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The Express Tribune

Published Date: May 8, 2014

Human security: ‘Pressure state to be more responsive’

Experts have urged the need for raising public awareness
to pressure the state to care for its citizens to improve overall human
security.

The suggestions were floated at a meeting on human security,
organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) at a
local hotel on Wednesday.

The meeting’s objective was to discuss the state of human security in
Pakistan, given the importance of the human security paradigm in the
post-2015 United Nations (UN) development agenda.

The meeting aimed at creating awareness about human security and
gathering expert opinion on research needs for the topic, said SDPI’s
head on gender and human security section Dr Maleeha Aslam.

The meeting was attended by government officials, representatives of
UN agencies, human rights bodies, lawyers, academics, researchers and
journalists.

According to the United Nations Development Programme, human security
is a concept that includes economic security, food security, health
security, environmental security, personal security, community security
and political security.

The concept, therefore, goes beyond security in the pure military
sense of the term to a broader socio-economic understanding of
protection and prosperity of the individual.

The experts suggested possible preventive measures to counter
radicalisation in the country as well as educating people about state
laws, constitutional rights and international human rights.

The meeting also emphasised that state institutions should be
sensitised to provide constitutional rights to ethnic groups,
minorities, labourer and workers.

During a session on deradicalisation in Pakistan, some participants
said it was the education system more than the lack of education that
might have contributed to extremist and intolerant views in society.

Other participants said that the state was responsible for allowing,
and in a sense, promoting the narrative of radicalisation, including
propaganda in the curriculum, to spread in the country.

The participants also criticised the state’s colonial nature and the
privilege it accords to a minority which was already in power while
ignoring the fundamental rights of the majority.

They stressed the need for counter-radicalisation narratives.
Accountability of the state for failing to protect its citizens was also
highlighted.