SDPI meeting calls for countering radicalisation

* Participants stress the need for educating people about state laws, constitutional rights and international human rights

ISLAMABAD: Experts at a meeting on human security have recommended taking all possible measures to counter radicalisation in the country, besides 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 various ethnic groups, minorities, labours and workers. 
The meeting was organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Wednesday, aimed at recapping the state of human security in Pakistan and gathering expert opinion on human security research needs.
Representatives of the government, UN agencies, human rights bodies, lawyers, academics, researchers and journalists also attended the meeting.
SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qayium Suleri said that the institute takes human security as a paradigm that serves as a means to bring governance stability and allows preservation of people’s well-being and rights regardless of difficult circumstances that may be caused by manmade disasters or natural disasters.
SDPI Board of Governors Chairman Ambassador Sahaqat Kakakhel emphasised the importance of action-based research and institutional commitment to understand the issues facing the blockages in the way of peace and security. 
He said that human security had to be ensured through greater collaboration among all stakeholders, including the state. 
He observed that both state and society had to work in collaboration with one another in order to ensure progress of human security in Pakistan.
Dr Maleeha Aslam, the head of Gender and Human Security Division, SDPI, emphasised the importance of achieving the overall security objective through both state security and human security. “However, state security concerns must not compromise human security, which can prove to be counterproductive,” she said.
“The UNDP’s (United Nations Development Programme) definition of human security remains by far the most authoritative and widely cited, and along with it the concept has been defined in academia, wider civil society, and even by governments such as Japan, Canada and Norway,” said Dr Aslam.
UNDP Deputy Country Representative Rabia Khattak opined that radicalisation was a persistent and rampant issue in Pakistan. She said that weak governance, disruptive economic and socio-political structures, and lack of education had contributed a lot towards radicalisation. “That’s why, radicalism or extremism has resulted in thousands of deaths in suicide attacks, sectarian violence and target killings in the past decade.”
Ehsan Mehmood Khan, the author of Human Security in Pakistan, discussed his book based on three subsets – women, children and educational security in the case of Pakistan. Talking about personal security in Pakistan, he shared that 50,000 fatalities and 20,000 violent acts had taken place in Pakistan. 
“Since 2003, 3,200 people have been killed in around 400 drone attacks.”
He also shared the shocking figure of attacks on journalists in Pakistan from 1994 to 2014, which stood at 78.
Among those present at the meeting were Nisar Memon, Khawar Mumtaz, Dr Masuma Hasan, Zia Awan, Karamat Ali, Simi Raheal, Yasmeen Zaidi, Kausar Khan, Zahid Hussain, Dr Najma Najam and Shafqat Munir.

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