Navigating interplay between national security, democracy: a delicate balance

Transparency is a prerequisite to reveal the ways and means through which democratic values are protected and promoted

Surely because of the nature of the turmoil, the relationship between democracy and the national security has become very intertwined, which could be interpreted either as cooperation or as fighting. We, as individuals, should be well versed in the correlation of these elements and the singular factors that make democracy weighted. Certain activities, which absolutely not agree with the concept of police security or democratic values, may be used by opposing groups for discrediting of security campaigns.

In contrast, in the democratic countries the law plays a key part and the decision making is made inside the framework of “rule of law” which is reported to be inseparable from law-abiding people and egalitarianism. The rule of law operates under several principles: regulating institution which is intended to obtain a classification of positivism against the state equality positivism with regard to restriction and the rights, legality and nature of limitations. While accountability can certainly be deemed as an important factor, transparency is indispensable in a way that it could be used in revealing and understanding the role of democratic principles. In essence, it points to the fact that transparency is a prerequisite to reveal the ways and means through which democratic values are protected and promoted.

The greatest challenge is how to preserve public’s trust. The transparency is key in this challenge. On the other hand, there are some private security issues that cannot be disclosed that furthermore make the process of creating the necessary level of public disclosure cumbersome. This weighing of conflicting considerations between security interests and democratic principles remains one dilemma that cannot be totally handled. Intelligence and surveillance, say, to address issues relating to the safety of the country are prime weapons in this battle.

While striking the payment with the laws which should never ignore the rights of the individuals might be hard to hold, it is possible the balance to be regained. Furthermore, the societies may prevail in resistance against the idea of secret police or the societies’ constitutional norms may endanger state of security. Just like the age-old pillars of free speech liberated press that are usually associated with American democracy which should be maintained or not used as an unfounded to stop homeland measures. The same should also be ensured executives who are appointed and elected as those who guarantee the provision of free speech and free press the way American democracy is used to.

However, it is not true all the time, but rather the federal government and the governors both usually have great importance and power to act quickly during mass emergencies. Nevertheless, this is sometimes not the case, the federal government as well the state governors acquire the power to perform their chores rapidly during emergencies. Even though the procedures may not be always in place and the disaster measures may not be used in majority of the disasters, the federal government and governors have to deal with all types of disasters immediately. Then both branches should never be seen such as a system that would erode the system of checks and balances.

The USA Patriot Act, General Data Protection Regulation of the EU and information security laws of India are some of the examples of how complex is this relationship. But no one is there that the two variables' main purpose of social-function is not democracy and national security.

The security of the nation and democracy of Pakistan have been so intimately bound up right from the beginning of Pakistan’s creation. The country faces the multiple security problems, including the terrorism, border conflicts, and internal destabilization. However, the country’s military dictatorship in politics and the history of military intervention in politics is just the example of the challenge of striking the balance between these security concerns and democratic principles. The democratic institutions in Pakistan have allegedly gone through different transitions from one ruler to another but they continually face many challenges like civic rights and the credibility of the elections. On the one hand, meeting security objectives and on the other hand, promoting democratic values still pose a big problem of balance while the military power struggles for dominance with the civilian government. In order to do so, Pakistan has to carry on its efforts towards approving and consolidating the democratic system, protecting the law, and creating better transparency and accountability in the government to provide the country with peace and security for its people. 

A conclusion may be drawn that such a relationship will always have this following necessity and you will keep on playing this balancing act. However, there exist loopholes and gray areas unless we extend the lines of surveillance and observation. S609 should list actions with the ability to harm national safety and report national security measures.

The writer is member of staff.

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