Securitising the “Un-secured”: Perspective on the Evolving Security Paradigm in Pakistan

Key Points:

  • The new conception of security calls for the broadening of its traditional scope since it greatly restricts the paradigm of threats primarily dealings with military conflicts. In the contemporary scenario, national security is no longer fixated on the principle of self-help as newer threats continue to emerge in the security landscape.
  • So far, Pakistan’s conception of security remains embedded in its traditional understanding, which has only emboldened a military-centric view. The prevalence of “military guardianship” lies at the centre of the political structure.
  • The fixation on security is highly rigid, which tends to bring in its fold the non-traditional threats and gradually become inextricably linked with national security. Over time, the military has institutionalised power and continues to do so, making it hard for civilian apparatuses to compete with their centralised narrative.
  • After taking power in 2018, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, continues to claim that the civil-military imbalance has reduced significantly unparallel to the tenures of other civilian governments. Under the current government, the trends of securitisation are rather prevalent in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) workings and how the Covid-19 pandemic is addressed.
  • The over-militarised response employed by the military establishment against traditional and non-traditional nature disrupts the balance of the state structures. Most importantly, the civil and military elite need to move away from a conventional realist view of security as they ought to view issues in continued linearity.

Saman Rizwan

Saman Rizwan is a former Research Assistant at the Centre for Strategic and Contemporary Research.

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