Supporting Non State Actors
A Great Threat to International State System
(A South Asian Regional Perspective)
Assistant Professor and Head
Department of Political science
Forman Christian College
(A Chartered University)
Dated: 10th Feb, 2013
its true that in “International relations there is no permanent friend or enemy only national interests are supreme”.
But in international state system it is equally important that states should always use appropriate, internationally recognized, acceptable tools, tactics and strategies to achieve their national interests, national objectives or goals. Their actions or steps must be, justified or legitimate in accordance with international law or international organizations.
But unfortunately the history shows us that states have flaunted others sovereignty in the name of their own national interests or ideologies. Not only the non state actors but some times the attitude, behavior and acts of independent and sovereign states supports or promotes the non state actors agenda which most of time destabilizes regional security and international peace and order of nation state system.
Although international Law and international organizations like UNO have already defined the level of interaction of states with non state entities. But even If we look in to the history we can prove that states always preferred to safeguard and promote their national interests and can do every thing to achieve their own national objectives. They even do not hesitate to support non state actors, armed groups, militias or militant organizations as well.
Some times these militant groups becomes so power that they starts dictating the organize state machinery on domestic (spreading hatred through educational Institutions) and on foreign policy levels undermining institutions rather high jacking state institutions so as to promote their own agenda based on terrorism ,extremism and fundamentalism
But such a kind of strategy or behavior is a threat to international state system and such kind of policy is not acceptable in international relations and is against the international law because it has dangerous and long term consequences which the present world is facing.
Supporting non state actors (militants groups) against an organized UNO member state will not even serve a national interest of any state and will not serve the long term interests of a nation state.
An important aspect over here is that Nation states should not it self disturb international political order or should not be a destabilizing factor towards regional security or international peace because it will lead the international state system towards mutual destruction or collateral damage.
As a case study in South Asian regional perspective strong modern democratic India and Pakistan is in the best interest of both neighboring nuclear states and it will lead south Asian region towards economic development and regional stability.
A question arises here, Is it necessary for states to respect each others sovereignty or to undermine each others sovereignty in the name of National Interest or self determination? Or National interest is more important than international Peace and security? Is this appropriate or acceptable in international relations that states should support non state actors (militant groups, armed groups, or rebel groups) in the name of Ideological differences, national interests, goals or policies?
This is very much true that some times in the name of right of self determination states do prefer to support non state actors which some times closed the way for a constructive, vital and a positive dialogue between the two or more rival states and it further destabilizes regional stability and international peace and order. Some times it further paves the way for an conventional armed conflict in case of 1965, 1971, 1999 wars in South Asia between Pakistan and India.
No doubt, UNO and other international organizations are contributing a lot in promoting international peace and security but at the same time sever human rights violations in various parts of the world especially in South Asia is a great challenge for international community ,UNO and other international organizations.
In the back drop of South Asian regional perspective countries, India and Pakistan should also seriously need to review the Liaquat- Nehru Pact of 1953 to further improve the human rights and minority conditions in their respective territorial jurisdictions to further avoid any distress between the two nuclear states.
For the last sixty years India is blaming Pakistan for supporting armed militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir and in Indian Punjab. India is also blaming Pakistan for Bombay attacks. Pakistan is also blaming India for supporting various armed groups in Balochistan likewise it is believed that there is an involvement of RAW behind the various terrorist bomb explosions in the different Parts of Pakistan.
Pakistan also holds India responsible for 1971 crisis of East Pakistan and its separation from West Pakistan. A few researchers and analysts are even blaming India for targeting Karachi Naval Base.
Although former President Pervaiz Musharaf in his state television broadcast has banned almost all the militant groups in Pakistan but India still considers few of extremist groups are active or operative on Pakistani Soil.
Although India and Pakistan have a long out standing disputes like sir creek, sia-chen glaciers, water dispute and a core issue of Kashmir yet to be settled. but Now after 9/11, 7/11, Madrid attacks and Bombay attacks India and Pakistan should come close to each other and should initiate a dialogue addressing “TERRORISM AND EXTERIMISM”. Both countries have to find the ways how they can help, assist, guide or advise in sharing intelligence and how they can evolve a COUNTER TERRORISM MACHANISM OR INTELLEGENCE LED OPERATIONS in South Asia which can ensure their sovereign, independent status as the members of the UNO.
Now its time for both India and Pakistan to sincerely engage each other for a Positive, constructive and meaningful dialogue which leads both nations towards the solution of all the outstanding issues including the core issue of KASHMIR which is the bone of contention for both the nations for more than 65 years.
Both countries, India and Pakistan should in-depth realize very seriously and sincerely that extremists or fundamentalists can not serve the national interests of India and Pakistan and they are their common enemies and both countries will not let their air space or maritime belts or grounds to be used against each other by extremists or separatist groups. Now both nations should not let militants take over a peace process between the two nuclear states of south Asia.
India must realize that Strong, Prosperous, modern, democratic and liberal Pakistan is surely in the best interest of it and to rest of the world. So blame game will not serve the interests of both the nuclear states in the region. Both Nations must realize friendly ties in changing international scenario especially after 9/11. Now there must be a sense of realization on both sides that various non state actors are now the biggest threat to the International State system.
No doubt Terrorist are the biggest threat to the international state system. Terrorists are using guerrilla tactics to paralyze the state machinery. They are targeting important strategic assets of states and challenging the state machinery and even planning and dreaming of over throwing the current regimes of the modern state system having modern liberal democracies. Even they are threatening the world with nuclear Attacks.
Nation states having nuclear arms instead of funding or training various so called “friendly armed militant groups” or separatist groups to fulfill their own so called national agendas, should use diplomatic channels to normalize their relations and to promote regional and international peace and security. Otherwise they will lead the civilized world towards complete destruction.
One of the root causes of international terrorism and extremism is poverty injustice, economic disparities and swear human rights violations in various parts of the world. Now after 9/11 reconstruction and redesigning of international organizations especially UNO is very vital for the solution of long standing issues like Kashmir and Palestine.
In south Asian Regional perspective the role of United States as a modern democratic state is very important to facilitate and support a dialogue process between the two nuclear states India and Pakistan. But at the same time united state can not impose or Purpose any solution for the long standing issues like Kashmir, siachen and sir creek.
Instead of using various militant groups to achieve national objectives or policy goals or objectives, states should find out the alternative means (diplomatic channels) to settle the disputes with each other instead of supporting non state actors or launching conventional wars which may leads towards unconventional arms conflict in various parts of the world.
Now nation states should decide that in future either the legitimate recognized states (International state System) should be more powerful or terrorists, extremists or militant groups should be more powerful? In any case the terrorist organizations or militant groups or non state identities should not replace international state system or nation state system
This is very much true that after 9/11, 7/11,Madrid attacks and Bombay attacks international terrorist organizations are challenging the authority and legitimacy of Nation states and using gorilla war tactics against an organize International state system because they can not launch a conventional war against regular organize standing army of recognized international state system. These militant groups or organizations are a serious threat to international peace and security. But surely they should not be successful in replacing international state system.
Now states should decide in the best interest of international peace and stability of this world that they should not in any circumstances support extremists groups for gaining their short or long term objectives or aims.
Otherwise in long term these non state actors will continue be a great threat and will be continuously destabilizing factor for international state system recognized by international community, UNO and various other regional and international organizations
In south Asian regional perspective the serious responsibility lies with two neighboring nuclear states, India and Pakistan to respect each others territorial borders, and sovereign statues for regional stability and for international peace and security. Only India and Pakistan can change the future discourse of south Asia.
(Mr. Kamran James, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University Lahore, Pakistan)