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Trade policies and its impact on Poverty

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Trade policies and its impact on Poverty
Trade policies and its impact on Poverty

Trade policies wield significant influence over poverty levels globally. The intricate relationship involves the impact of economic, social, and political factors. One primary mechanism is the effect on income distribution, where globalization and liberalized trade can exacerbate inequality within countries, widening the wealth gap and hindering opportunities for lower-income groups. Employment dynamics are also influenced, with expanded trade creating jobs in certain sectors but potentially displacing workers in others, particularly affecting vulnerable populations in developing nations.

The global nature of trade policies magnifies their impact, as decisions by major economic players reverberate across the world. The asymmetry in negotiating power can lead to unfavorable terms for weaker participants, perpetuating or deepening poverty in less developed regions. Global supply chain dynamics and external events, such as financial crises or pandemics, further underline the interconnectedness of economies and their potential impact on poverty.

Trade policies intersect with social and environmental considerations, affecting vulnerable communities disproportionately. Environmental degradation, child labor, and inadequate labor standards can be exacerbated by insufficient regulatory frameworks within the context of global trade. In conclusion, a nuanced approach to trade policies is crucial, considering their intricate connections to poverty on a global scale. Sustainable and inclusive trade policies are essential for harnessing the benefits of globalization while mitigating its adverse effects on income distribution, employment, and social well-being.

The Trade Dilemma: Balancing Benefits and Challenges:

Trade has played a significant role in fostering economic development and reducing poverty. Between 1990 and 2017, developing nations increased their global export share from 16 percent to 30 percent, coinciding with a decline in the global poverty rate from 36 percent to 9 percent. While the benefits of trade have not been uniform across all countries, the overall impact has been remarkable, lifting approximately 1 billion people out of poverty in recent decades.

Trade offers numerous advantages, including accelerated productivity growth, particularly for sectors and nations involved in global value chains (GVCs). These chains enable developing countries to specialize in producing specific components, gaining access to foreign technology, expertise, and investment. Additionally, trade facilitates the dissemination of technologies that address environmental concerns, such as solar panels, wind turbines, or drought-resistant seeds. Although some sectors and workers may face increased competition, consumers benefit from a greater variety of goods and services at lower prices.

Despite these advantages, globalization faces criticism for its perceived role in the loss of manufacturing jobs in advanced economies, environmental harm, and disruptions to essential supplies like vaccines. Geopolitical tensions have led major players to erect trade barriers, subsidize domestic production of critical goods, and engage in restrictive practices during crises, as seen in disruptions to food supplies in 2022.

Trade disputes and restrictions have weakened the rules-based global trading regime, notably the World Trade Organization. Smaller developing economies, dependent on exports, require fair competition to thrive and lack the fiscal resources to counter protectionist measures by advanced countries. The World Bank warns that increased trade tensions could push millions into poverty by 2030, rivaling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

To address these challenges, both developing and advanced economies can focus on deeper regional trade agreements, enhance border procedures and infrastructure to reduce the cost of moving goods and embrace policies that leverage the growth of trade in digital services. The global trade system should balance concerns about national security and access to essential goods without compromising development. It should distinguish between subsidies that contribute to public goods and those distorting trade, ensure widespread availability of subsidized technologies, and discourage export restrictions during crises while encouraging the permanent reduction or elimination of import tariffs.

Global Integration: Developing Nations in the Era of Value Chains:

Up until the late 1970s and early 1980s, most developing countries experienced a surplus in agricultural exports over imports. However, economic shocks in the early 1980s prompted a move towards agricultural trade liberalization and a shift away from urban bias. The Uruguay Round in the 1990s marked a significant reduction in agricultural tariffs, decreasing from 30 percent to 18 percent. Developing nations embraced liberalizing measures, eliminating import restrictions, devalued exchange rates, and export taxes.

Over the past three decades, developing countries have substantially reduced distortions to agricultural incentives, especially compared to wealthier economies. Between 1980–84 and 2000–04, agriculture-based countries further lowered protection of agricultural imports and reduced taxation of exports. Despite these changes, the liberalization of agricultural trade led to a decline in food and agricultural exports from developing countries in the early 1990s due to factors such as global food safety standards, stagnant agricultural productivity, and rising compliance costs.

