The modes of warfare have now shifted from conventional to 5th generation warfare. Electronic and social mediums are now being widely used by external foes to malign Pakistan, and create an anti-military narrative amongst the country’s populace. Muhammad Hamza Tanvir critically analyzes the internal and external hybrid threats being faced by Pakistan today.
The author reflects on the possible events and scenarios that will spiral as the September deadline for the US’s departure nears. The article frames a careful analysis of Afghanistan’s future in view of the past courses taken by the Afghan government, the Taliban, the US, and regional states. One matter remains decided, however, and that is the US troop withdrawal.
Will the incumbent Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, be able to complete his five-year term? Or will he be met with the same fate as those who preceded him? The author poignantly assesses the various forces steering the future of the current government.
Has soft power become an esoteric term? The term alone calls for priority in the agenda of states in a world that hurriedly ushers a digital global community. Last month, Paradigm Shift conducted a poll, wherein 86% of the participants considered it crucial for Pakistan to develop its soft power. In view of that, the author underscores the importance of soft power not only for Pakistan but for every state.
Palestinians and their supporters have realized that the most effective way of fighting against Israel is the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement. By boycotting Israeli products and pushing for divestment and sanctions on Israel, the movement aims to exert international pressure on Israel, the world governments, and international institutions to dismantle Israel’s apartheid wall, ensure the rights of the Palestinians, end the colonization of Arab lands, and impose the UN Resolution 194. The author, Muhammad Hamza Tanvir, explains that since the drive is a threat to Israel and its allies, the western media, has labelled the movement as “racist”. He further explains that supporting the movement will not only benefit the suffering Palestinians but also the people of the countries backing it.
Due to its strategic location and vast oil reserves, Libya has attracted the attention of the world’s major powers. For these states, Libya’s war-torn condition is irrelevant and only their national interests matter. The author, Ayesha Zafar, notes that since the US’s interests are linked to oil in Libya, it continuously exploits the state by not only making use of the capitalist economic order but also by supporting opposing factions—the Haftar group and the Government of National Accord (GNA)—simultaneously, within Libya. Moreover, to influence the state, the US and the major powers impose the capitalist ideology on it through policies introduced by international economic institutions like the World Bank and the IMF.
In the face of global market competition, Pakistan’s industries need to effectively utilize the factors of production. The degree of competitiveness in the state’s domestic and international market determines the survival of its industries and economy. Noting this, Adil Abbasi, a member of the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants (ICMA), asserts that cost auditing across the industries of Pakistan will aid in meeting the challenges of market competition. He explains that while cost auditing is implemented in Pakistan, it is only limited to a few industries and thus, the state cannot fully benefit from it.
Israel is a nation involved in uranium enrichment programs – just like Iran. While these programs are not acknowledged by the Israeli government, expert opinions confirming these statements are available. The author argues for a framework (like the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action i.e. the Iran nuclear deal) for Israel’s quietly escalating nuclear projects.
Pakistan’s fluctuating economy has witnessed an alarming downturn after the brutal second wave of Covid-19. The poverty rate was predicted to increase to a whopping 58.6% (from the pre-Covid 23.4%) in the case of a high impact scenario. With a third wave currently gripping the state, the author believes that the government’s policies can either improve the economic situation of the country – or make it much worse.
This is a review of a study on the ‘Gaza Massacre’ which was launched by Israel in 2008 – where they killed over 1400 Palestinians. The study uses the Just-War Theory to delineate how Israel acted immorally and illegally during this operation – and many times in the past. Many human rights violations of the Palestinians were cited by international overseers, where they noted the cruelty of the Israeli forces.
Over the years, the people of Pakistan have expressed their growing concern over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It has become a common misconception in Pakistan that CPEC is just another modern-day East India Company. The author, Ayesha Zafar, compares the two and argues that the objectives of CPEC and the circumstances under which China set foot in Pakistan are different from that of the East India Company. She notes that while the East India Company was imperialist in nature and only benefitted the British Empire, CPEC profits both China and Pakistan. Instead of exploiting Pakistan, it is aiding in infrastructural development, energy production, and alleviating unemployment in Pakistan.
The author considers the violence against Palestinians to be a threat to international human rights, as Israeli attacks on Palestinians have continued since last Friday, shaking Jerusalem and its inhabitants. Indiscriminate violence by Israeli forces mounted after protests by Palestinians against the forceful eviction and occupation of Palestinian land. The attacks inside Al-Aqsa mosque – a place held sacred by both Muslims and Jews – have sparked outrage and calls for condemnation of the Israeli forces.
Migration induced by climate change is not a new phenomenon. Pakistan’s climate-induced migration is mainly linked to the natural disasters and extreme weather which cause the state to experience unseasonal rains, floods, and droughts. Due to these conditions, people are forced to migrate to cities in search of food, shelter and jobs. The author, Omair Farooq Khan, notes that climate change has aggravated Pakistan’s water crisis, and any change in Pakistan’s water resources will be destructive for the agriculture sector. Keeping in mind that the 2009-2010 floods displaced more than 2 million people in Pakistan, he recommends ways for Pakistan to tackle extreme weather conditions.
Turkey’s foundation as a secular state, as set by its founding father Kemal Ataturk, now clashes with the incumbent President Erdogan’s vision of Islamization. The author uses several examples to showcase how Turkey is now being redirected to its imperial glory – to when Islam was the linchpin of the Ottoman Empire.
The second wave of COVID-19 is causing India’s health sector to come apart at the seams – resulting in more than 3000 deaths every day. Prime Minister Modi’s government is being heavily criticized (locally and internationally) for the carelessness in controlling the virus. The author suggests the adoption of more liberal policies, and the abandonment of the Hindutva ideology – which may help in undoing the many wrongs.
Through the example of the Franc of the Financial Community of Africa (CFA franc), the author argues that France is practicing a form of neo-colonialism in Africa. France ensures this euro-backed currency for the 14 states part of the CFA franc zone—12 of these states are former French colonies. In return, it demands 50% of their foreign reserves to be deposited in the French treasury. Moreover, France has maintained a presence in the banks established for the implementation of the CFA franc policy, giving it control over the financial and exchange rate policies of the former colonies.
In the last decade, Islamophobia has been on the rise in France. The situation worsened after the French president, Emmanuel Macron, called Islam a “religion in crisis”, defended blasphemous caricatures, and declared that he would make Islam “compatible” with French republican values and liberate it. The author notes that although the French government claims that it introduced policies like the hijab ban and the religious disassociation in schools, offices, and public areas, to curb radicalism, separatism, and Islamism, they marginalized the entire Muslim community in France. The author asserts that France witnessed a 53% increase in religious violence last year, and if the gap between the French Muslims and the rest of France continues to increase, the Muslim population will become easy targets for terrorist organizations.