The Russia-Ukraine war has been portrayed by the West with extreme prejudice. The American-European media has been demonizing Russia, while Ukraine, the second-most corrupt country in Europe (behind Russia), is being showcased as a champion of liberty and democracy. Where Russian war crimes are discussed ad nauseam, Ukraine’s Azov Regiment and its war crimes are obfuscated. Sarmad Ishfaq notes that despite Western sanctions and propaganda, the Russian ruble is surging and after re-orienting the war efforts towards the Donbas, Russia is indeed winning this war.
The partnership theme in the EU-Africa co-operation seems to be based on mutual respect and a commitment to the SDGs. However, Zunaira Malik notes that the relationship is peculiarly asymmetrical, by virtue of the EU’s overwhelming dominance in global economics and politics.
On 24th June, 2000 African migrants attempted to illegally cross over into Spain but many were bludgeoned to death by Spanish and Moroccan forces. While mainstream media reported 20-37 deaths, pictures, comments, and videos leaked on social media are indicating 100-200 deaths. Hafsa Ammar considers it absurd for Spain to provide protection and residence to Ukrainian refugees while treating African refugees atrociously.
China’s use of soft power in its relations with the international community has given it an edge over the US. In Africa, China has used different forms of economic diplomacy to strengthen its ties with the regional states. Zunaira Malik notes that while China’s investment in Africa has been widely criticized by the West and even labeled as a manifestation of Chinese colonialism, the China-Africa relations are mutually beneficial for the parties involved.
Hong Kong’s fate has largely been tied to China – with the exception of the 155-year rule by the British. The Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 was drafted to ensure Hong Kong’s “high degree of autonomy”. Referring to the national security law imposed on Hong Kong in 2020, Wasif Hassan discusses how China is failing to honor the agreement.
Bangladesh’s economy has thrived and reorganized itself since its independence. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the country has shown remarkable economic development and growth, effectively ridding itself of the label — a basket case — that it was given. Sana Bashir and Sufyan Mumtaz comment on the current situation, and the future of development in Bangladesh.
While there have allegedly been quite a few secret meetings between the state officials of Pakistan and Israel in the past, the recent public visit of the Pakistani delegation to Israel has raised a lot of questions about whether Pakistan will recognize the state. Afifa Iqbal discusses the events that led to this meeting, and how it would be unwise to attempt to normalise ties with Israel without considering Pakistan’s national interests.
What is the relationship between the Taliban and ISIS? Are they allies or dissimilar enemies? Hania Amaad details the formation and outlook of the ISIS-K and its interactions with the Taliban.
One of the most recent factors negatively affecting food security is the armed struggle between Russia and Ukraine. Aimen Jamil and Zartaj Chaudhary explain how droughts, shortage of fertilisers, and geopolitical tensions are possibly creating a global food crisis.
With climate change being a formidable opponent, several agreements have been drafted and the annual Conference of Parties held — but why is it that nothing significant has been done yet? Muhammad Danish Raza claims that it is because these frameworks lack a practical approach and overlook oil and petroleum-based economies.
Institutions, specifically good/inclusive ones and those from Europe and North America, have been synonymous with economic growth. Afifa Iqbal proposes to eliminate the dichotomous view of institutions and instead, pay attention to the dynamics between the concerned state and society, the socio-political realities, and the historical entanglements.
The term ‘foreign exchange reserves’ has become a buzzword lately. From talk shows to op-eds, everybody seems to be talking about it, but the concept itself continues to elude the comprehension of people who are not well-versed in economic jargon. Afifa Iqbal sets out the basics around foreign exchange reserves.
Afifa Iqbal notes that the current political situation in Pakistan is reminiscent of the 1990s, a time when the people suffered while the political elite struggled for power. During the government of PML-N in the ’90s, corruption was rampant in Pakistan, and once again, the country’s economy is suffering at the expense of the desires of the PML-N-led PDM government. The author argues that despite the PDM’s claims of democracy, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has not gone down the democratic route.
Lacking a judicious and effective foreign policy, Pakistan has always struggled against an unprecedented combination of challenges related to external relations. M. Shaheer Khattak walks us through Pakistan’s foreign relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, India, Afghanistan, and the United States.
In this recent instalment of financial investigations, the Suisse Secrets has revealed the details of over 30,000 clients of Credit Suisse. Kashaf Imran lists some of the prominent people who have maintained accounts at this major Swiss bank.
Imran Khan’s calls for Long March were followed by a governmental crackdown on PTI workers. The peaceful march turned violent and bloody after the government called the police forces. Iqra Mumtaz gives a brief account of the short-lived march that happened on 25th May.
15th April 2022 marked an auspicious day in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In 2012, Kim Jong Un became the head of state (also known as the “Supreme Leader” i.e. the head of the Workers Party, the state, and the military) after the passing of his father, Kim Jong-il. In this article, Alsa Nishat Ahmad analyzes the current Supreme Leader’s eventful 10-year regime.