National Security

Social Chaos & Risk Strategies

By Rana Athar Javed

There can be no democracy and economic progress without stability. Sociologists are predicting that controlling chaos & violence in developing countries is a central theme to create further fragmentation in high-risk societies. A vast majority of Muslim population accuses the US and other Western countries to initiate and support a week socioeconomic program in developing countries because risk of “bad economy” generates civil unrest and entails a strategy for how to serve dangerous objectives of world powers. The ongoing economic crisis in Greece, Spain, Portuguese and Italy are just some of the important examples of “symbolical” political project of the US and major European powers. Risk societies are thus open for destructive actions and rules of engagement in future European politics may be defined differently because the economic needs of the United Europe has not been fulfilled accordingly.

Today’s international politics is about managing the conflict for external reasons, rather than addressing the internal security situation of an allay state. The question is if problems have to be managed “only” then the important political objective should be to solve them, rather than letting its “resolution methods” transform with the times? The war on terror, for instance is certainly not a security project “only”, because the struggle over the scale, degree and control of natural and strategic resources is what Pakistan faces vis-á-vis US/NATO pressures, and hence knowing that new risks will arise. An important discourse technique in this process appears to be related to the art of image building and perception management against Pak-military and ISI. In these circumstances, negotiation processes become political projects, and bringing an end to a “real” understanding of a problem. While reflecting on links between social chaos and risks makes decision-makers vulnerable, the opponents may become overambitious when see opportunities for generating further chaos. Since social chaos is being controlled in terms of “risk-proliferation”, therefore is being considered as the tool to reverse the relationship of past present and future between the nation states. What is required is the ability to see the shifting patterns and scope and consequences of this control, and thus implementing a monitoring regime to regulate the intra-institutional capacity building program. The concept of planning and implementing new procedures could not be eliminated in favour of incompetency and intellectual dishonesty.

In order to prevent further social chaos, Pakistan needs to avoid future “risk traps” because international political agenda suggests a permanent policy paralysis, which holds a new risk for Pakistani society. In any case, the pre-emptive political and military strategies constitute real threat to global peace and, supposed to be continued to impact the future results of negotiation for a lasting social stability. “To someone involved in a road accident, traffic is no longer a risk”. This illustrates how Pakistanis are thinking after suffering from the consequences of three decades of Afghan war, religious extremism, and episodes of “Great Games”, especially the menace of terrorism. The notion that “rules of the game is what the West really wants” is an unfortunate inter-textual reference to lack of understanding of regional, religious and cultural sensitivities, and thereby addresses the burden of intended consequences of war on terror on Pakistani society.

In both Afghan wars, the mismanagement of pre-emptive strategies has severely impaired the calculability of risk scenarios for Pakistan’s internal security. The process of systemizing priorities of management is the key to respond to “controlled” social chaos and risky societies. As the ethnic and sectarian conflict in Pakistan is being fuelled and funded by foreign/domestic sponsors, a systematic way to advance doctrine of violence is perceived as the only solution to subdue the opposition. Countless number of Shia & Sunni professionals, innocent children and women are being targeted to inflict an industrial scale misunderstanding between two sects of Islam. The continuous attacks on Shia community are also a reflection of creating further social chaos and instability in Pakistan. Along with hate, the present rate of intolerance is the invariable outcome of presence of al-Qaeda, TTP, banned sectarian outfits and illegal operative network of hostile foreign intelligence agencies. Ideological insecurities are being introduced through social media, especially proliferating hazard-hateful literature, and many people seem to be believed in the spread of hateful messages, and Pakistani society appears to become hostage to ever expanding pattern of reflection and reaction – which only translates in killing each other & maximizing the risks for minorities. According to Deborah Lupton, “risk become[s] a central cultural and political concept by which individual social groups and institutions are organized, monitored and regulated”.

The constructive metaphor of modern governance does not emanate only from social policy to contain chaos, but a coherent narrative of what happens to the conceptual framework of tolerance and co-existence, is the most pertinent question to address the contemporary risk scenario. In the post-9/11, Afghan, Iraq & Syrian wars, one has no choice but to expect further social upheaval, especially in the regions of Asia and Middle East. Every ordinary citizen of Pakistan and Afghanistan sees the current US policies as the planned “errors of judgment”, which are required to be occurred, create deficient procedures to tackle conflict, and thus malfunctioning doctrine of negotiation and peace.

Surprisingly, how much Pakistani society for example is dealing with risks and dangers characterizes international societies in general because global discourse is rather generating more hatred against the most powerful nations, especially the US. On the other hand, it is very doubtful indeed that both Shia & Sunni communities who have been living together for hundreds of years would choose violence to determine the character of perceived ideological risk. As the religious conflict in Northern Ireland and former Yugoslavia demonstrate that non-state actors and foreign entities and their funds can lead to very un-peaceful strategies. Appreciating that the ideological battle basically causes a wider human conflict is an all-important first step in the direction of a coherent and tolerant society. The concept of risk then should be expanded into assessing the role of ideologues, militant leadership and communication networks, especially electronic media, the quality of which should be determined by their ability to present “risk free” scenarios. Precisely, promoting ways and means to produce inter-sect & inter-faith harmony rather than leading toward risk traps planned by domestic and foreign powers.