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Abstract

Pandemics act as catalysts of social transformation. Human society is based on three fundamental structures, family, work place and Nation-State. COVID-19 presents an unparalleled challenge to these fundamental structures of human species, irrespective of their ideological, geographical, ethnic or economic identities and boundaries. In terms of level and scale, the threat to human lives, global economy and our way of life that COVID-19 poses is second only in recent
history to the global impact of the Second World War. Eighty emerging world economies are already seeking help from the International Monetary Fund, which indicates an imminent global economic recession. This pandemic will have deep and lasting effects for the current distribution of power and wealth on a worldwide scale. It has already exposed the lack of readiness and the absence of adequate policy planning by some of the most powerful and wealthy western powers that have dominated the world for the past five centuries. States like the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are some of the worst affected in security, economic and social domains and some of their experts are fearing millions of casualties in these advanced, wealthy and powerful countries in the coming months. In contrast, Pakistan has received a relatively delayed penetration of this global threat. Therefore, it presents a fleeting opportunity to quickly learn from the experiences as well as policy mistakes of other States in order to timely evolve innovative policy options that are tailored to our own culture, resources and environment. It is a national security imperative that will not only affect both the traditional and non-traditional security of Pakistan as well as influence the future nature of social contract between the State and society. Therefore, this paper analyzes the global significance of COVID-19, identifies challenges, timely policy options and proposes a way forward for Pakistan.

Working Paper

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