The author seeks to explain the democratic insufficiencies and the violation of civil and political rights in Myanmar against a backdrop of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words. The violence against the minorities – particularly the Rohingya Muslims – has unveiled cracks that lay just beneath the surface of Myanmar’s so-called ‘democracy’.
The US was never really in control of Afghanistan. Trillions of dollars spent, over a 100,000 casualties, & two decades later – the US is now stuck in a stalemate. Negotiating directly with the Taliban via Khalilzad seemed to be helping the US, but the recent change of date for the withdrawal of troops (from May 01 to Sep 11) can potentially hamper the peace process.
Pakistan is one of the top 10 most vulnerable states when it comes to cybersecurity. Since cyberattacks can be carried out from any part of the world – with the possibility of the perpetrator never being caught – they present immense challenges for Pakistan. The author notes that 2018 was the most dangerous year for Pakistan due to the number of cyberattacks on the state’s institutions. He not only discusses the challenges Pakistan is facing from cybercrimes, but also provides recommendations for the state to counter them.
Although the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has witnessed a shift in its leadership, the party’s reins are still controlled by Asif Ali Zardari. The author notes that the policies implemented by the former president have pushed Bilawal Bhutto to the shadows. He further explains that Zardari’s new strategy has landed the party in a tight spot; it now stands to lose its value to the ruling party and in the Pakistan Democratic Movement.
Pakistan’s past choices — the creation of Pakistan itself; the decision to join the American bloc; the decision to wage the war on terror; and choosing China as an ally — have defined its present status. Although these choices have been deemed appropriate, the mismanagement resulted in an economic downturn and an impairment of its diplomatic ability.
Although Pak-Russia relations have been marked by distrust and suspicion in the past, ties between the two states seem to be positively changing due to diplomatic visits and joint exercises. The recent visit of the Russian Foreign Minister to Pakistan and the mutual stance on the Afghan peace process have emboldened ties between the two nations. These bilateral relations have enormous potential in the areas of defence, mining, energy, tourism, among others.
The implications of the world systems theory, proposed by Immanuel Wallerstein, can be seen in the influence of the coronavirus on the economy of each state affected by the virus. The author asserts that while the virus has heavily impacted the rich core states, they are still better off as compared to the developing and underdeveloped states. She explains that the pandemic has made the North-South divide even more apparent; it has made it clear that the world cannot have a unified economy.
The informal economy of Pakistan has increasingly complemented the formal sector, but the lack of capital and expertise are the main obstacles that persist. Hence, the government should take decisive measures in repairing these economic and fiscal anomalies.
While the Aurat March in Pakistan aims to fight for women’s rights, the author, Rimsha Zia, questions if it is really the best course of action to take. She argues that due to the way the march has been conducted, along with the patriarchal, misogynistic and extremist attitudes in Pakistan’s society, it is impossible for the march to achieve its purpose. She also explains that the problem with Pakistan is not that it gives women no rights, but rather the lack of implementation to ensure these rights.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Act, 1956 is expecting the insertion of a new amendment through the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Amendment Act 2021. The provisions of the amendment dictate that the SBP would have the final and only say in the determination of related policies, which, according to many economists, has the potential to further impair the economy of Pakistan.
The introduction of three farm laws, and the revocation of Article 370 by the Indian government has left India with quite a few challenges. While gathering allies abroad, the Modi regime has neglected the state’s minorities and gone as far as to commit human rights violations. The author notes that the regime’s nationalist Western policies have only created resentment within the minority groups, and they will eventually cause India’s downfall.
The long-awaited Afghan peace process seems to be evident from the Biden administration’s letter to President Ghani. The letter has communicated the Biden administration’s desire to end the war in Afghanistan. However, it will certainly prove to be a challenge for the parties to commit themselves to a peace deal that is already tenuous.
India and Pakistan have had hostile relations since the time of their independence. However, the recent remarks by Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, during the second day of the Islamabad Security Dialogue, shows Pakistan’s willingness to pursue a détente with India. In the analysis of the statement made by the army chief, the author questions whether peace between the rival states is actually a possibility, and if Pakistan is going through a shift in its institutional thinking.
Today, Bangladesh celebrates its golden jubilee of independence from Pakistan. The country’s social and economic development has only accelerated in the 50 years since its inception and despite Bangladesh’s troubling South Asian dynamics, its economic and social growth continues to thrive. The main reason behind such growth Bangladesh’s commitment to a secular polity.
The peacekeeping missions of United Nations have considerably evolved since 1948. With each generation of peacekeeping, new challenges have emerged. The author notes that while the UN has reformed peacekeeping by a large extent in the third generation, the operations face threats in the form of terrorism, weak political will, funding, weapons proliferation, and sexual and physical abuse.
The fear and terror prevailing against Muslims around the world, especially in the West is called “Islamophobia”. The terrorist attack of 9/11, in particular, led to an unparalleled rise in Islamophobia – and Muslims all around the world were suddenly labelled ‘extremists’ and ‘terrorists’. In the United States, far-right political parties are using this fear to gain momentum in their political career.
Allegations of racism have been leveled against the British royal family, which have been claimed to be false by some and palpably true by others. Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, has revealed, in a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, the virulent racism within the walls of the British royal family’s palaces.