To alleviate the damage wreaked by this year’s devastating floods, the Pakistan Army has been carrying out extensive flood relief operations. One such operation led to the heartbreaking Lasbela helicopter crash, where all 6 soldiers & officers aboard embraced shahadat. Pakistan still mourns the loss of Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Sarfraz Ali, Brig (Approved Maj Gen.) Amjad Hanif Sati, Brig Muhammad Khalid, Maj Saeed Ahmed, Maj Muhammad Talha Manan, and Naik Mudassir Fayyaz. A salute to them, and to all the brave jawans who are risking their lives everyday to ensure our safety, security, and well-being.
Since Pakistan’s independence in 1947, Balochistan has witnessed repeated insurgencies. Amna Asif argues that as long as the people of Balochistan are neglected and their land is exploited, the province will not see an end to the violence. The sense of betrayal and oppression felt by the Baloch will only intensify if the government of Pakistan does not devise a long-term solution to the issues faced by the province.
On August 22nd, 2022, Pakistan’s current prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, arrived in Qatar on a two-day visit. During his visit, the prime minister welcomed Qatari investment in various sectors of Pakistan – energy, aviation, agriculture, tourism, hospitality, etc. The visit has led to the Qatar Investment Authority declaring its intention to spend $3 billion in different commercial and investment sectors in Pakistan. Maryam Ibrahim notes that, within Pakistan, this investment has raised certain questions.
Human development is one of the most vital measures of a country’s progress, but successive governments have failed to improve human development standards in Pakistan. Ariba Khan Waheed and Salah ud din Yousaf examine the contemporary human development disparities in Pakistan, both between provinces and within provinces. They also identify the factors that contribute to the glaring disparities in human development.
Collaboration Between Pakistan Agricultural Research Council & China’s Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences
On 15th July 2022, the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) and China’s Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (YAAS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote agricultural cooperation between Pakistan and China. Under the MoU, the two institutes will work together to establish a joint agricultural research lab, paving the way for Pakistan to modernize its agricultural sector and learn from China.
“Pakistan: A Hard Country” is widely recommended for CSS aspirants, and the title is pretty self-explanatory. Pakistan has had more than its fair share of conflicts, disasters, upheavals, and socioeconomic crises, but has always miraculously made it through. In the book, Anatol Lieven (a visiting professor at King’s College London) analyses the various factors that have – and still are – negatively impacting the country.
Pakistan has gone through an unprecedented series of climate-induced disasters in 2022 including the record-breaking heatwave in March-April, glacial lake outbursts in Gilgit-Baltistan, wildfires in forests of Balochistan and KPK in May, urban flooding in Karachi in July, the early onset of monsoon, and the ensuing flash floods across the country. These cataclysmic incidents have had significant and cascading impacts on ecosystems, infrastructure, agriculture and water supply, contributing to larger effects on economic production. Fatima Arshad Warraich believes that this climate crisis has been worsened and exacerbated by mismanagement, lack of resources, incompetence, and unpreparedness and negligence of the country’s administration.
Maryam Jilani describes the strikes that occurred due to the disputes between employers and workers in the various power looms of Faisalabad. She also comments on the importance of the Labour Qaumi Movement (LQM), an organisation of power loom workers, and how they were able to secure pay raises and social security guarantees.
Sea Guardians-2, a code name for the maritime exercise between China and Pakistan was held from 10th till 13th July 2022. The navies of both countries gathered at the military port in Wusong, Shanghai to begin the bilateral exercise. This cooperation was further enhanced by the recent induction of PNS Taimur, a new Chinese 054 A/P frigate, into the Pakistan Navy.
The federal budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 is termed the ‘growth budget’ by the government. However, it does not seem promising, since the taxes imposed will undoubtedly lead to inflation, and because the amount earmarked for the education sector remains unsatisfactory. Wasif Hassan provides a summary of the budget and briefly analyses the imposition of taxes and education spending allocated under the federal budget 2022-23.
Mir Adnan Aziz discusses the blatant disregard for disaster management by the former and current governments in Pakistan. He stresses that the innumerable casualties and massive destruction caused by the recent natural disasters were certainly preventable. This gross negligence by the lords of misrule has left the people of Pakistan walking on a tightrope.
Palwasha Aftab contends that, unlike many baseless allegations, Army’s welfare organizations are not business ventures. Rather, as per their charter, they are welfare organizations registered under the Charitable Endowments Act 1890. Had Army’s welfare organizations not been providing their welfare services from their self-generated funds, there would have been an additional burden on the national exchequer of Rupees 10 billion annually – a whopping amount which the ailing economy of Pakistan can hardly afford. It is in view of these facts that the Pak Army’s welfare initiatives must be welcomed and supported rather than subjected to any malicious misinformation and/or disinformation.
Having experienced severe political and climatic storms this year, Sarmad Ishfaq laments the difficult times ahead for Pakistan. These devastating floods are putting the economy under even more pressure. There is a strong possibility that food costs and unemployment will now surge to record highs.
Edited by Maleeha Lodhi and several other contributors, Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State’ was published in 2011. The book effectively embarks beyond terrorism and natural disasters. Instead, it addresses the country’s contemporary security dynamics, demographic pressures, energy shortages, and lack of political will.
From political instability to an economic and climate crisis, Pakistan has witnessed an innumerable amount of chaos and devastation in 2022. To further add to this burdening state of affairs, the country is now experiencing food inflation, pushing people into poverty. Samana Mehmood addresses the causes of this inflation and suggests ways to overcome it.
Petrol is a necessity with fairly inelastic demand. Since Pakistan imports petroleum products, the fuel price is determined by the fluctuating international market, and Pakistan’s foreign exchange rate. The limited supply, and the unprecedented increase in the prices of petroleum products in the international market recently caused an unexpected global price hike. Moreover, the rapid depreciation of the Pakistani rupee over the last few months, and the removal of govt. subsidies have caused petrol prices to reach a record high of Rs. 235.98 in Pakistan.