The Dimensions of National Security


Every state works towards its survival both in physical and ideological terms. This issue of survival “breeds occupation with security” which includes “its subjective nature and the varied elements that make it up. It is an all-encompassing concept which represents a situation of “the absence of threats of scarce values”. It is both absolute and relative. The absolute security means a complete freedom from all threats and challenges. Such a security exists only in theory or in abstract terms. Security is often “relative”. It is linked with the threat perception, a particular political, diplomatic and military context, or a timeframe. It may also involve a subjective judgement of a feeling of being secure and free in terms of territory, political system, core values, preferred policy options and military non-domination.

Security is a multi-dimensional concept. It covers a host of activities and policies that have expanded in cope and options over time. The broad categories of security are: External or Territorial, Internal, Societal and Human Security or the Notion of Comprehensive Security, Terrorism and Extremism, Linkages between external and internal security, Soft Power and Influence.

External or Territorial Security

This is the oldest and traditional notion of security that focuses on military and non-military threats from outside the territorial boundaries of state. It includes thwarting external aggression and protection of its independence and territorial integrity which often amounts to survival of the state as an independent and sovereign entity. External military aggression also aims at restraining policy options both in the domestic and global contexts. The state resists external attack on the territorial boundaries as well as protects the state and people from air and naval attacks and the modern weapon systems with longer reach or the weapons that are carried through modern missiles and related delivery systems.

The focus is on the military capability of the state. The underlying assumption of the traditional or territorial security is that most security threats arise from outside of the territorial boundaries of the state and that these are primarily military in nature. These threats require a strong and effective military response. The main units of this security are the state and the military strength. It is not merely the weapon systems and military technologies that matter but the human factor is also critical. The professionalism, discipline, commitment to the profession and the national cause, training and upgradation of military skills, and military leadership count a lot.

The emphasis on territorial security is mainly because several states have territorial and other problems with the neighboring states which call for maintaining a strong military force to deter the state in the immediate neighborhood from coercing the target state to submit to its political, diplomatic and territorial dictates.

In the Cold War era, the emphasis was on military strength and capability, increasing the cost of military adventurism for the adversary, nuclear deterrence, alliances, and the use of diplomacy to reinforce conventional military security.

In the post-Cold War era, some writers talked of “obsolescence of major war” but the Operation Desert Storm (January-February 1991) and the subsequent use of conventional military force in Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Syrian Internal War since 2011 and Libya (2011 onwards) demonstrated that despite the occurrence of irregular war, the conventional or regular professional military force is relevant to addressing the security problems. However, the changes in military technologies and the management of military affairs, especially the use of “smart weapons” and “information technologies” have compromised the protection afforded by “distance, size, terrain and weather:”. This calls for updating and upgrading even the conventional and territorial security systems.

There is a downside of the notion of territorial security. Historical evidence suggests that some states pursue their aggressive and hegemonic agendas in the name of protecting national security. A trumped-up security threat is employed to justify the use of coercive military power against a rival state.

Internal Security

The domestic and internal context of a state can throw up challenges to national survival and security. Internal security has three major dimensions. The security of life and property of its citizens and ensuring them a peaceful and stable domestic environment. The institutions and processes of the state must ensure the rule of law and provide mechanisms for orderly and peaceful political change. Internal security also involves the management of societal conflicts. Societal cleavages based on ethnicity, . language, region and religious sectarianism can cause internal disharmony and conflict which can threaten internal peace and order. Some countries have dissident and separatist movements that challenge the primacy of the state and want to dislodge it to pursue their separatist or dissident agendas. There are several examples of the states breaking up because of internal conflict and separatist movement if the state is unable to resolve internal conflicts. At times, the state may not break up because of internal conflict or internal war, it may become a dysfunctional state that is unable to fulfill its basic obligations towards its citizens. Sometimes powerful armed groups make the writ of the state inoperative in some parts of the country. A sovereign and independent state loses its primacy and the capacity to enforce its orders within its territorial boundaries.

Internal conflicts, civil strife, and other inadequacies that make it difficult for the state to function effectively within its territorial limits make it vulnerable to external pressures and military and non-military intervention. Other states can exploit its internal weaknesses to their advantage. At times, external parties –state or non-state-get involved in the internal strife in another country for pursuing their political agendas and interests. At other times, the competing parties in an internal conflict or war seek external military, economic and diplomatic support to strengthen their position vis-a-vis their adversary in the internal conflict. No civil strife or internal war has succeeded without external support and blessings.

