Both conventional and non-traditional security threats can seriously threaten Southeast Asia. Due to the nuclear conundrum in this area, Pakistan has been dealing with many issues deeply ingrained in non-traditional security threats. However, due to some problems with this region, the South Asian region remains a hot topic at international forums. There is legitimate anxiety for the entire globe because Pakistan, India, and China are nuclear-armed states with existential territorial issues. Due to governments’ diverse national interests and foreign policy priorities, the South Asian region is severely split internationally. Additionally, Pakistan is now dealing with the flood crisis and its likely repercussions. According to a UN Environment assessment, Pakistan is among the top 10 nations most vulnerable to climate change. Global warming and climate change are making the present floods worse. Millions of people have been displaced, and countless have died, leaving the population in ruins. Over $20 billion is the expected loss to the economy. Numerous issues, like porous borders and water security, are non-traditional in character yet have the potential to develop into traditional severe concerns.
Moreover, Pakistan has issued several population control policies, from Ayub Khan’s continuous motivation program to the most current one introduced in July 2022, but they still need to be implemented. Pakistan, which has a population of 220 million, continues to expand at a rate of two percent yearly, lagging behind other south Asian nations like Iran and India, which each have annual growth rates of just one percent. Pakistan is ranked 92nd out of 116 countries, with enough data to determine the 2021 Global Hunger Index rankings. Pakistan has a severe level of hunger, with a score of 24.7. Pakistan had to deal with challenges from birth control opponents and criticism for its family planning policies. Pakistan must fully address this issue because it ultimately leads to unemployment and poverty. To solve the demographic problem, Pakistan should be forced to learn from the more traditional Iranians how they overcame the religious test. Malnutrition and hunger crises would result from Pakistan’s failure to take this matter seriously.
The agricultural sector in Pakistan has been seriously harmed by the water crisis, which has resulted in low crop yields and food shortages. Pakistan could not build dams and store water. Water has continued to be a contentious issue between Pakistan and India. Water security is being threatened by climate change. Pakistan’s lack of financial resources also prevents the development of its infrastructure. Pakistan only has a 30-day water carryover capacity, which needs to be improved. Neighboring India has a carryover capacity of 170 days, Egypt for 700 days, and America for 900 days. Additionally, our nation continues to have local and national conflicts over water allocation, significantly impacting Sindh’s agriculture industry. To achieve the objectives of national security for human security, it is imperative to establish a practical framework for water distribution and sensible policies. In terms of the sustainable development goals for human security in the areas of health, nutrition, water accessibility, and hygiene, Pakistan is also falling short. The government should be forced to notice this and formulate appropriate sustainability measures. Water is a valuable resource for creating energy to combat the energy issue.
Pakistan is currently experiencing the worst effects of climate change, including altering weather patterns that cause flash floods, the displacement of millions of people, and an estimated annual economic loss of $3.8 billion. Despite having the lowest greenhouse gas emissions in South Asia, Pakistan is in danger of collapsing due to losses from natural disasters and other problems. The government has given this topic much attention and has established the Climate Change Ministry and several other initiatives. The government lacked the foreign policy justifications necessary for resilient infrastructure technology transfer. It required FDI in green energy projects, despite the 100 billion tree tsunami project being the most major endeavour to receive international acclaim. To address the severe climate crises brought on by climate change in Pakistan, they must use diplomacy and the assistance of the Foreign Office. With the aid of the regional and global community, the government must create a framework for danger mitigation and effective disaster management strategies. With the population growth, the percentage of regions covered by forests has substantially decreased since 1947, from 33% to just 5%, and it is still declining at a pace of 1-2% annually. With the assistance of NGOs, Pakistan has to launch a national campaign to protect forests and organize tree-planting efforts to eliminate this menace.
Large-scale national security threats come from porous borders with Iran and Afghanistan and the illegal export of goods, pilgrims, and refugees. Since the current covid-19 epidemic in Pakistan was caused by the unrestricted flow of pilgrims from Iran, this issue must be treated seriously as it presents a problematic non-traditional security threat to the health sector. Therefore, we must act decisively and thoughtfully to stop the illicit flow of commodities and people across borders. A severe traditional security danger to Pakistan could result from an existential border dispute with Afghanistan. Afghanistan poses the greatest threat to terrorism because there are terrorist organizations there, which is of significant concern to the world community. Furthermore, Pakistan places great importance on Afghan political stability since it can benefit Pakistan’s economic growth through commerce with central Asian nations and various energy-related initiatives to address Pakistan’s energy challenges.
Due to foreign policy and regional concerns, Southeast Asia is severely split on political issues. The only organization that serves as a platform for interstate collaboration in SAARC. Due to the member states’ tense relationships and continued division over many topics, this organization could be more effective and produce significant accomplishments. Additionally, pandemics and environmental catastrophes could impact politics and cause state instability. These are the critical issues that can cause soft security threats to become serious ones. Cooperation is essential to avoid the potential repercussions and non-security dangers to the security paradigm. There should be a structure involving thinkers and specialists to improve state collaboration and close gaps using different strategies.