Hamra Tariq is an undergraduate student currently pursuing her international relations degree at Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore. She has a keen interest in South Asian politics, the Indo-Pacific, and the shift in the global order.
What was the journey like for Pakistan to become the first Islamic state with nuclear weapons? Hamra Tariq details the regional developments, the critical individuals involved, the power dynamics, and the stealthy operations that directed Pakistan’s road to nuclearization.
In the 2022 US midterm elections, Republicans were able to secure the 218 seats needed to control the House of Representatives against the Democrats’ 212 seats. The Senate will remain with the Democrats, however, bringing the US to a political standstill. Although Republicans now have hold of the House, it would still be a challenge for them to pass any legislation without the Senate Democrats and the President.
The global economy is significantly shaped by multinational corporations (MNCs). Studies have revealed that MNCs exhibit political influence on foreign policy-making in addition to their economic activities. Hamra Tariq discusses how MNCs can now directly influence foreign policy, and even make an impact on the bilateral relations between various countries.
Hamra Tariq is unsettled by the way Afghan women have been exploited, both by the US and the Taliban. She believes that a deeper look into colonialism and the feminist ideology of the Global South has to be considered. This is needed in order to reframe the opinion about Afghan women and to unveil the stakes of larger geopolitical feminist epistemology.
This month, on 18th October, the Australian government made its formal decision to rescind its recognition of west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The reversal was met with fury in Israel, but relief in Palestine. Hamra Tariq notes, however, that Australians have a divided view w.r.t. the decision.
Hamra Tariq analyzes the conflict at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. Myanmar’s continuous breach of Bangladesh’s territorial integrity to target the Rohingya community may lead to further unrest in the region. The border conflict makes Myanmar’s unwillingness to resolve the Rohingya issue all the more apparent. In such circumstances, the two states, particularly Bangladesh, must rely on ASEAN for de-escalation and mediation.
In their attempts to undermine their opponents, Pakistan’s political elite have polarized the citizens of the state. Hamra Tariq notes that this political polarization has prevented the state of Pakistan from reaching an agreement on matters of national security. She takes the case of the 2022 floodings in Pakistan to demonstrate the impact of this divide on the effective management of the crisis, and on the formulation of a climate policy.
Little Amal, a 12 feet tall puppet of a fictional Syrian girl, has been traveling the world, informing people of the plight of refugee children. Amal represents hope for the suffering children across the globe, children whose lives have been marred by conflict and deprivation of their rights. In a world with refugee intolerance and where stateless people are seen as a threat, Little Amal aims to make states reopen their doors to refugees.
The 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 77) opened on 13 September 2022, and the week-long debates were heavily dominated by one conflict—the Russia-Ukraine war. It drowned out other important matters like the food crisis, the energy crisis, and the conflicts elsewhere. Moreover, many leaders were displeased with the West’s bias towards Ukraine.
September 1st marked 83 years of the occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany. Considering the material and human losses, Poland has recently voted in favour of seeking reparations from Germany. This, of course, comes with challenges of its own, since Germany maintains that all financial claims had been sorted. In view of this friction, Hamra Tariq believes that this Poland-Germany issue tarnishes the prospects for a united Europe.
The power dynamics between states are often apparent in the dissemination of information. As such, Western hegemonic discourse tends to prevail over weaker counter-narratives. Hamra Tariq analyzes the case of the Israel-Palestine conflict to showcase the US and Western media’s bias towards Israel. She argues that this media bias has spread misinformation and shaped public opinion in the favor of Israel – a Western ally – disregarding the ground reality.
Since the death of Ayman al-Zawahiri in a US-authorized drone strike on July 31st, there has been speculation about Pakistan’s alleged participation in the attack. Hamra Tariq assesses the allegations which continue to persist regardless of Pakistan’s continuous denial of its involvement. She argues that, instead of Pakistan, there might be other actors entangled in Al-Zawahiri’s death.