The 22nd annual summit of the Council of Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was held on September 15 and 16 against the backdrop of a geopolitical upheaval challenging the world order. The leaders discussed regional and global challenges and resolved to achieve common goals of climate resilience, connectivity, digital sovereignty, peace, security, and economic development, notwithstanding the conflicts among member countries. Prospects of multilateral cooperation were discussed at the Samarkand meeting, but of greater interest were the side-line meetings between heads of states, especially between Xi and Putin.
Pakistan has gone through an unprecedented series of climate-induced disasters in 2022 including the record-breaking heatwave in March-April, glacial lake outbursts in Gilgit-Baltistan, wildfires in forests of Balochistan and KPK in May, urban flooding in Karachi in July, the early onset of monsoon, and the ensuing flash floods across the country. These cataclysmic incidents have had significant and cascading impacts on ecosystems, infrastructure, agriculture and water supply, contributing to larger effects on economic production. Fatima Arshad Warraich believes that this climate crisis has been worsened and exacerbated by mismanagement, lack of resources, incompetence, and unpreparedness and negligence of the country’s administration.
Petrol is a necessity with fairly inelastic demand. Since Pakistan imports petroleum products, the fuel price is determined by the fluctuating international market, and Pakistan’s foreign exchange rate. The limited supply, and the unprecedented increase in the prices of petroleum products in the international market recently caused an unexpected global price hike. Moreover, the rapid depreciation of the Pakistani rupee over the last few months, and the removal of govt. subsidies have caused petrol prices to reach a record high of Rs. 235.98 in Pakistan.
On August 14, 2022, Pakistan celebrated 75 years of its independence. It also celebrated two decades of broadcasting operations of free, independent private satellite television in the country. Currently, the media industry of Pakistan is facing one of the most adverse crises of its history. Journalists are being arrested and tortured, and transmissions of various channels – such as ARY News – are being suspended. The suspension is based on varied grounds, but mostly for criticizing the policies of the current government, and the role of the establishment in the country’s politics.
After three decades of increasingly friendly ties, a series of unfortunate events are worsening the relations between Israel and Russia. Since the strategies of both the countries have been based on interest-driven realpolitik, they have cooperated over shared goals and objectives despite stark differences on a number of matters. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Israel’s increasing attacks on Syria, the tensions between the two countries are escalating like never before.
Fatima Arshad Warraich writes that Europe’s acute dependence on Russia for energy supplies is causing them to prepare for a harsh and cold winter ahead, since Russia has threatened a complete cut-off of gas supplies. The EU is now scrambling to fill their gas storage caverns, looking for alternate sources of energy supply, and trying to quickly transition to greener alternatives.