A Pakistani Perspective: Revisiting economics as the end, way and means of security.

 
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Byline: Zaeem Hassan Mehmood

Contemporary conflicts have increasingly involved economics as the core component of strategy. States have traditionally used economics to further their national security objectives which can range from simply accessing or denying raw material resources like crops and water to transforming these very resources into more lucrative finished products and commodities to gain greater revenues. It is a bit saddening that despite the tremendous potential in the many sectors identified by vast group of national and international institutes, Pakistan continues to cadre into the ranks of developing countries.

The nation needs to realize that the global transformations have jotted geo-economics to the forefront where fire power alone will not serve as the security guarantor in international relations. It is an acknowledged fact that countries with fragile economies are more likely to resort to "appeasing actions" that they would certainly have not considered were their economies sound. As an element of national power, it is imperative on the nation to maintain viable economy to ensure a standard of living for its citizens. Robust economic power serves as a tool "to deter, compel, coerce, compete and leverage" state to state relationships to further national security objectives.

Few countries can claim to produce all goods and services. However, in an age of rapidly transforming global dynamics where forces of jingoism and nationalism are challenging the long accepted notion of globalization and free trade in favour of a more protectionist environment, energy autarky is an element that most states including China and the United States are striving for. It is believed that China has heavily invested in "One Belt and One Road" projects across the continents to address the issues encountered as a result of the "Malacca and Hormuz Dilemma".

For countries like Pakistan which has a hefty import bill dominated by petroleum commodities needs to go for an energy autarkic approach. It is a fact that has been repeated all along the history that a nation cannot engage in protracted conflict with a weak economy. In these scenarios, government are impelled to generate "a stream of revenues" from the public and businesses that would entail sacrificing their own economic well-being. Within the government during points of crisis, the competition for resources becomes very tough that limits funding of new developmental projects. Pakistan...

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