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Dawn

Published Date: Dec 15, 2011

CALL TO FOCUS ON PEOPLE INSTEAD OF BUILDING STATES

The security and strategic planning issues are mere fears and the policies based on these fears benefit only few lobbies not the masses.
These views were expressed by the experts at session on ‘security and development: the geo-politics of China-Pakistan-India relationship’.
They said that the bilateral relationships among these three countries primarily revolve around “national security interests”, while ignoring human development.
The speakers at the second day of 14th Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) ‘Re-defining Paradigms of Sustainable Development in South Asia’ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Wednesday, called for development of masses instead of building states in the form of military or establishments.
Chairing the session Senator Hasil Bizenjo lamented the persistence of conflicts in the region and their negative implications on people.
He referred to the words of Chinese premier that the countries of the region can become superpowers only after eradicating illiteracy, poverty and poor healthcare system.
“Most of the strategic planning has resulted in flaws and failures,” the senator said adding, “20 years back nobody was even willing to listen that religious extremist and terrorists are a threat to Pakistan and said these issues belong to Afghanistan only.”
While, speaking at the occasion Dr Dibyesh Anand from Westminster University, UK, said a people-centered security mechanism provided new opportunities for sustainable development and broke ground for better inter-state relations.
“These threats based polices are practically non-realistic fears and there is a difference between the state and the citizens,” Dr Anand said Amna Yousaf Khokar of Institute of Strategic Studies said Pakistan was still following old security dilemma of threats to its territorial integrity. She said Pakistan needed to reprioritise its national policy in view of changing security priorities towards economic wealth.
Zulfiqar Halepoto of Thardeep Rural Development Programme, Sindh spoke about the water issues in South Asia and China.
Bipul Chatterjee of Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) International, India said food insecurity and livelihood threats in South Asia are due to climate change impacts such as flooding and sea level rise.
In another session on ‘Factors affecting the food security situation in resource constrained Pakistan the experts said even if there was food availability in markets, it did not mean that the poor in society would have access to food, due to inflation.