This paper takes an overview of the various dimensions of security in South Asia. It begins by examining the concept of ‘comprehensive security’ as it is distinguished from conventional security. The paper argues that the attempts to widen the concept of security by including human and environmental concerns is unnecessary, confusing, incoherent and, ideologically and strategically driven, particularly in the context of the “New World Order” and globalisation. Exploring the subject of South Asian security, the paper also argues that traditional concerns of security like inter and intra-state conflicts, nuclear tensions and terrorism will continue to dominate. The regional security implications of the persisting conflict between India and Pakistan as well as the unresolved boundary question between India and China are also discussed. Attention is also given to the fact that the forces of ethnic, religious and ideological extremism in almost all the South Asian countries continue to threaten internal stability and regional security. While discussing these traditional security issues, the paper also takes note of the newer and non-military aspects of the security concerns of the South Asian countries arising out of environmental degradation, demographic pressures and movements and energy shortages.
Last updated on 01/07/2014