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.
Recognizing the worth of the world’s digital economy, the incumbent government of Pakistan has set off on a path to digitalize the state. In 2018, the government adopted the Digital Pakistan Policy and introduced certain fiscal measures to facilitate the digital transformation of Pakistan and increase investment in the state’s IT sector. Furthermore, through CPEC, China has invested in the development of Pakistan’s digital infrastructure by introducing several projects which will enhance digital connectivity.
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the newly formed Russia, under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin, pursued democratic policies which led to somewhat cordial US-Russia relations. The author notes that while the two states cooperated on matters of regional security and nuclear proliferation, both exhibited a strong distrust in each other. Russia viewed the US denial of its sphere of influence and the American adventurism with suspicion and pursued hardline policies under Vladimir Putin. The author explains that despite Putin’s assertive stance, Russia has continued to build cordial relations with its neighboring states and the West. However, this cooperation ends when the American and Russian interests clash.
The research paper focuses primarily on the different phases of diplomatic relations between Iran and Israel – two strategic states of the Middle East. The author highlights the strategic role of Russia as a mediator between the two states to show how in order to pursue their national interests, states play out their part in international politics with direct bearing on other states at the national and international level.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan emerged as an independent state, and was determined to stabilize itself by way of assuming a market-centered economic system. The Pak-Uzbek relations are bound by a shared religious and cultural background. Trade agreements and joint railway projects can strengthen the ties between the two countries, and may pave the way for an even stronger relationship in thee future.
The Kashmir issue remains elusive, and many, if not all, know of the current conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. The author seeks to apprise the readers of the origins of the former princely state. It all began with the East India Company selling Jammu and Kashmir – the second-largest principality during British rule – to Gulab Singh.
Being one of the longest conflicts in the Middle East, the Israel-Palestine conflict has remained in the eye of the international media. The author notes that the news coverage of the conflict has never been neutral. Through an analysis of the news coverage of the BBC, The New York Times, The Times of India, and Al-Jazeera, she reveals how misrepresentation, framing, linguistic determinism, and media manipulation can be observed in the news coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. While this media manipulation has benefited them and served their interests, it has impacted how the audience of specific media outlets views the conflict.
Crimea had been a supplier of heavy raw material to the Soviet Union and was a hub of industrial and agricultural resources. Ukraine wanted to partner with the EU and the US in expanding its international market, but Russia saw the US-Ukraine Crimean gas collaboration as a threat to its economy – and hence advanced its forces to annex Crimea. Ms Muskan Moazzam explains the differing actions of EU member states towards the Russia-Ukraine conflict in light of the constructivism theory. She holds that state behaviour is subject to change, depending on the actions and importance of the concerned states. Featured Image Credit: “Former home of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet (2005-08-110)” by Argenberg is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
An increasing population, an explosive neighbor, and ill-equipped water management can positively damage Pakistan’s water security. Mr. Muhammad Hamza Sharif applauds the initiatives of the PTI government and recommends institutions to raise awareness of the water issue. He also hopes for water governance to be given due importance.
In the last two decades, India has invested $3 billion in Afghanistan on infrastructure development. Through numerous projects, it has not only maintained its presence in the state but also backed the former Afghan government of Ashraf Ghani. The recent takeover of the Taliban in Afghanistan has placed India in a tight spot and sent years of Indian investment down the drain. India’s blatant anti-Taliban policy has made it difficult for it to maintain good relations with Afghanistan and sponsor terrorism in Pakistan through the Afghan soil. Moreover, the possible emergence of a new regional bloc—comprising of China, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran—after the Taliban takeover has further threatened India’s influence in the region.
With the current government completing its three years, these next two years will determine not only PTI’s fate, but also the future of other leading parties in the general elections of 2023. PM Imran’s wide-ranging policies have garnered mixed reviews: some received excellent praise, while others were utterly criticized. Ms. Damiya Saghir explores the political winds in Pakistan, and discusses the current political and economic situation.
Pakistan is home to 5 out of the top 14 peaks of the world, including K2 –the second-highest mountain on Earth. The vast and beautiful mountain ranges of Pakistan attract local and foreign tourists to the state. The northern areas of Pakistan, in particular, draw the attention of mountaineers and hiking enthusiasts. The author, Muhammad Hamza Sharif, notes that although the northern areas of Pakistan hold great tourism potential, the state’s tourism industry has failed to recognize it. Where states like Oman, Nepal, Switzerland, and the UAE have utilized their mountain ranges to generate a large amount of revenue, Pakistan has not developed its northern areas enough to take on a massive number of tourists – foreign or local. Keeping in mind the problems faced by Pakistan’s tourism sector, the author suggests ways to not only improve tourism in Pakistan but also to generate revenue from it
On 15th August, 2021, the Taliban claimed victory over the US, the Afghan government, and the country’s national forces. The author explains the reasons behind this victory by drawing a parallel between the main actors and the concepts of Tribal Islam and Settled Islam. The Taliban, according to the author, follow Tribal Islam, one that was initially practiced by the tribal peoples of North Africa. The Afghan government represents Settled Islam, which was established by the runaway caliph Abd-ur-Rehman in Andalusia (present-day Spain). Those following Settled Islam lack ‘Asabiyyah’ – solidarity, responsibility, and social cohesion – which is a sustained feature in Tribal Islam.
To incorporate the Middle East in its sphere of influence, the United States has either directly or indirectly intervened in the Middle East. The author notes that America’s foreign policy in the Middle East included meddling in the political affairs of many countries in the region, and installing and assisting in radicalization and sectarianism just for its own geostrategic and economic interests. This approach, along with the Israel-Iran rivalry and the Shia-Sunni rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, has prevented peace from being established in the region. Ultimately, the Middle East has turned into a battleground for sectarian conflicts, proxy wars, and instability.
In the past decade, Syria’s stability and economy have plummeted to the ground. Terrorism is rampant in the failed state, with the regime of Bashar al-Assad itself perpetrating violence against the civilian population and destroying the state’s infrastructure. Asadullah Khan Wazir, a broadcast journalist, notes that through the use of state-sponsored terrorism, the Syrian regime aims to prevent the population from supporting the rebel groups and offering an alternative regime. As a result, 83,500 civilians have been killed by Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its allies since the Syrian war first started.
The ongoing civil war in Yemen has aggravated the plight of Yemeni children. Despite the state being a signatory of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the government of Yemen has completely failed to preserve the basic rights of the children. The humanitarian crisis in Yemen has put the physical and mental health of an entire generation at stake. The author, Farhan Ijaz, notes that the warring parties have committed grave human rights violations, deprived the children of their right to an education, and forced them to take up arms. Furthermore, due to the war, the number of internally displaced children, the outbreaks of infectious diseases, child marriages, and child labor in Yemen have increased at an unprecedented rate.
The under-appreciated agriculture sector is the driving force behind Pakistan’s economy. Its contribution to the GDP of the country remains around 20%. The author, Ms. Afifa Iqbal, outlines several policy reforms that have been formulated by the government, and then proceeds to discuss solutions to the barriers that impede the growth of the sector.
Although online schooling ensures the continuation of students’ education, it brings numerous challenges with it for the students, parents, and educational institutions. The effects of online education are even worse in the Third World or developing states. The author notes that the lack of digital infrastructure, poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy have increased the burden on the population of these states. He explains that due to these problems, 930,000 students are likely to drop out in Pakistan and women’s education will take a significant blow.