All of Paradigm Shift’s published content (articles and research papers) can be found here. You can scroll down and navigate the various pages. Topics of focus include global politics, current affairs, international relations, and Pakistan.
The Indian media’s acquaintance with fake news is not something new. The EU Disinfo Lab reports that in the last 15 years, India has resurrected dead people, NGOs, and 750 media outlets and impersonated EU institutions just to spread false information and news about its rivals and Pakistan. The author notes that the Indian media’s warmongering style of reporting fake news about Pakistan, after the Pulwama attack and the recent Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, has not gone unnoticed by the international community. The author asserts that contrary to India’s intentions, this fake news propaganda has now revealed the state’s true identity and disturbed the peace and stability of South Asia.
The author, Sobia Aftab, aims to create awareness amongst the public and clarify the understanding of the elevation procedure to the Apex Court. The article highlights the career and achievements of her ladyship, Justice Ayesha Malik, while focusing on the debate of the principle of seniority versus competency for elevation.
Pakistan’s space agency, the Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), was founded on 16th September, 1961. Although the organization had a promising beginning, its potential soon waned because of the wars, the military coups, East Pakistan’s independence, and political and economic instability.
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.
Since the Cuban revolution in 1959, the relations between the US and Cuba have undergone various degrees of tension. The US sanctions on Cuba, food shortages, a failing economy, and the rising cases of COVID-19 have created a sense of dissatisfaction and urgency. Together, these factors have compelled the Cubans to initiate nationwide protests demanding reforms. The author argues that with the US turning a blind eye to the protests, and the United Nations’ failure to help the Cubans, the people of the state are left with no one to rely on.
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.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani is the man known for his resolute courage and resistance to India’s illegal occupation of Kashmir. Throughout his life, he was a symbol of hope for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. His death on 1st September, 2021, has left many saddened, but his lifelong struggle for the inclusion of Jammu and Kashmir into Pakistan will continue to live.
The article portrays an educated yet comprehensive outlook of the Afghanistan conundrum. The author gives an insight into the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the formation – and inefficiency – of the Afghan Army, the ultimate reclamation of Kabul by the Taliban, and their 2.0 version.
In the quest to become the regional hegemon, Iran and Saudi Arabia have backed governments, militias, and organizations based on sectarian lines in the Middle East. While Tehran is financially and militarily supporting the Assad regime and Hezbollah in Syria, Riyadh has resorted to backing the Syrian rebels and jihadist groups, like the Army of Islam, Jaish al-Fatah, and Ahrar al-Sham, against the regime. The author argues that the proxy war in Syria, while only a battle for supremacy for Iran and Saudi Arabia, has devastated the Syrians and turned the state into a haven for extremist groups.
After Trump, the US looks to Biden for directing and navigating its foreign policy towards China. The revival of Quad and the US’s insistence on the investigation of COVID-19’s origins, among others, display that the Biden administration is more direct and forceful when it comes to countering China.
The US withdrawal from Afghanistan left the state in a vulnerable and unstable condition. The author notes that with the Afghan Taliban now in power, the possibility of a civil war erupting in the state is relatively high. This war will force the neighboring states and the regional powers to, once again, get involved in Afghanistan. The author argues that this situation could have been avoided had the US fulfilled its responsibility under jus post bellum and upheld its moral, ethical, democratic, and international humanitarian principles. Instead, the US withdrawal has only reminded the world of the US exit in the Vietnam War.
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.
Although the two consecutive financial crises of 2000 and 2001 shook Turkey’s economy to the core, they also paved the way for major economic reform. Against that backdrop, the author, Nimra Dawood, reflects on the remarkable economic development witnessed in Turkey shortly after the financial crises.
The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan has significant implications for the regional actors, particularly for Pakistan. The author notes that the fall of Kabul could negatively influence the economy of Pakistan. She asserts that with the border between the two states open, the possibility of Pakistan facing another refugee crisis, a drug trafficking problem, and terrorism, has also increased. These issues will ultimately cause the economic growth of Pakistan – which improved by 3.94% in 2021 – to decline and undermine the progress of the developmental projects in the state.
With the international community scrutinizing every move made by the Taliban government, they have decided to portray a softer approach w.r.t. women/human rights.The author notes that while the Taliban are busy trying to seek international recognition, the group’s rival faction, the Islamic State of Khurasan Province (ISKP), can use this as an opportunity to recruit ground-level Taliban soldiers. The rise of ISKP—an offshoot of ISIS—not only presents a challenge to the authority of the Taliban regime but also to the regional stability of South Asia. It could eventually result in the amplification of terrorist activities in the region.
In a world motivated by soft power, states steer and adapt their foreign policies according to the evolving nature of global affairs. Central Asian states are no exception to this reality, especially since they are motivated by geostrategic and geoeconomic interests. The shifting world order presents both interests and risks, and hence they must carefully design their foreign policies – and hedge their bets. Image credits: U.S. Department of State | Flickr
Somalia has been in a constant state of civil war since the 1980s. Today, almost 3 million people require assistance in Somalia. The influence and conflicting interests of Ethiopia, Al-Shabaab, and the state’s warlords have prevented the establishment of peace in the African state. As a result of this conflict, attacks against civilians, violence against women and girls, corruption, and unemployment have become increasingly prevalent. The author notes that with the current peace process impeded and a pandemic threatening the state, the situation in Somalia is likely to worsen, if not addressed timely.