Internal Security is no less important than external security. If internal and external security threats take place concurrently, it places extraordinary challenges for the state to sustain its survival as a sovereign and independent state. The modern Communication and Information Technologies have made it relatively easy for external players to exploit the internal conflicts and vulnerabilities of a state. We will discuss some aspects of internal security and assertion of the primacy of state within its territorial limits in the part dealing with Comprehensive Security.

Comprehensive and Societal Security

The domain of traditional or territorial security has a limited scope. It covers only military or physical security of the territory of the state, its institutions, and the autonomy to formulate policies of its choice. The main concerns of the policy makers are state power and its management, war, conflict, domination and counter-balancing power preponderance of other state through alliance building and other methods. Now-a-days, we talk of Comprehensive Security which takes a wider view of the security challenges and the methodologies to address them. Comprehensive Security is a multi-dimensional phenomenon which includes several new matters in addition to the traditional notion of external- territorial and military security. It does not discard military security. This is in addition to military security and includes several non-military aspects of security and stability. The greater focus is on internal dynamics of the state because internal developments can cause a serious threat to state’s security and survival. The states can collapse from within if the state is unable or unwilling to pay adequate attention to strengthening internal dynamics of the society and it does not pay attention to societal and human development and their welfare.

Comprehensive Security combines the old notions of security with new issues that have cropped up over time because of the growing complexities of domestic and global politics, advancement in military technologies and weapon systems, the growing overlap between external and internal security challenges, the increased importance of human beings and their welfare and the pursuance of national interests and national security by non-military means.

The focus of national security has shifted to societal security and human welfare. The survival of the state can be jeopardized if the society suffers from acute internal divisions because of mismanagement of ethnic, linguistic and other diversities. The people can get alienated from the state system if the state is unable to address the issues of human development and welfare. Only economic growth does not guarantee internal peace and stability. The state must make sure that there is an equitable distribution of the rewards of economic growth. If economic disparities increase among different classes of people and among different regions of the country, internal harmony and stability are threatened. A state can suffer from internal disorder and chaos if the government cannot ensure good and effective governance that subscribes to equality of citizens before law, good governance for ensuring secure and stable life with reasonable prospects of advancement in the society. Sustainable development and equitable human and societal development hold the key to survival and security of the state. Comprehensive Security stipulates that, in addition to traditional military security against external threats, the survival of the state can be threatened by internal factors. The mismanagement of socio-economic affairs and neglect of human development and societal welfare can plunge a state into an acute internal crisis that jeopardizes the future of a state as an efficacious entity capable of protecting its national interests both in domestic and global contexts. A military security system must be coupled with good economy to sustain socio-political order and meet the requirements of military security. Similarly, a coherent and stable political order enjoys the confidence of the people and effectively. manages internal socio-economic and other societal conflicts with an established constitutional and legal system. In other words, the threats to state security and survival have increased over time. Therefore, a comprehensive approach is needed to address a host of external and internal challenges. There are five major categories of threats that the state faces in the present-day world: military-strategic, political- administrative, social and economic; domestic conflicts, cultural and historical identity, ecological- environmental and internal strife and external interventions. There is a need to take a “holistic view” of National Security that requires the use of “economic, military and political power and the exercise of diplomacy:”, Some of the non-traditional challenges that require attention for strengthening security are economy, energy, water resources, environment, food, health and demography and population stabilization. These issues relate to the quality of governance in a state. “The importance of robust policies and institutions and effective governance must not be underestimated as they are critically important in order to deal with all these security challenges.

Evolution of the Concept of Comprehensive Security

The concept of Comprehensive Security has gained much popularity in the post-Cold War era. However, its roots go back to many centuries. Most political philosophies, going back to the Greek period, underline the need of promoting human welfare and betterment, socio-economic equity and the state providing basic services to the people. Several writers and statesmen talk of national resilience as a source of strength for a state. Other related issues include socio-economic equity and welfare, internal harmony, peace and stability. They assign premium to public support for national security policies and the use of non-military means to counter internal and external threats. The liberal-left discourse also highlights the idea of, justice, equality, the rule of law, human and societal development.

In the post-World War Two period, Japan focused on socio-economic reconstruction and economic development within Japan and emphasized these issues while providing economic assistance to other countries. Economic component figured prominently in Japan’s security strategy that covered diplomacy, economic and other means of social development and national defence arrangements.