While liberalization exposed consumers and producers to greater price volatility, richer economies contributed to commodity price instability through increased protectionism and subsidies. Speculative capital inflows into agricultural commodity markets further exacerbated the situation. The shift in global trade in manufactured goods has also transformed middle- and low-income countries, opening protected domestic markets, encouraging exports, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), and promoting innovation.

Developing countries have increasingly participated in global value chains, with their share in merchandise exports rising from 20 percent in 1990 to over 40 percent in 2012. The integration of global investment and trade into international production networks has challenged state regulation of multinational employers. Some developing nations have experienced “premature deindustrialization,” becoming service economies without full industrialization, while others, particularly in Asia, have maintained industrial growth through favorable financial environments.

Trade for Poverty Eradication in Developing Countries:

International trade is a pivotal tool for developing nations in their pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. Acknowledging trade’s potential to spur economic progress and alleviate poverty, countries have increasingly opened up to global markets. However, the relationship between trade and growth is nuanced, and caution is advised to navigate potential short-term challenges. The international community, recognizing the importance of trade for development, has launched initiatives such as Aid for Trade and the WTO Doha Round to ensure that the benefits of trade are widespread.

The impact of trade on poverty reduction is evident, with developing countries experiencing robust growth in the last decade, leading to increased employment and investment levels. Trade liberalization has played a crucial role in reducing global tariffs, and fostering export revenues. Despite progress, challenges persist, including disproportionately high tariffs on products of export interest to developing countries. Successful cases, such as Mauritius, Rwanda, and Kenya, exemplify how tailored trade policies can contribute to achieving the MDGs.

While trade remains a potent instrument for economic growth, caution is advised. The complex relationship between trade openness and growth depends on various factors, including macroeconomic stability and infrastructure. Trade liberalization alone cannot guarantee MDG achievement; it requires comprehensive reforms and international support to address potential challenges. Developing countries should enhance their supply capacity before fully engaging in global competition, with initiatives like Aid for Trade facilitating infrastructure and productive capacity investments.

Addressing unemployment concerns during market liberalization is crucial. Developing social safety nets, education, and training policies are essential to reallocate workers to growing sectors and mitigate short-term challenges. The international community’s role is crucial in assisting developing countries in coping with adjustment costs, emphasizing the integration of all development policies into each country’s National Development Strategy.

In the quest for poverty eradication, trade reform is viewed not as charity but as a means to equip developing countries with essential tools to achieve the MDGs. Trade, when coupled with comprehensive and tailored reforms, emerges as a vital instrument for accelerating economic growth and reducing poverty, requiring continued global cooperation and support.

Positive Impacts:

Trade-induced fluctuations in prices may arise directly from shifts in supply or demand, or indirectly through variations in the exchange rate triggered by changes in the terms of trade. The potential for trade to enhance real incomes and alleviate absolute poverty lies in its capacity to lower prices of imports and import substitutes that are crucial for the impoverished or to elevate prices of exports or import complements produced by individuals in poverty.

The reduction of relative poverty can also occur if lower-priced imports or higher-priced exports disproportionately involve the poor. Nevertheless, the predominant impact of trade on poverty often stems from its role in fostering economic growth. This indirect effect can be substantial, often overshadowing more direct poverty reduction mechanisms. Efficiency gains resulting from trade may bolster employment and investment opportunities, including investments in human capital, or enhance the availability of complementary factors of production that augment the productivity of the poor. The extent to which the poor can access these potential benefits is a pivotal factor in determining the poverty reduction effect.

While the general trend of trade liberalization and expansion benefits the poor, it is imperative to acknowledge that not all trade-related effects on poverty are uniformly positive. Changes in trade flows or patterns typically reshape the landscape of risks and uncertainties faced by the poor. Shifts in trade flows or patterns have the potential to disrupt social stability, particularly affecting those on the fringes of society. Alterations in terms of trade or exchange rates, especially those impacting tradable sectors that involve substantial numbers of the poor or near poor, such as small-scale agriculture, can yield considerable impacts, whether positive or negative, on poverty incidence.

