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.
Palestinians and their supporters have realized that the most effective way of fighting against Israel is the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement. By boycotting Israeli products and pushing for divestment and sanctions on Israel, the movement aims to exert international pressure on Israel, the world governments, and international institutions to dismantle Israel’s apartheid wall, ensure the rights of the Palestinians, end the colonization of Arab lands, and impose the UN Resolution 194. The author, Muhammad Hamza Tanvir, explains that since the drive is a threat to Israel and its allies, the western media, has labelled the movement as “racist”. He further explains that supporting the movement will not only benefit the suffering Palestinians but also the people of the countries backing it.
The author considers the violence against Palestinians to be a threat to international human rights, as Israeli attacks on Palestinians have continued since last Friday, shaking Jerusalem and its inhabitants. Indiscriminate violence by Israeli forces mounted after protests by Palestinians against the forceful eviction and occupation of Palestinian land. The attacks inside Al-Aqsa mosque – a place held sacred by both Muslims and Jews – have sparked outrage and calls for condemnation of the Israeli forces.
The second wave of COVID-19 is causing India’s health sector to come apart at the seams – resulting in more than 3000 deaths every day. Prime Minister Modi’s government is being heavily criticized (locally and internationally) for the carelessness in controlling the virus. The author suggests the adoption of more liberal policies, and the abandonment of the Hindutva ideology – which may help in undoing the many wrongs.
Through the example of the Franc of the Financial Community of Africa (CFA franc), the author argues that France is practicing a form of neo-colonialism in Africa. France ensures this euro-backed currency for the 14 states part of the CFA franc zone—12 of these states are former French colonies. In return, it demands 50% of their foreign reserves to be deposited in the French treasury. Moreover, France has maintained a presence in the banks established for the implementation of the CFA franc policy, giving it control over the financial and exchange rate policies of the former colonies.
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 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.
Pakistan has once again failed to satisfy the Paris-based FATF with regards to the actions it is taking against terror financing and money laundering. The problem is the lack of international support. Even allies like China, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and the Gulf States refused to back Pakistan in the arena. The only supporter was Turkey.
Ethnic and linguistic conflicts are considered to be the prominent reasons for the creation of new provinces in Pakistan. However, such action is presently not constitutionally recognized.