A Glimpse of History (III): Ancient Dynasties — From Nandas to Khiljis
Muhammad Bilal Farooq chronicles some of the important dynasties that established their empires in the Indian subcontinent. These ancient dynasties include Nanda, Mauryan, Ghaznavid, Ghurid, Mamluk, and Khilji.
NATO 2022 Strategic Concept: A New Cold War
At the NATO Summit this year in Madrid, the 2022 Strategic Concept was presented and adopted by the alliance’s representatives. The latest strategic doctrine underscores one of the most significant policy shifts in NATO’s deterrence policy since the end of the Cold War. The document declared the People’s Republic of China as a security challenge. The alliance has now also categorically recognized the Russian Federation as the most significant and direct threat to the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic region.
Pakistani Exports: The Struggling Cotton & Textile Industries
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.
Arab NATO: Key to the Middle East Dilemma?
In recent years, the Gulf states have started to view Israel in a new light. Backed by Saudi Arabia and the US, these states – United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar – no longer think of Israel as a geopolitical threat but rather, consider Iran the enemy. This sentiment has increased the prospect of an Arab coalition against Iran, particularly since the signing of the Abraham Accords. Muhammad Bilal Farooq notes that although the Saudi-led coalition against Iran is supported by the US, the Arab states have become aware that they cannot solely rely on Western powers to be security guarantors.
CPEC Boosts Agricultural Development in Pakistan
Agricultural development in Pakistan is just one of the many facets of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Muhammad Bilal Farooq notes that the corridor is promoting corporate farming and boosting the agricultural productivity of Pakistan. CPEC’s infrastructure projects can reduce the transportation time and cost of agricultural produce. On top of dedicating 4 special economic zones (SEZs) to food processing, China and Pakistan, under CPEC, are also cooperating in the research and development of new varieties of crops.
A Glimpse of History (II): Foreign Invaders of the Indian Subcontinent
Muhammad Bilal Farooq gives a brief account of the foreign invaders and their military campaigns — Darius, Alexander, Muhammad bin Qasim, Mahmud of Ghazni, Muhammad of Ghor, Genghis Khan, and Timur — who altered the Indian sub-continent forever in culture, religion, and art, among others.
The Fourth Agricultural Revolution: Reframing the Farming Industry
The author, Muhammad Bilal Farooq, delves into the world of agricultural developments — or what we would technically refer to as precision agriculture. The fourth agricultural revolution encompasses the use of GPS, GIS, remote sensing, and drones, among others. The author also charts the progress made and the use of these digital tools in Pakistan.
A Glimpse of History: Ancient Civilizations of Pakistan
The author, Muhammad Bilal Farooq, thinks back on the words of Rudyard Kipling, “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” In view of this quote, he traces the civilizations that were before us — the Mehrgarh, the Harappa and Mohenjodaro, the Vedic, the Gandhara, and the Indo-Greek.
The 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Project: A Journey of Global Acknowledgements
The KPK government launched its Billion Tree Tsunami Programme in 2015, receiving both national and international acclaim for the success of the project. In 2018, Prime Minister Imran Khan raised the bar and began the ‘Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme’. The project has not only curbed environmental harm but has also financially empowered the local population through a network of private nurseries.
Turkey’s Foreign Policy Towards the Caucasus & the Black Sea
The Ottoman Empire lost its control over the Black Sea after the conclusion of the 6th Russo-Turkish War. However, the Black Sea continues to hold great economic and geostrategic importance for Turkey, as the Turkish Straits serve as the only pathway connecting other nations to the Black Sea. The author, Muhammad Bilal Farooq, also expores the dynamic interaction between Turkey and the nations in the Caucasus.
The Agricultural Sector in Pakistan: A Case of Mismanagement
Pakistan’s agricultural sector possesses the ability to drive the state’s economy. Despite that, the sector only contributes 24% to the GDP of Pakistan and its true potential remains untapped. The author notes that the policies of the previous governments and the mismanagement of the resources have led to sluggish agricultural growth, post-harvest losses, and caused Pakistan to lag in the seed and livestock sectors. The author argues that while Pakistan has the perfect environment for growing high-value crops, the current challenges to the agricultural sector have held back the state.
The Rising Tide of Islamophobia in France
In the last decade, Islamophobia has been on the rise in France. The situation worsened after the French president, Emmanuel Macron, called Islam a “religion in crisis”, defended blasphemous caricatures, and declared that he would make Islam “compatible” with French republican values and liberate it. The author notes that although the French government claims that it introduced policies like the hijab ban and the religious disassociation in schools, offices, and public areas, to curb radicalism, separatism, and Islamism, they marginalized the entire Muslim community in France. The author asserts that France witnessed a 53% increase in religious violence last year, and if the gap between the French Muslims and the rest of France continues to increase, the Muslim population will become easy targets for terrorist organizations.
Coke Studio in Pakistan: Market Rivalry Influencing Music
Coca-Cola and Pepsi’s market rivalry has integrated itself into Pakistan’s music industry. This brand competition has created platforms like Coke Studio in Pakistan to revive its music.
Ranikot Fort in Pakistan: The World’s Largest Fort
The Ranikot Fort, the world’s largest fort, is a site of unknown origins in Pakistan. Its marvelous structure is quite familiar to the Great Wall of China.
Israel and the Peace Deals: The Key to Palestine’s Undoing
The peace deals and Israel most certainly have ignited the rise and influence of Israel, but they have blunted the Palestinian resistance.
Russia’s Naval Base in Sudan: A Resurgence?
Russia ventures into Africa again, this time to build a naval base in Sudan. This base will enable Russia to expand its trade, military powers, and influence.