By Ameen Izzadeen
Security, whether it is abstract or tangible, cannot be confined to a single definition. This is because the concept of security is subjective and relative.
South Asia is not a homogenous region. South Asian nations have similarities and differences. On social development indices, the disparity among South Asian nations is tellingly evident. On health, literacy and education, some countries are far ahead of others. The geo-strategic values of each South Asian nation too vary depending on their geographic locations and defence capabilities. Each South Asian nation’s alliance formation policieis also differ. Therefore, the security needs of no two South Asian nations are the same.
Traditional and non-traditional approaches
To understand the wider security picture, we need to look at security from both traditional and non-traditional perspectives. Though there is no perfect definition of security, it can be described as a condition that assures an individual, a community, a state, a region, an international order and humanity at large freedom from fear and want. This is the core of human rights. As such, human rights and security are one and the same.
While traditionalists are largely concerned about the security of states, the international system and even the individual, non-traditionalists go beyond this scope and include in security studies issues such as ecocide, natural disasters, population explosion, food security, outbreak of epidemics and pandemics, economic recessions, poverty, crime, corruption and democracy deficiency. They believe that the search for peace and security should be directed towards social justice, economic justice and environmental justice.
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