ICT for re-engineering national security strategy
“The War on Terror is one of the most critical national security efforts in our history” – Sue Kelly.
In the past few years, it became evident that there exits close connection between ICT and national security, which plays a significant role in securing the necessary level of national safety and defense of the nation. The notion security is defined as status of defense of the life-important interests of the personality, the society and the state against internal and external dangers. Whereas, according to Oxford Dictionary, “security is the degree of protection to safeguard a nation, union of nations; person or persons against danger, damage, loss and crime”. Information and communication technology is defined as technology that facilitates communication and the processing and transition of information by electronic means. ICT is an umbrella that involves any communication application or device, such as television, radio, satellite system, cellular phones, computer hardware and software.
The theory of security was put forward by UN bodies and has placed human security firmly on the global political and development agenda. Security can be thought of as a public good, responding to the strategic need to support sustainable human development at the same time as promoting national, regional and global peace and stability. While national security is the ability to safeguard the nations physical integrity and territory to maintain its economic relations with the rest of the world on reasonable term; to defend its institution, and governance from disruption from outside; and to control its borders. According to Dr. Hasan Askari Rizvi, political and defense analyst, “the issues of national security have multiplied because it is not always possible to draw a clear line between internal and external domains of the state, especially in the case of the state facing serious internal regional, ethnic conflict or separatist movement. Such events have a tendency to attract varying degree of international attention and intervention if these persist and intensify over time”. National security is also a capability to control those domestic and foreign conditions that the public opinion of a given community believes necessary to enjoy its own self-determination or autonomy, prosperity and wellbeing.
The ICT has progressively become one of the central mark affecting every feature of development not only in Pakistan but the world over. Momentous ICT progresses are constantly taking place and continue to impact on socio-economic operations at various levels of society. The pervasiveness of ICT has brought about rapid technological, social, political and economic revolution. ICT strengthens and provide opportunities for connection among the countries of the world and it also provides quicker and easier access to more extensive current information that can be used to carry out security operations.
The model of national security is multidimensional. Enhancing national security with new information and communication technology also involve addressing fundamental problems in education and long-term research and development. The under-listed are some recommendations which may help in the use of ICT for national security:
• Government should pay more attention to the ICT related higher education and funding of ICT so that it can be of greater help as tool in monitoring security system.
• Our leaders should exhibit good moral character in their governance and eradicate corruption in the society.
• Government should promote human security culture, framework and raise awareness on human security issues in our society.
• Government should control arms trade within the country.
• Fundamental human rights must be respected, protect minorities and fight against ethnic discrimination.
• Transition governments should be supported so as to prepare free and fair elections, promote a culture of open, tolerant and pluralistic society that accepts cultural diversity.
The rising significance of information and communication technology presents not only new opportunities to promote modern society, but also brings challenges to the approach and tactic of securing that society from outside attack. National security is all about people, and the people must accordingly contribute their share as we all struggle to restore peace and security to our nation. Legislators and policymakers must modify their focus and dedicate resources and efforts to ensure that security measures are in step with evolving technology. National security policymakers should therefore, accelerate the rate of development and embrace information and communication technology as a re-engineering strategy to bring about security revolution in Pakistan.