All of Paradigm Shift’s published content (articles and research papers) can be found here. You can scroll down and navigate the various pages. Topics of focus include global politics, current affairs, international relations, and Pakistan.
The development of hypersonic weapons has made it difficult to distinguish between nuclear weapons and non-nuclear strategic weapons. Yet, it has made it clear that hypersonic weapons cannot be taken lightly. The strategic instability created by these weapons has triggered a hypersonic arms race between the US, China, and Russia. The author, Syed Alyaan Kazmi, notes that each state views the other two with suspicion and fears a pre-emptive strike, thus triggering a security dilemma. The existence of hypersonic weapons greatly influences the decision-making process due to their unpredictability. Fearing the destabilization of the arms race between the nuclear states, the author suggests the establishment of new multilateral agreements to limit the development and proliferation of hypersonic weapons.
The author, Zuha Tiwana, considers illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing — more commonly known by the acronym IUU — to be a global threat to marine life. IUU fishing exposes economies excessively dependent on fishing to danger and hence nations, regional maritime bodies, non-governmental organizations, and international bodies must jointly and severally take measures against IUU fishing.
According to UNESCO, 58 million children over the age of 15 are illiterate in Pakistan, while 22 million children in the age group of 5-16 years are school dropouts. With the pandemic impacting every part of the world, the situation of Pakistan’s education sector is worsening. The author, Muhammad Hashir, notes that the state has adopted several digital education measures and introduced several initiatives—eLearn.Punjab, Teleschool, and Radio School, etc.—to improve Pakistan’s literacy rate and educational outreach. Regardless, the efforts are greatly hindered due to several socio-economic constraints. Apart from these challenges, a survey conducted by the author reveals that education in rural areas is greatly forestalled due to internet connectivity issues and the lack of digital infrastructure.
The writer, Muhammad Hamza Tanvir, explains the possible impact of the Pandora papers on the politics of Pakistan in the future. This article intends to explain what an offshore company is and under what circumstances could the holder of the offshore company be held accountable. It also throws a brief highlight on the famous people, from inside and outside the country, who are accused of having offshore companies.
The cooperation between Pakistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina can be traced back to the Bosnian civil war which was responsible for 100,000 casualties. During the war, Pakistan supplied weapons to the Bosnians, despite the UN-imposed arms embargo, and airlifted refugees into its territory. The author notes that since then, the two states have cooperated in the education, defense, and economic sectors. In 2005, when Pakistan was struck with a devastating earthquake, Bosnia and Herzegovina supported Pakistan by assisting in the health and education sector. The author asserts that given their strong ties, the cooperation between the two states can extend to other sectors as well.
The devastating effects of climate change can be felt all around the globe, making it impossible to ignore this threat. Being the 8th most vulnerable state to climate change, Pakistan has lost 9,989 lives and $80 billion due to climate-induced disasters. The author notes that climate change has not only impacted Pakistan’s economy but its agricultural sector and the lives of the state’s citizens as well. The author asserts that to fight against this hazard, the state’s government has introduced several measures. The Billion Tree Tsunami project, the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project, and Pakistan’s first-ever electric vehicle policy are all steps taken by Pakistan to combat climate change. Although Pakistan’s efforts are commendable, it alone cannot rid the world of this threat.
The author, Ms. Noor Ul Huda, traces out the abominable refugee assistance program in Australia. Although it has the capacity of 12,000 to 13,000 refugees annually under its Refugee and Humanitarian Program, Australia’s harsh asylum policies have permitted the detention of said asylum seekers in the isolated detention centres of Nauru and Manus Island. Although the former has been officially closed since 2017, Australia’s cruel and torturous detention centers in Nauru and Manus for asylum seekers have invited criticism from the U.N. but have gained appreciation from many of the far-right parties across Europe.