In the 1960s and the 1970s, the ASEAN countries, especially Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Indonesia reduced territorial and other conflicts in the region and focused on human resource development, especially education, healthcare, and sharing of the rewards of economic growth. Their focus was on how to counter non-military threats to the society and the state system. They also talked of cooperative security and “reassurance” rather than” deterrence”.

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) highlighted the socio-economic inequities in the global system and the sufferings of the nation-states that came out of European colonial rule. In the early 1970s, the NAM passed resolutions underlining the need of creating a New International Economic Order (NIEO) to overcome socio-economic inequities in the international system that had placed Asian and African states at a disadvantage. It emphasized the need of agreeing on new terms of trade to benefit the third world states of Asia and Africa. The NAM talked of the negative implications of international debts for the developing countries and how economic leverage was used to dominate the poor nations. The NAM suggested South-to-South trade and economic cooperation among the post-colonial independent states of Asia and Africa so that they become autonomous of the developed and industrialized countries. The focus of the NAM movement was on peace and stability in the global system by ensuring socio economic justice and better terms of trade for the developing countries of the third world.

The United Nations General Assembly special sessions on Disarmament held in May-June 1978 and June-July 1982 also contributed to creating awareness about arms reduction and disarmament, relationship between disarmament and development and other measures to promote comprehensive security by including human and societal security in the over-all state security. The reports prepared as a follow-up of these special sessions described the negative impact of armament on social and economic development”.

Two reports published in 1980 and 1982 highlighted the inequities between the poor and developing countries on the one hand and the industrialized rich nations on the other. These reports questioned the traditional notion of security and suggested that the focus should also be on the threats to human societies from sources other than wars and armed conflicts. The first report was prepared by an “Independent Commission on International Development Issues” which started its work in December 1977. The Commission was headed by Willy Brandt (Former Chancellor of West Germany) and its report was published in 1980 under the title of “North-South: A Programme for Survival”. It identified social and economic problems of the world and called for reformulation of relations between the rich countries of the North and the poor and developing countries of the South. Such a change was needed to reduce human sufferings and to strengthen world peace. The report was critical of the role of the international financial institutions in their dealings with the developing countries and asked for controlling sharp economic disparities in the global system.

The second report was prepared by a commission headed by Olof Palme (Former Prime Minister of Sweden). The Report, entitled “Common Security: A Programme for Disarmament”, was released in 1982. While recognizing the right of every nation to protect its security, the Palme Report maintained that security cannot be achieved only by military superiority because there are non-military security threats as well. These include economic imbalances, poverty, under-development, and deprivation. These security threats require a different approach and underline the need of addressing societal issues and problems which relate to the internal situation of a country as well as these are linked with the global system. The report talked of Common Security that involves mutual collaboration and partnership among the nations and interdependence of shared responsibility. This report, like the Brandt Report, expanded the notion of security by covering the issues of economic insecurities, poverty, hunger, and the sharp disparities between the rich/ industrialized world and the developing or third world states that are treated unfairly by global economic system 9. The major shift to societal and human security took place in the post-Cold War period, especially after the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991. As the prospects of a global war between the Superpowers receded, the United States and other Western countries began to put emphasis on democracy, human rights, especially women rights, human welfare and free economy in the context of globalization. They began to call upon the leaders of the developing Third World to incorporate these values in their political system. The collapse of some states mainly because of internal socio-economic deterioration and ethnic and cultural conflict made the statesmen and political analysts conscious of non-military threats to a state. The Eastern European political systems collapsed in 1989-90 mainly due to internal economic crisis and the failure of the political system to respond to the needs and aspirations of people. The Soviet Union disintegrated in December 1991, mainly because of internal factors. Yugoslavia broke into several states after internal violence in 1991-92. Violence and killings took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992-1995. Sudan experienced internal violence and displacement of people. It was divided into Sudan and South Sudan in July 2011. Some states of Africa experienced internal tribal-ethnic strife, scarcity of resources and humanitarian crises in the 1990s. These states included Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia (after the overthrow of Siad Barre’s government in January 1991), Chad, Sierra Leone, Sudan and South Sudan. Their security and internal harmony were threatened by non-military factors'”.

It was against the backdrop of internal turmoil and he near collapse of internal state system in the above mentioned states that the notion of the “Failed” or “Failing” State was coined. It refers to a condition when a state has become so dysfunctional that it cannot function as the supreme authority within its territorial boundaries, and it lacks resources, capacity, and determination to perform its basic obligations towards its citizens.

