International Relations

A Peaceful Afghanistan: The Interest of Pakistan, China, & the Region

Written by Muhammad Saad, Eman Anjum, Jizza Babar and M. Shaheer Khattak 11:47 am

Over the years, the state of Afghanistan has experienced terrorism, drug trafficking, human rights abuse, political turmoil, geostrategic and geo-economic tussle, and societal deterioration. The instability in the state has impacted Pakistan, China, Iran, Turkey, and the Central Asian Republics as well. The authors, Muhammad Saad, Eman Anjum, Jizza Babar, and M. Shaheer Khattak, note that for their own interests, these regional states seek a peaceful Afghanistan, the establishment of which is not an easy task. For this reason, they have made efforts to stabilize and develop the war-torn state.
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Questioning the Role of the United Nations (UN)

Written by Muhammad Hayat Lak 12:12 pm

This research paper aims to evaluate the role of the United Nations Organization in light of some of the most highlighted events in its history, ranging from Rwanda to Kashmir; the crises mentioned will be summarized and analyzed to provide the reader with only the relevant information which is consistent with the central theme of this paper. In addition to this, the paper will also shed light upon the effectiveness of the UN when it comes to dealing with the world’s superpowers. A brief part of this paper will scrutinize the role of the International Court of Justice from a legal point of view, covering its overall structure and the extent to which its decisions are binding on the member Nations.
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Alternatives to Egypt’s Suez Canal: Russia’s Northern Sea Route & Israel’s Ben-Gurion Canal

Written by Alyan Waheed and Muskan Moazzam 11:47 am

In March 2021, a container ship called “Ever Given” blocked Egypt’s Suez Canal for six days. On one hand, the blockage of the canal cost the world around $10 billion in trade each day, while on the other hand, it provided Russia and Israel with the perfect opportunity to garner support for their respective sea route projects. The authors, Alyan Waheed and Muskan Moazzam, note that Russia’s Northern Sea Route (NSR) and Israel’s Ben-Gurion Canal can act as alternatives to the Suez Canal and reduce the international community’s dependency on it. As such, to prevent states from opting for these routes, Egypt will have to make several changes – one of them is lowering the trade barriers.
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Can Pakistan’s EVMs Survive Cyber Attacks?

Written by Taaha Rauf 11:47 am

The Cambridge Analytica scandal, the disclosure of the Pegasus spyware, and the hacking of Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) have made the vulnerable nature of cyberspace abundantly clear. The author, Taaha Rauf, notes that Pakistan’s decision to use electronic voting machines (EVMs), in the 2023 general elections, comes with the ever-increasing threat of cyber attacks. He explains that since the US, Australia, and Canada, already employ technology for several purposes in their elections, they have undertaken measures to ensure their cybersecurity and election integrity. For Pakistan to do the same, he makes certain recommendations.
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Linking Corruption, Democracy, and Economic Growth

Written by Syed Taha Mehdi 7:00 pm

Democracy is considered an integral part of the West’s foundation. According to the Corruption Perceptions Index and the Democracy Index, flawless democracies are the least corrupt. As such, since corruption hinders the economic growth of states, the extent to which a state is democratic should correlate to its economic development. The author, Syed Taha Mehdi, argues that in Asian countries like Pakistan, where the top 1% of the population controls 16.8% of the wealth, the political elite often exploit the state and sponsor electoral campaigns which benefit them. Hence, the policies enacted in weak democracies cater to the economic and political interests of the powerful few, often at the expense of the populace that has elected them.
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Dowry Deaths in India: A Harrowing Reality

Written by Lyba Mobeen 11:47 am

On average, 7 thousand women die in India each year due to dowry harassment. The dowry culture in India has penetrated every social stratum and is so deeply embedded in the societal structure that despite being declared illegal, it openly persists. The author, Lyba Mobeen, analyzed several cases of dowry deaths and harassment to explain how women in India are threatened, beaten, starved, and even murdered due to the greed of their husbands and in-laws. She argues that the continuation of dowry can be attributed to societal acceptance and India’s socio-economic and patriarchal structure. On top of that, since many Indian women are unaware of their rights under the Dowry Prohibition Act, they continue to suffer in silence.
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The Incessant Opium War in Afghanistan

Written by Madiha Rauf 11:47 am

Afghanistan’s relation to the illegal drug trade can be traced back to the 1980s. Since then, opium cultivation has become an integral part of Afghanistan’s economy and the livelihoods of its farmers. The author, Madiha Rauf, notes that although the US and the previous Afghan governments have introduced measures to reduce opium production and trade, the efforts have been half-hearted. In reality, Afghanistan’s opium trade has not only benefitted the warlords and the Taliban but also the previous regimes. Although the Taliban regime has made promises to eradicate the illegal drug trade, given the state’s dependency on it, it is unlikely to fulfill these promises and the opium war in Afghanistan might not see an end in the near future.
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An Evolution of the UN Peacekeeping Missions

Written by Sana Hamid 11:47 am

When the United Nations first introduced its peacekeeping missions the operations simply observed ceasefires and monitored conflicts. Yet, over the years, peacekeeping operations have evolved to include humanitarian and technical assistance as well. The first two generations of peacekeeping required non-use of force, impartiality, and the consent of the parties involved, hence, limiting the authority of the peacekeepers. The author notes that due to the failure of these generations, third-generation peacekeeping has been tasked with reforming the peacekeeping operations.
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The Kurdish Region: From Great Dynasties to Stateless Nation

Written by Sarah Ahmed Malik 11:47 am

The dissolution of empires and the formation of new nation-states after the two world wars divided the Kurdish region and population into four states—Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. For decades, the Kurdish people have been subjected to persecution, discrimination, assimilation, and repression in these states. Unlike the Kurds of Iraq, the Kurds of Syria, Iran, and Turkey do not have their own autonomous regions. The author argues that this can be contributed to the fact that the Kurdish people have long forgotten their true objective and have assumed the role of pawns for the very states that once abandoned them.
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The Civil War in Syria: The Role of Iran and Saudi Arabia

Written by Bilal Zameer 11:47 am

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.
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Foreign Policy in Central Asia: Discontinuing the Soviet Legacy?

Written by Muhammad Abubaker 11:47 am

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
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The Civil War in Somalia Explained

Written by Amna Shaukat 11:47 am

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.
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Iran-Israel Relations & Russia’s Mediation Diplomacy

Written by Sana Hamid 11:47 am

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.
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Pro-Israel Media Coverage of the Israel-Palestine Conflict

Written by Rosheen Noushad 11:47 am

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.
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US Interests in the Middle East: Foreign Policy Objectives & Failures

Written by Mohsin Ali Baig 11:47 am

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.
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The Civil War in Yemen and the Violation of Children’s Rights

Written by Farhan Ijaz 11:47 am

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.
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The Russian S-400 Missile Deal with India: Implications for the Region

Written by Umair ul Haq 11:47 am

Technology has played an important role in shaping international politics. During the Cold War, both superpowers, that is, the Soviet Union and the United States were involved in the strategic rivalry and the arms race, with both trying to undermine the other’s defense capabilities. Russia has built many surface-to-air batteries and has now developed highly advanced missile defense systems such as the S-400 missile defense system. During the 2018 summit in New Delhi, India signed a deal with Russia for 5 units of the Russian S-400 defense system which, the author believes, can negatively affect the strategic stability of South Asia.
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