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Globalization has prompted states to diversify their security considerations from the traditional military perspective of security to human, environmental, economic and other security perspectives amid rising transnational threats and the emergence of a litany of non-state actors and systems. Internal insecurity of states in this globalized world invariably impinges upon regional and international security.

Although South Asian states work closely with the international community under the United Nations’ umbrella to maintain international peace and stability, they have yet to fully realize the common threats to regional security and stability and evolve regional frameworks to join hands against these threats. They have indeed many compelling reasons to evolve a regional approach. The security landscape of the region is defined not only by traditional inter-state conflicts, but also proliferation of non-state actors of violence and terrorism—some of which have regional and global aspirations—as well as rising threats to food, energy and water security. Global terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda and some Central Asian militant groups have taken shelter in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region since the start of the Soviet-Afghan war in the late 1970s. Besides developing operational nexus and links with the local militants, they have contributed significantly to promoting a global jihadist ideology among the latter which has emerged as an alarming threat to regional and international security.

Another factor that makes South Asian states’ security interlinked and interdependent is that the major militant movements have centered on the states’ borders. The Taliban movement in Afghanistan and Pakistan; the Assam, Tripura, Bodoland and Naxalite movements in India; the Kashmir movement on the Indian side of the Line of Control; the Rohingya movement in Myanmar; the Baloch separatist movement in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan; and the Uighur separatist  movement in China were all born and thrived along border areas.

As the study of threats is a key element of regional or international security, PIPS believes that empirical and context-bound understanding of critical and shared threats to security in South Asia is imperative to bridge the gaps among the states’ conflicting perceptions of their respective security concerns. Besides striving to expand the empirical knowledge base of security threats, Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) has also developed a vast regional and global network for information sharing and research on some of the key security issues facing Pakistan and the wider region, which also have a profound impact on regional and global security.

As PIPS exclusively focuses on security issues such as terrorism, political violence, militancy, and religious extremism, which it considers to have local as well as regional and international dimension, the thrust of its research and analysis and policy advocacy has been on the human security perspective rather than the traditional security perspective and inter-state wars in South Asia. Since its inception, PIPS has worked extensively to map the threats to the security of Pakistan, South Asia and the world emanating mainly from the terrorist and militant groups, analyzed the state practices and the potential for the states to counter such threats separately or jointly.



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