State security is also threatened by natural calamities like floods, cyclones, earthquake, famine and epidemic or pandemic like Cholera, Plague, flu, and Covid. It is an internal and non-military challenge to societal security. In addition to this, there are several other humanitarian challenges that threaten political order and economic life of a state. These challenges include refugees, internally displaced people, inadequate medical facilities and food shortages. Societal peace and harmony are also endangered by religious and social extremism, transnational terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, proliferation of weapons and environmental degradation.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) began to pay a close attention to issues of human development and vowed to combine territorial security with what it described as the people’s security. Two reports helped to set the trends in examining human development and societal security, inspired by the works of Dr Mahbub-ul-Haq and Dr Amartya Sen relating to basic human needs. The first report on Human Development was published in 1990. These issues were examined in detail in the UNDP Human Development Report, 1994. It evolved Human Development Index (HDI) to measure the performance of different countries in human security and societal development by taking into account several indicators including per capita income, income inequalities, poverty, gender equality, education, healthcare, life expectancy, infant mortality, and access to primary services like potable water, food and sanitation. The 1994 UNDP report argued that the concept of security cannot be restricted to conflicts between the states and threats– at the national borders. It must also include the issues that cause insecurities in the lives of ordinary people. Territorial security be coupled with people’s security and sustainable development. The report argued: “For most people today, a feeling of insecurity arises more from worries about daily life than from the dread of a cataclysmic world event. Job security, income security, health security, environmental security, security from crime. These are the emerging concerns of human security all over the world. The list of threats to human security is long, but most can be considered under several main categories: economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, community security, [and] political security.

The United Nations adopted many measures for promotion of sustainable human development and human security. In 2003, it established an Advisory Board on Human Security. The United Nations adopted an eight-point agenda as the Millennium Development Goals in the Millennium Summit held in September 2000. The member states were expected to implement these Millennium Goals in 2000-2015. Most states could not achieve these goals in the stipulated period. In September 2015, the UN General Assembly approved a more ambitious agenda of 17 items as the Sustainable Development Goals with a stipulation that the member states would work towards achieving these goals during 2015-2030.

New Dimensions of Security

The role of territorial and military security is fully acknowledged for preserving territorial integrity and independence against external military threat and internal challenges to state primacy and its sovereignty. A professional and trained military with updated military technologies and weaponry deters external military adversary and internal subversive elements.

However, the political and security developments at ,the global level and the new challenges faced by several states over the last three decades have expanded the notion of security to include more issues, primarily pertaining to non-military domains. The security is now often described as Military Security Plus or comprehensive Security.

The factors discussed in the preceding section show that the state can collapse from within. Several non-military factors from within the society as well as new civilian and military technologies cause threats to the security and survival of the state. The focus is also on seeking human welfare and societal development. The state must work towards securing the lives of its citizens against a host of non-military threats. In addition to the border and military security for the state, an individual must be provided with security against poverty, underdevelopment, disease or epidemic or ill-health, and devastating natural calamities. The state must assign priority to serving the basic human needs and ensuring a better and secure life to citizens to curb the rise of despair and political alienation in the society.

The states are experiencing intra-state conflicts more than inter-state wars and armed clashes. Internal cleavages are caused by ethnic/linguistic diversity, religious-sectarian divides, and political and ideological discontinuities. Such internal conflicts and dissident and separatist movements cause more deaths than regular inter-state wars.

The states facing internal disharmony and conflict are vulnerable to external penetration and military or non-military intervention which often intensifies internal conflict and increases human and material losses.

Internal disharmony, unrest and conflict are caused in states because of economic stagnation and persistence of poverty and underdevelopment. Economic growth in aggregate terms is not enough. Its distributive aspect is important. The key question is who benefits from economic growth and increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP)? If economic growth is not accompanied by equitable distribution of the rewards of economic growth, the society will continue to suffer from unemployment, poverty and underdevelopment and socio-economic inequities.

