Afflicted by political instability and uncertainty, Pakistan has faced a difficult trail in economic growth. Laiba Umer Malik points out the economic costs that Pakistan has paid due to political uncertainty—elections, protests, and terrorism—in its history.
In the automotive industry of Pakistan, procuring spare parts and then providing the same have always been burdensome. There are several reasons for the sluggish growth of this industry, but the overriding factor that’s holding it back is the lack of an adequate technological infrastructure.
Seemal Nadeem examines the climate change policies of Pakistan (2012 and 2021) to identify how terms like ‘sustainable’, ‘mitigation’, and ‘adaptation’ have been used. She also explains how these terms became a part of the development theory, and the implications these terms have for Pakistan and its policies.
The Ukraine-Russian war has completely altered the global economic landscape. Prices of energy have rampantly increased, embargoes have been placed upon Russia, and chaos has erupted across the world. Amidst these turbulent times, Pakistan’s economy is maybe suffering the most. To keep its foreign reserves from falling further, Pakistan must seek out discounted energy imports. A deal with Russia would most certainly be welcomed as a respite for the energy-strapped nation.
The regional security complex theory (RSCT) is primarily based on the notion of security dynamics and regional models. According to Barry Buzan and Ole Waver, most threats travel more easily over short distances than over long ones, and security interdependence is normally patterned into regionally based clusters. Asra Zahid analyzes South Asia through the lens of the regional security complex theory at four levels: local, regional, interregional, and global.
The recent assassination of the brilliant investigative journalist, Arshad Sharif, reflects the rising power of extremist ideologies and the diminishing space for political discourse. The dark past of Pakistan (as well as that of Kenya) in terms of assassination and forced disappearances calls for a fair investigation into the murder of Arshad Sharif. Investigating and sharing the truth is a right, and brutally murdering someone exercising that right is a crime against humanity.
Tazmeen Imran examines the prison abolition idea from the lens of the prison system in Pakistan. Seeing traditional prisons are no longer an effective method of punishment, she notes that the institution should possibly be abolished altogether. She lists down the apparent inadequacies of the traditional prison system in Pakistan, and then discusses the possible alternatives.
Brig Syed Mushtaq Ahmed (Retd) dispels four virulent myths that have been making the rounds. These include: 1. Balkanization of Pakistan 2. Pakistan is a failed state 3. Pakistan is an epicentre of terrorism 4. The threat to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. He believes that the common objective is to debilitate and defang Pakistan—the only Muslim nuclear power that could threaten US, India, and Israel.
The US has had a turbulent relationship with Pakistan since the country’s independence in 1947. Over the course of 75 years, minor changes have occurred in the way bilateral exchanges are conducted between the two nations. Despite the rollercoaster relationship, the US has assisted Pakistan by providing necessary loans, humanitarian aid, and military equipment during exigent situations. Moreover, the US is a major foreign direct investor in Pakistan’s economy, and its largest export partner. However, bilateral relations between the two have been deteriorating because of scathing remarks and underhanded activities.
Due to its strategic location, Pakistan is a country that the Central Asian Republics cannot ignore. Areej Haider aims to explain the recent access to Gwadar for Tajikistan, its importance for both states, and future implications.
For decades, the West has had its eyes set on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, going as far as to stir up paranoia against it. The recent statement by President Joe Biden is just another notch in America’s extensive propaganda campaign against Pakistan. Sarmad Ishfaq points out the fallacies in the West’s perceived notion of Pakistan’s nuclear insecurity. He highlights how Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are secure and in turn proves that the countries questioning Pakistan have many nuclear-related issues themselves.
Despite being the 4th largest producer of cotton in Asia, Pakistan ranks 8th in the continent when it comes to its textile exports. Although Pakistan’s textile exports have increased in the last year, its textile industry has not been functioning up to its true potential. Noticing this, Muhammad Bilal Farooq identifies the multiple factors that have fettered the growth of Pakistan’s textile exports over the years. He suggests that Pakistan’s government and private sector take immediate actions to address these impediments.
The re-emergence of increased separatist movements is a direct consequence of trans-provincial alliances between Baloch and other separatist groups. The Baloch insurgents are now reaching new extremes – and have even started attacking high-profile individuals. One such tragedy was the senseless killing of Chief Justice Meskanzai.
Pakistan has a troubled history of dealing with insurgencies and terrorism. Pakistan assumed the role of a frontline state following the 9/11 tragedy and enacted both military and non-military counterterrorism strategies. The Pakistani army has been tasked with maintaining internal peace by combating militancy and insurgency in the country’s difficult tribal regions such as the area of Swat. Given the occupation by TTP, TNSM, and other fundamental religious organisations, the Pakistan Army designed and carried out two major military operations: Operation Rah-e-Haq and Operation Rah-e-Rast.
Mir Adnan Aziz points to the cause of Karachi’s decline: corruption of the ruling parties and mafias. These corrupt practices have battered and ravaged the city that had the potential and resilience. He views prudent leadership and accountability as the main determinants of Karachi’s revival. Image credits: Mustafa Hussain/The New York Times
Every four years, the Islamic Solidarity Games is organised for the athletes of OIC countries, serving the greater purpose of uniting and enabling communication among the OIC states. The fifth edition of the games was held from 9th to 18th August 2022 in Konya, Turkey. Pakistan’s players participated in the games, winning gold in the men’s javelin throw and a bronze medal in para table tennis.