Water is Pakistan’s Biggest Security Challenge: An Interview with Adil Najam

From Pakistan Politico:

Prof. Adil Najam is the founding Dean of Boston University’s School of International Affairs, the Pardee School. He was the former Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Dr. Adil Najam was the Lead Author of the second and third reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), work for which the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Award in 2006. His research spans a range on international policy issues, including environment and development, climate change, human security and human development, global governance, and higher education, among others. Pakistan Politico in an exclusive interview ask Dr. Najam about the climate security nexus.

Could you shed some light on why you chose to do some academic work on a less-talked about constituent of national security, especially at a time when kinetic and other security-related factors are dominating academia and media?

My concern about the climate-security link comes from the security side of the equation, much more than from the climate or environment side. The single most important question that should occupy the attention of anyone studying security is: What or who is making us insecure? How? And, what can be done about it?

The moment you confront this question honestly and seriously, you come to the realization that the so-called ‘traditional’ security discourse, while critically important, is also incomplete. To ignore non-traditional dimensions of security is, in fact, to make the modern state less secure, including on national security. This led me to my 2003 book “Environment, Development and Human Security” and has now, fifteen years later, brought me back to the question of climate and security in Pakistan in a research project I am doing along with my BU Pardee School colleague Henrik Selin.

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