This can breed acute internal violence and crime and a lack of confidence in the government and the state. There is a need of pursuing inclusive growth for most sections of population and empowerment of people and communities so that they identify with governance at different administrative levels. Delivery of basic services to citizens is a basic responsibility of the state. It includes education, healthcare, food, clean and drinkable water, shelter, and civic facilities. Other areas of attention are sustainable socio-economic development and human development and the prospects of improvement of quality of life. These are pre-requisites for societal harmony, inclusive development and strengthening of the attachment of the people with the institutions and processes of the state. The state must check social and religious extremism and violence and terrorism. The persistence of these problems threatens peace and stability in the society and increases insecurities for the people. The violent armed groups – domestic or transnational – cannot, be allowed to pursue their political and ideological agendas at the expense of state and society. Some such groups are equipped with lethal weapons which they use to intimidate the state and the people. Several states in Asia and Africa faced internal violence because of existence of violent and terrorist groups that restricted the writ of the state in many parts of that state. Pakistani State and Society were victims of the violent activities of several terrorist groups in the first two decades of the 21st century. Its security authorities launched a major security operation in Swat (2009) South Waziristan (2009-2010) and North Waziristan and erstwhile tribal areas (2014-2018) to eliminate such groups. These groups had become a major security threat to Pakistani State, which it eliminated with a lot of determination and military action. Terrorism can be tackled by regular security apparatus, i.e., the Military, Paramilitary Forces, Police, and the Intelligence Agencies. However, the root cause of terrorism is ideological extremism which requires civilian and non-military measures to change the mindset of the extremists to tolerance, accommodation and peaceful resolution of societal and personal differences and disputes. Organized crime, drug trafficking and proliferation of weapons are other threats to security and survival of the state. If these evils become widespread, the state becomes dysfunctional and finds it difficult to enforce its legal authority and protect the life and property of its citizens. The state and society suffer from internal turmoil and gangsterism by the groups involved in organized crime, drug trafficking and supply of illegal weapons. The world has experienced remarkable technological advancement in the field of Communication and Information Technologies, and especially the availability of internet-based information and message transmission systems and the use of cyber space for storage of data and information and modifying and sharing it. The availability of satellite phones and cellular phones as well as satellite global television and radio transmission systems have made it easy to move and share information and news at an amazingly fast pace. This has created several advantages for individuals, organizations, and the state. However, there is a downside of the new Information Technology and Internet-based Applications. These inventions can be used for propaganda against a state, focusing on its weaknesses from outside its territorial boundaries. A carefully planned and persistent propaganda campaign can be launched to accentuate internal ethnic, tribal, religious, and regional conflicts in the target state. A state or an organization can intervene in a civil strife in another country by using the gadgets of modern communication system and information technology. This kind of security threat is a credible weapon which can be used against an adversary state without moving regular troops to the border areas. The state can now combine conventional warfare with irregular warfare or war through proxies, use modern information technology for negative propaganda and for floating false information. Cyber space can be used for what is often described as cyber war by engaging in offensive activities like espionage and sabotage by disrupting computers and satellite systems, military communication network, the economy, and the banking system. A host of cybercrimes also create security problems which include, inter alia, virus attacks on computer systems and identity theft by breaking computer codes. Cyber space can also be used by extremist and terrorist groups for advocacy of their agendas, recruitment of people to their radical ideology and consultations and exchanges among those sharing a particular ideology or those linked with a particular extremist movement. The Islamic State Movement (DAISH) has been more successful than other extremist and terrorist organizations in using the internet-based communication applications and the cyber space for promoting its ideology and recruitment of volunteers.

These challenges are placed under the rubric of Hybrid Warfare, covering “conventional / unconventional, regular / irregular, and information and cyber warfare”, The Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa warned against the challenges of Hybrid War. Addressing a ceremony at the GHQ on September 6, 2020, he said: “We are facing the challenge that has been imposed on us in the form of the fifth generation or hybrid war. Its purpose is to discredit the country and its armed forces and spread chaos. We are well aware of this danger. We will surely succeed in winning this war with the cooperation of the nation, by the will of Almighty Allah”. These threats have become serious national security issues which are now closely monitored and checked by enhancing security of computers and modern communication and information technology used in military and civilian sectors. These internet-based applications and communication systems are also used for countering negative propaganda and for discouraging recruitment for extremist ideologies. Modern information and communication gadgets can thus be used both for positive and negative purposes. National Security is now viewed as a multi- dimensional phenomenon which covers military threats, non-military civilian human security issues, internal socio-economic issues, non-conventional violent threats and modern technology related matters. These can be summarized as following:

