A sudden surge in the right-wing political groups centered around white supremacist ideologies, is leading to democracy being undermined all over the world. Zunaira Malik observes the veiled origins and the swift rise of these groups, and the myriad of themes within far-right politics.
Pakistan is a country where uncanny coincidences are commonplace. The sudden deaths of key figures in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case like Dr. Rizwan and Malik Maqsood Chaprasi have raised a few eyebrows. Sarmad Ishfaq details a few of these recent ‘sudden’ deaths and then discusses how such ‘random convenient coincidences’ have also taken place in the past.
The term ‘foreign exchange reserves’ has become a buzzword lately. From talk shows to op-eds, everybody seems to be talking about it, but the concept itself continues to elude the comprehension of people who are not well-versed in economic jargon. Afifa Iqbal sets out the basics around foreign exchange reserves.
Since the 1900s, the Canadian party system has evolved from a two-party system to a multiparty. Hurain Sheikh analyzes Canada’s party system in the light of Duverger’s law and Johnston’s study of the system. She argues that the present-day party system in Canada is not based upon polarization but rather on moderate pluralism. Since most Canadians have moderate views on social, economical, and political policies, even the parties with extreme ideological beliefs had to gradually adopt a more moderate stance to appeal to the masses.
The United States has freely been using regime changes as tools for subjugation. If unable to “convince” a leader to comply, the US simply has him/her removed from power. Ironically, the US Senate had to formally pass an “assassination ban” on US citizens/officials since CIA/US assassinations and coups in states run by “unfavorable” governments were becoming too frequent. The author, Mir Adnan Aziz, argues that for the US, Pakistan’s former prime minister, Imran Khan, represented one such unfavorable government. Though Pakistan is not a stranger to America’s interventionist policies, the recent regime change in Pakistan has revealed the true extent of covert American networking in the state.
In “The Nine Lives of Pakistan: Dispatches from a Precarious State,” Declan Walsh unravels his findings and life in Pakistan. He explores a nation that is full of turbulence and divide, and yet so resilient.
Dr. Nasreen Akhtar, the author of “Pakistan’s Perpetual Crisis and Civil-military Relations (2008-2012),” critically analyzes the relationship between the civilian governments and the military in Pakistan. She examines the history of Pakistan’s civil-military relations and explains how and why the state’s military became involved in the political sphere.
All eyes were on Imran Khan during his historic jalsa in Islamabad on the 27th of March. In Pakistan’s recent political history, Imran Khan’s party has been the only one that has consistently garnered massive numbers, and this jalsa exceeded expectations. It transcended others not just because of the sheer volume of people but due to the impetuous political context that surrounds it. The author, Sarmad Ishfaq, believes that in either case, Imran Khan will win — and that the vote against him could embolden him more.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s public support holds great promise, but it might not be enough to survive the vote of no-confidence. The author, Muhammad Mustafa Ahmed Khan, examines PTI’s failures, the opposition’s attempts, the apprehensive public, and the untended democratic infrastructure.
The political instability in Pakistan, evident from the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, has a long-winded history dating back to the Mughal era. The author, Afifa Iqbal, notes that the Mughal dynasty and the British rule in the sub-continent embedded a personalist element and heavy reliance on patron-client networks into the political institutions of post-independence Pakistan. For centuries, defectors have benefited from the political imbalance created by the nature of politics in the sub-continent, while simultaneously consolidating it. The author argues that the current situation of politics in Pakistan is not a new phenomenon, rather, it’s a common occurrence that won’t collapse the political structure of Pakistan.
The author, Afifa Iqbal, illustrates the process of the no-confidence motion in Pakistan before delving into PM Imran Khan’s miscalculations. The uncertainty in the domestic political arena is disquieting as it is, but what will become of the democratic framework if the no-confidence resolution were to pass?
George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” is a symbolic representation of the pre and post-revolution Soviet Union. Through the characters of the book, Orwell has aptly captured the corruption, propaganda, and power politics that exist in human society. He depicts how even after the Russian Revolution, the cycle of exploitation continued – only the actors had changed.
President Erdogan is seeking to incorporate the Chinese economic model in Turkey. As such, Turkey will abandon high-interest rates and turn to production and exports. Opposing parties have cited this proposal to be unquestionably authoritarian. The author, Necati Demircan, explores Turkey’s abandonment of the neoliberal economic model and the new slogan of production in the country’s orientation towards Asia.
Though China considers itself to be a “socialist democracy”, it is not a democratic state in the eyes of the West. The authors, Alyan Waheed and Muskan Moazzam, note that while the West is busy contemplating the state of democracy in China, it has failed to realize that despite being “non-democratic”, China is a better leader, and more beneficial for the international community, under the control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As per their argument, the CCP has ensured that the nationalist element in the Chinese does not become overpowering and that China remains a pragmatic and rational status quo power.
Contentious politics is the use of confrontational and unconventional tactics against political authorities to make a social or political point. Such advocacy has transformed the national political landscape in Canada since the announcement of the White Paper policy. The author, Hurain Sheikh, addresses the definition of contentious politics, the use of social movements and protests in Canada and its contributions to indigenous peoples, especially during the “Idle No More” movement.