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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The SBP Amendment Act 2021 gives significant autonomy to the State Bank of Pakistan. The author notes that due to this autonomy, the bank and its officials cannot be held accountable for illegal acts by any investigative agency, be it the FIA or NAB. Moreover, the bill is quite vague when it comes to defining the authority of the Parliament over the central bank. The author explains that the power given to the State Bank of Pakistan will lead to a lack of policy coordination, and divide the economic objectives of the government and SBP and the forecast about the state of the economy.
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 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.
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.