  • Military and Strategic.
  • Political harmony and conflict, popular confidence in the political system, conflict management and resolution,
    constitutionalism, the rule of law and human rights.
  • Socia-economic conditions including the issues of job security, control of poverty and inequities and promotion of inclusive development.
  • Food, healthcare, education, and basic civic facilities.
  • Intra-state ethnic, tribal, releigious-sectarian, regional and other discontinuities.
  • Ecological-environmental issues.
  • Women and children rights, opportunities for marginalized communities
  • Internal strife and external intervention
  • Natural calamities and epidemics / pandemic
  • Refugees and internally displaced persons
  • Extremism and terrorism
  • Use of proxies, undercover agents and mercenaries for causing or intensifying internal strife; irregular war
  • Proliferation of weapons, drug trafficking and organized crime
  • Internet-based communication and cyber issues
  • Diplomacy and positive interaction with other states 

New Instruments for Coping with Security Challenges

The expansion of the scope of national security has increased the role and scope of diplomacy and positive interaction with the rest of the world. Many of the non-military issues of security can be tackled by effective diplomacy, projection of the achievements in the civilian sectors and a thorough response to the questions raised at international level on a state’s internal and external policies. The key issue is how to address the concerns of other countries and international and regional organizations about your country’s internal political, economic, and societal situations. You need to communicate with the outside world in an effective and meaningful manner rather than being dismissive of others’ questions. This calls for engaging in a dialogue with the outside world, provision of adequate information and making your case through logical arguments. Modern communication technologies and the media, including internet-based applications, need to be used not only to counter the negative propaganda of your adversary and ill-informed news by the media of other countries but also for positive projection of your point-of-view. The diplomatic clout of a country can be increased by strengthening economic connectivity with the rest of the world. If economic and financial connections are strong with other countries, the country is better placed to win the goodwill of other countries. The economic connections in today’s globalized world include the movement of goods, services, ideas, investment and personnel cross the territorial boundaries of the state and the state’s ability to produce goods for the markets of other countries and how far your country serves as a market for the goods and services from other countries. A regular relationship covering trade and economic relations with other countries helps to boost the image of a particular country and makes it easy to respond to the negative propaganda.

Diplomacy can be pursued through official and non-official channels. Different societal organizations and groups, especially the media, academia and business and industrial elite can use their connections to supplement government’s efforts to project its image and perspectives. The citizens of a country who are settled abroad (Overseas Pakistanis in our case), especially those living and working in industrialized and western countries, can function as a non-official lobby for their ancestorial country for projecting it in the countries where they are currently living. The notion of soft power has become popular as “the means to succeed in world politics”. This involves the projection of work done by your country pertaining to the values that others respect and value. It calls for highlighting the work done in the fields of democracy, human rights, education, healthcare, human welfare, and societal development. Humanitarian and voluntary work done by a country inside its boundaries and at the global level can cultivate goodwill for the country. For example, Pakistan’s military has been doing assignments under United Nations Peace keeping Programme in Africa and Asia going back to the early 1960s. The projection of this work can help boost Pakistan’s image at the international level. Similarly, humanitarian work done within and outside the country is another example of soft power. This includes the work done for human welfare, care for the marginalized communities, greater attention to providing healthcare and education facilities by the government or by non-governmental voluntary groups. The human welfare and healthcare work done by the Pakistan government and non- governmental voluntary organizations during the Co Vid -19 crisis is praiseworthy, and it needs to be brought to the notice of the global community.

The soft image of a country can also be boosted by promoting Pakistan’s heritage, art, different cultural patterns, music, sports and intellectual creative work within and outside the country. Pakistan is a repository of one of the oldest civilizations of the world, i.e., Indus Valley Civilization, Mehrgarh area in Balochistan, Buddhist cultural heritage, and Mughal art and architecture. Pakistan has the sacred places and historical artifacts of Sikh and Buddhist religions. Some important Hindu temples are also located in Punjab and Sindh. All this is an asset for building Pakistan’s soft image abroad by showing that, despite the resource constraints, Pakistan has preserved these historical sites. The opening of the Kartarpur Corridor by Pakistan in 2019 for the Sikh Community is a positive gesture that helps boost Pakistan’s image abroad. Pakistan needs to make “systematic efforts” to improve its soft image by making use of its history, culture and art, literary contributions and work done for for societal development and human welfare.

To conclude, the notion of Comprehensive Security does not discard military or territorial security. It combines the traditional military security with societal and human security and several other sources of insecurity emanating from internal and external environment of a state, non-conventional violent threats and modern communication technology related issues. The scope of national security has expanded. It is important to combine hard military power and territorial security with soft and societal power and pay attention to human and societal security. The combination of military and non-military power is described as SMART power. Pakistan needs to work for a harmonious blending of various aspects of security keeping in view the national objectives and domestic, regional and global security environment.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here