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.
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.
An unrelenting drought is threatening to push Cholistan into a permanent water crisis. Afifa Iqbal explains how water mismanagement runs deep in Pakistan. She also provides a viable solution to our water woes.
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.
The author, Afifa Iqbal, explores the personality of Malik Amir Mohammad Khan, the Nawab of Kalabagh, through Foucault’s power-knowledge (le savoir-pouvoir) concept.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have a history of strong diplomatic relations. In the past, both states have supported each other on the diplomatic front. Pakistan has endorsed Saudi Arabia’s stance on Syria whereas, the kingdom has called for the settlement of the Kashmir dispute and provided financial aid to Pakistan. The author, Afifa Iqbal, notes that the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia “ideological union” is a thing of the past, owing to the changing ideological configuration of the two states. Now, the interests and policies of both states no longer align on every matter.
The Air Quality Guidelines issued by WHO for the year 2021 were not met by a single country, revealing the dire state of affairs. It is no secret that air pollution poses an existential threat to the human race, yet the efforts being made to deal with this issue are constantly falling short. IQAir’s 2021 World Air Quality Report puts Bangladesh, Chad, and Pakistan as the three most polluted countries in the world.
The statements of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, before the Russia-Ukraine war officially started, offer an insight into the reasons and motivation behind the war. The author, Afifa Iqbal, notes that whatever the causes may be, the Russia-Ukraine war is bound to have severe economic implications for the parties involved, and for the world’s energy-dependent states, namely Pakistan. She asserts that the imposition of harsher sanctions on a petrostate like Russia will have far-reaching effects, one of which will be the surge in global oil prices.
The political instability in Pakistan, evident from the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, has a long-winded history dating back to the Mughal era. The author, Afifa Iqbal, notes that the Mughal dynasty and the British rule in the sub-continent embedded a personalist element and heavy reliance on patron-client networks into the political institutions of post-independence Pakistan. For centuries, defectors have benefited from the political imbalance created by the nature of politics in the sub-continent, while simultaneously consolidating it. The author argues that the current situation of politics in Pakistan is not a new phenomenon, rather, it’s a common occurrence that won’t collapse the political structure of Pakistan.
The author, Afifa Iqbal, illustrates the process of the no-confidence motion in Pakistan before delving into PM Imran Khan’s miscalculations. The uncertainty in the domestic political arena is disquieting as it is, but what will become of the democratic framework if the no-confidence resolution were to pass?
Since its independence in 1965, Singapore has come a long way. Now, it ranks as the 5th largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) worldwide. The state is also renowned for its high living standards, public administration, and commendable infrastructure. The author notes that the “economic miracle” has achieved this by letting go of its colonial baggage, reforming its education curriculum and public sector, and successfully establishing a national identity without assimilating its multi-ethnic population. The author asserts that while Pakistan’s identity and geopolitical issues are more complex than that of Singapore, the Singaporean model can still provide the state with lessons in nation-building and identity construction.
The under-appreciated agriculture sector is the driving force behind Pakistan’s economy. Its contribution to the GDP of the country remains around 20%. The author, Ms. Afifa Iqbal, outlines several policy reforms that have been formulated by the government, and then proceeds to discuss solutions to the barriers that impede the growth of the sector.