The Threat of Non-State Actors to Pakistan: Causes and Solutions

The primary actors of the world are the nation-states. But, we are living in the era of Globalization, in which the importance of nation-states is somewhat challenged. Nowadays, primary actors of the international system are nation-states, International Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations and Multinational Corporations which work under the umbrella of Global Governance. The concept of Non-State Actors has gained importance with the passage of time. The term Non-State Actors may refer to groups with objectives as diverse and potentially different.

The term Non-State Actors is defined as, “the organizations and individuals that are not affiliated with, directed by or funded through government.” Among non-state actors, corporations, media organizations, lobby groups, religious groups, and violent non-state actors exist. The phenomenon of globalization has reduced the importance of nation-states and their sovereignty, mainly due to the emergence of non-state actors. These actors challenge the nation-state border and sovereignty claims. The problem arises when they take up arms or start funding armed groups for achieving their purposes. The armed non-state actors operate without state control and are involved in internal conflicts. These non-state actors undermine the sovereignty of nation-states by their direct or indirect involvement in internal matters.

This article examines the threats that non-state actors pose to Pakistan’s National Security, its causes and solutions.

Pakistan was largely affected by the giant of terrorism and other internal security threats by different non state actors. These threats undermines the peace and destabilize the country’s national interests. The non state actors view peace as an existential threat, detrimental to their survival. So, they try their best to destabilize the peace of the country to achieve their political goals. For the persuasion of this political goal, they project themselves as a “useful” tool using propaganda machinery and lobby groups.

The main cause for the activation of non-State actors against its sovereignty and national security lies in the internal weakness of the country. The internal weak system provides the terrorists and the non-state actors safe haven and consequently, Pakistan has faced destruction to its citizens and national security due to terrorism. Although terrorism has subsided, the threat of violent non-state actors remains.

The suggested solutions for tackling the violent non-state actors are as follow:

  1. Pakistan should improve the ability to carry out strategic communication and convey a coherent message against the unlawful activities of non-state actors. Media can play an important role in it.
  2. The internal networks of these violent non-state groups must be completely destroyed and dismantled without any mercy.
  3. They must be punished through state laws immediately.
  4. Violent Non-state actors should be readily exposed.
  5. Political leadership must work hand in hand with the military leadership to better handle the agents who try to destabilize Pakistan.