‘Nothing more important than human security’

  • Reviewing Resources and Nation-Building workshop highlights need for equitable distribution of resources

Speakers at a two-day 3rd International Workshop on ‘Reviewing Resources and Nation-Building’ said that human security was above all other types of securities, which plays a paramount role in nation-building.

The workshop was jointly organised by National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam, Islamabad, and Hanns Seidel Foundation, Pakistan in federal capital.

Speaking at the occasion, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Executive Director Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said that Pakistan is one those countries which has the worst human development index for instance the province of Baluchistan which is resource rich region of the country is facing highest multi dimensional poverty, worst food insecurity, and is marred by ethno-sectarian militancy.

Dr Suleri said that natural resources turn into curse instead of blessing in the absence of social justice and lack of equitable access to them. He said that insecurity breeds insecurities.

“When state policies and practices aim to achieve global, regional, and national securities at the cost of human security then we can expect everything but not nation building he recommended a paradigm shift where human security is given as much importance as other types of securities.”

Dr Vaqar Ahmed, renowned social scientists, said that resource mobilisation for nation-building will remain crucial for the future of Pakistan and for the human security of its people. He further said key investment inflows are required for providing employment to the youth, resolving energy crisis, improving water infrastructure, and making necessary expenditures on climate change mitigation and food security.

Elaborating his views in the backdrop of post 18th Amendment scenario, Dr Vaqar said the provincial governments need to play a role in attracting investment and generating additional revenues, which could be invested for social sector uplift in education, health and clean drinking water.

“Pakistan, should also manage the support provided by the development partners,” he said, adding that interested donors should be engaged in augmenting trade-related infrastructure and building supply chains with central and south Asian businesses.

Sustainable Industrial Development & Hazardous Waste/Sites Senior Adviser on Chemicals Dr Mahmood A. Khwaja said that climate change is also biggest challenge to human security, however, major Environmental Estimated Cost (Low) in Pakistan is 2743.68 USD millions/annum that is 4.23 per cent of the GDP. He said pollution costs, both internal and social, need to be internalized by polluters. He pointed out that targets of industrial environment management in Pakistan must be realistic, achievable & practical within the economic, technical, human & institutional resources. He said a pollution charge regime with provincial sustainable environment development funds (PSDF) could enforce Cleaner Production, national environment quality standards (NEQS) Compliance & best environmental practices (BEP).

He added that all the stakeholders’ engagement is “Fundamental” to sustainable industrial environment management, and its implementation must be a collective responsibility both at legislative decision-making and implementation process.

Ahmed Salim, senior analyst on education and religious diversity, while discussing social injustice and inequalities with particular reference to Balochistan, explained how lack of resources redistribution contributes to various sources of disparities in every province. He said that Balochistan had been discriminated and its due share in resources was never given. “So, to maintain the viable national security we must ensure the human security to the people of Balochistan and other provinces.”

Sadia Ishfaq, senior researcher, said that climate resilient development is important for nation building. The socio-economic trends, including urbanisation, population growth and conflict exacerbate the climate challenge, she said, adding that there is also a lack of research on how climate is affecting poverty and human security.