going in their pockets rather than being spent on the people who need it, on their education, health and so on, then the consequences are obvious thatmany people don’t pay taxes because they don’t trust the government to spend it on the people, they think they are corrupt and the money would just disappear. And so this creates a vicious circle. People don’t see the government doing anything to help them, so they think it’s a waste of time to pay taxes. The government doesn’t get any money from taxes and so can’t do anything to help people.