A little over a month has passed since Pakistan organized the 17th extraordinary session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, but Afghanistan’s situation shows no signs of optimism. The author, Mairaj ul Hamid Nasri, gives a summary of the deliberations and the commitments made at the meeting.
The nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan has led to both states attaining a second strike capability. To be capable of a second strike, India has developed a nuclear-powered submarine equipped with ballistic missiles (SSBN) – the INS Arihant. In response, Pakistan introduced the Babur 3 missile, which is a submarine-launched cruise missile, and declared its second strike capability. While analyzing the credibility of the second strikes of India and Pakistan, the author, Rauf Khalid, notes that there is an asymmetry between them.
The legal measures and reporting mechanisms for domestic violence in Dubai are functional. That is in stark contrast to Pakistani systems that counter domestic violence. To ensure safety for the victims, Pakistan, too, must adopt Dubai’s best practices in confronting domestic abuse.
Is India’s democracy buckling under the weight of its endless anti-Muslim hate speech? Gandhi really did not wish for his beloved state to become what it is now — a secular state that inspires antipathy to its Muslim citizens. Hindutva or Hindu nationalism has recently sparked calls for Muslim genocide, distancing the notion of democracy in India.
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), formulated in 2007, is one of the deadliest terrorist groups in Pakistan. It has carried out massive attacks against Pakistan’s security forces and also targeted civilians. As a result of its actions, Pakistan has lost thousands of lives. The author, Muhammad Hamza Tanvir, notes that although Pakistan has tried to negotiate with the TTP on several occasions and even signed peace agreements, all of its efforts have failed. He explains that while the state favors a peace deal with the TTP, many analysts believe that this move will prove damaging for the country.
The writer, Mir Mohammad Alikhan, reflects on the cause of plunging foreign reserves in Pakistan. Is it because of businesses’ proclivity for imports, like many believe it to be? That truly isn’t the case. Multinational corporations are actually the ones sending shock waves to the foreign reserves by importing a considerable amount of raw materials for their products and then selling them at prohibitive prices. Naturally, huge profits are made, which are declared as dividends before being converted into dollars and sent abroad to a parent company.
2021 was truly an unpredictable year for Pakistan. The country saw turbulence in the political realm with protests by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), and dharnas by various other entities. The country’s economic woes only intensified as it failed to exit the FATF grey list. On the bright side, Pakistan’s athletes were given the due spotlight at several games this year, particularly at the Tokyo Olympics. Take a look at some of the major developments that took place in Pakistan in 2021.
Power outages and high electricity bills have become commonplace in Pakistan. Although the government’s poor planning and management are to blame for this predicament, it seems, according to a European think tank, that the World Bank is the main culprit behind the country’s energy crisis. The author, Ayesha Zafar, explains how the World Bank’s three power projects — PACE, SHIFT, and IGCEP — are destabilising Pakistan’s energy plans.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has granted a loan of $3 billion to Pakistan. The state is obligated to return the loan after a year, however, Saudi Arabia can ask for repayment on a three-day notice anytime within that one year. In addition, Pakistan will have to pay $120 million in interest on the loan and Saudi law would be applicable in case of any dispute. The author, Muhammad Hamza Tanvir, explains that since the IMF has restricted Pakistan from borrowing from the State Bank of Pakistan, the economic condition of Pakistan is likely to take a toll. At such a crucial time, Pakistan cannot afford to offend any of its allies, namely China.
After Pakistan became an independent state in 1947, Turkey was one of the first states to recognize it. The two states are bound together by cultural and religious links. The author, Muhammad Abdullah, notes that throughout the years, they’ve cooperated and shown support for each other on several fronts. When Pakistan was hit with a devastating earthquake in 2005, Turkey sent millions of dollars in aid to Pakistan. Similarly, after the Van earthquake of 2011, Pakistan’s Red Crescent Aid Society donated $100,000 to the people of the Van province in eastern Turkey.
Pakistan will host the 17th extraordinary session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers today. The fact that it will be the largest ever conference on Afghanistan since the Taliban took charge in mid-August is momentous not only for Pakistan but also for other regional countries whose role in Afghanistan has remained significant throughout.
On November 17th, 33 bills were passed during a joint session of the Parliament of Pakistan. Among the bills passed were the International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Bill, 2021, the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Bill, 2021, and the Elections (Second Amendment) Bill, 2021. The author, Palwasha Khan, notes that the latter, in particular, resulted in the opposition causing quite a bit of commotion during the session. The bill enables the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs), allowing overseas Pakistanis to vote in the next elections. As such, it has been a cause of concern for the opposition. Pakistan Muslim League-N’s Shehbaz Sharif called EVMs “evil and vicious machines”, whereas, Pakistan People’s Party’s Sherry Rehman termed the session as a “black day” in the Parliament’s history.
Drug abuse is the willful misuse of drugs that disregards the potential negative consequences on a personal and societal level. Pakistan’s drug addicts have increased exponentially from 7 million in 2015 to 9 million in 2021. The author, Palwasha Khan, also reviews the viability of the National Anti-Narcotics Policy 2019. With a growing population, rising unemployment and absence of safety nets, drug abuse will only be inimical to the progress of Pakistan.
The article explores the hierarchical system of the administrative machinery in Pakistan at the federal and provincial levels. Pakistan follows a federal system which makes the federal and provincial governments exclusive from one another. The executive, legislature and judiciary have been divided clearly between the federation and provinces after the eighteenth amendment. According to the constitution of Pakistan, fields like defence, foreign matters, customs, telecommunication and railways are to be handled by the federal system, whereas the ministries of education, health, local administration, sanitation, agriculture and industry are under the provincial setups.
With citizens being choked by the worsening inflation, the PTI government under Imran Khan is doing everything it can to avert the economic fallout that awaits if the IMF refuses the $1 billion loan. Many economists believe the IMF economic deal to be the cause of Pakistan’s rising inflation, but at this juncture, this dreaded deal also seems to be the only recourse for the country.
Despite growing remittances, the inflation rate in Pakistan continues to soar with a current inflation rate of 9.2% in October 2021. This is a whopping increase from 3.93% in 2018. The author, Daniyal Ali, discusses the possible reasons — IMF and mafias — for this sombre trend, and recommends a course of action for the future.
The agriculture sector of Pakistan accounts for 24% of the GDP and is responsible for the livelihoods of 65-70% of the state’s population. Yet, due to the challenges presented by fast-paced industrialization, climate change, and outdated farming and irrigation practices, this sector is being threatened. The author, Ayesha Irum, notes that by adopting precision agriculture, Pakistani farmers can thoroughly monitor, access, and analyze the agricultural land. Precision agriculture will not only benefit the farmers due to its cost-effectiveness but will also reduce water and crop losses. The author asserts that if implemented properly, it can increase the yield of Pakistan’s crops.