China has exhibited a deep interest in developing the Gwadar Port of Pakistan, under the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), for the enhancement of its strategic and economic benefits, while India is investing in the Chabahar Port under the tripartite Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Iran and Afghanistan, with the drive to counter China’s growing presence in the region. Both ports are situated at the international energy trading route and provide connectivity to different regions of the world including Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Such equalizing behavior of both states is not just causing problems for them but also for the neighboring states such as Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, in this regard, which are the key stakeholders in the construction of these ports. The authors, Ms. Kinza Shah and Mehwish Kayani, look into the geostrategic and geo-economic importance of both ports. This paper also explores the stances given by the major states of the …
Being a highly indebted state with a weak economy, Pakistan cannot continue to rely on IMF loans to fulfill its needs. The author notes that it is imperative for Pakistan to reform its taxation system to improve the state’s economic condition. Although tax collection has increased by 18% in 2020, most of the revenue generated from taxes comes from indirect taxes. Apart from that, the people in Pakistan avoid paying taxes by exploiting the complex taxpaying process. The author suggests that to reform the tax administration and increase Pakistan’s tax-to-GDP ratio, direct taxes should be increased and taxes should be imposed on sectors that have been kept out of the taxpaying brackets.
Despite being close allies during the Cold War, the author believes the relations between Pakistan and the United States to be rather strained — and almost at a breaking point. The domineering United States has always taken advantage of Pakistan’s prominent yet vulnerable position in the South Asia region. clearly embittering Pakistan.
When it comes to human rights and democracy, the United States of America tends to place itself on a high pedestal. The US’ false sense of righteousness and its tendency to ignore its own crimes while calling out other states has allowed it to remain on its high horse. The author, Sarmad Ishfaq, notes that the US has actively supported insurgencies and covert regime changes, initiated a nuclear arms race, and killed 22,000 civilians in airstrikes. No incident can better represent the US’ war crimes and hypocrisy than its bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet, despite it killing hundreds of thousands of people, the world turns a blind eye to America’s transgressions.
The author, Muhammad Hamza Tanvir, intends to apprise the readers of the AUKUS pact – a trilateral security agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – and the impact it has on Sino-Australian relations. This article also examines what this pact would mean for the Southeast Asian region while analyzing the impacts of this deal on ASEAN, QUAD, and NATO.
Afghanistan’s relation to the illegal drug trade can be traced back to the 1980s. Since then, opium cultivation has become an integral part of Afghanistan’s economy and the livelihoods of its farmers. The author, Madiha Rauf, notes that although the US and the previous Afghan governments have introduced measures to reduce opium production and trade, the efforts have been half-hearted. In reality, Afghanistan’s opium trade has not only benefitted the warlords and the Taliban but also the previous regimes. Although the Taliban regime has made promises to eradicate the illegal drug trade, given the state’s dependency on it, it is unlikely to fulfill these promises and the opium war in Afghanistan might not see an end in the near future.
The author, Mr M. Umar Irfan Ch., compares the currently established economic systems with the Islamic economic system. He has highlighted the shortcomings of capitalism and communism, coming to the conclusion that capitalism works on the fundamental principle of “freedom”, while communism works on “equality”. The Islamic economic system, however, works on the principle of justice so that neither freedom is undermined at the cost of equality nor is equality thwarted at the cost of freedom.
The author, Dr. Taut Bataut, focuses on the challenges associated with switching to renewable energy from hydrocarbons. While the advantages of renewables are substantial, the implementation of such schemes is fraught with complications. Pakistan remains predominantly reliant on fossil fuels as its primary source of energy. Hence, a more pragmatic and long-term policy that incentivizes renewables and gradually enhances their contribution to the energy mix is crucial for success.
The Taliban’s announcement of an interim government in Afghanistan was not a surprise to the international community. With no female—and hardly any ethnic—representation, the interim government will most certainly not get instant recognition. The author, Mr. Muhammad Abubaker, also underscores the humanitarian crisis brewing in Afghanistan.
When the United Nations first introduced its peacekeeping missions the operations simply observed ceasefires and monitored conflicts. Yet, over the years, peacekeeping operations have evolved to include humanitarian and technical assistance as well. The first two generations of peacekeeping required non-use of force, impartiality, and the consent of the parties involved, hence, limiting the authority of the peacekeepers. The author notes that due to the failure of these generations, third-generation peacekeeping has been tasked with reforming the peacekeeping operations.