Trade-related environmental changes also carry the risk of adversely affecting the poor. The potential costs of adjustment may be considerable for certain individuals, underscoring the need for complementary policies designed to facilitate a smoother transition. (Brooks, 2003)

Negative Impacts:

Despite its acknowledged advantages, trade policies are encountering criticism as evidenced by a 2023 report from the World Bank. Detractors attribute it to the erosion of manufacturing jobs in advanced economies, environmental degradation, and disruptions in the supply chain of crucial goods such as vaccines. These apprehensions, coupled with geopolitical tensions, have induced significant players to erect trade and investment barriers while subsidizing domestic production of items deemed essential and strategically important. A notable example from 2022 illustrates this trend, where several countries responded to disruptions in food supplies from Ukraine by imposing restrictions on the export of wheat, corn, and other staples. This reciprocal cycle had the adverse effect of escalating prices, momentarily posing a threat to global food security.

The ramifications of trade disputes and restrictions extend to the destabilization of the rules-based global trading system, with the World Trade Organization at its core. The predicament is particularly challenging for smaller developing economies, which lack self-sufficiency and rely on exports for imports. These nations are dependent on fair competition, a circumstance jeopardized by trade-distorting subsidies and protectionist measures. Moreover, the imperative of attracting investment underscores the critical need for a dependable and coherent system of global trade rules, an assurance many developing countries find elusive. The fiscal constraints faced by these nations compound the challenges, making it difficult to counteract the steps taken by advanced economies to subsidize domestic production.

According to the World Bank’s projections, an erosion of investor confidence stemming from heightened trade tensions among major economies could result in the impoverishment of 30-50 million people by 2030. This estimate hinges on the severity of protectionist policies implemented by both advanced and developing nations. A comparative reference to the 70 million individuals pushed into poverty in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the potential gravity of the negative consequences associated with escalating trade tensions.

Policy Recommendations:

Prioritize Inclusive Development:

Trade policies must be designed with a focus on inclusive development, ensuring that the benefits of globalization are distributed equitably across different segments of society. It must consider the specific vulnerabilities and needs of marginalized groups, including small-scale farmers and workers in vulnerable sectors, when formulating trade agreements.

Sustainable Practices:

Environmental sustainability must be integrated into trade policies to mitigate the negative impact on vulnerable communities and ecosystems. Polices must encourage adherence to international environmental and labor standards to prevent exploitation and degradation.

Enhance Social Safety Nets:

Robust social safety nets must be implemented to protect communities adversely affected by trade policies, providing support for retraining, relocation, and economic diversification. Ensure that the most vulnerable populations have access to social welfare programs to offset any negative consequences of trade liberalization.

Include Stakeholder Participation:

Foster inclusive decision-making processes that involve various stakeholders, including civil society, labor unions, and marginalized communities, in the formulation of trade policies. Promote transparency and accountability in trade negotiations to build public trust and ensure fair representation.

These policy recommendations aim to strike a balance between harnessing the benefits of global trade and safeguarding the interests of vulnerable populations. By prioritizing inclusive development, sustainability, social protection, stakeholder participation, and fair trade agreements, policymakers can contribute to a more equitable and poverty-reducing global trade landscape.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the intricate connections between trade policies and global poverty necessitate a balanced and thoughtful approach to policy formulation. The positive impacts of trade, such as enhanced real incomes and poverty alleviation through economic growth, are accompanied by potential negative consequences, including disruptions in vulnerable sectors and environmental degradation. The case studies of NAFTA’s impact on Mexico and Ethiopia’s agricultural export-led growth highlight the diverse outcomes resulting from trade policies. Moving forward, policymakers are urged to prioritize inclusive development, integrate sustainable practices, enhance social safety nets, and include stakeholders in decision-making processes. Fair and inclusive trade agreements that consider the developmental needs of all nations are essential for fostering a more equitable and poverty-reducing global trade landscape.

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THE POST AMERICAN WORLD BOOK REVIEW

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THE POST AMERICAN WORLD
THE POST AMERICAN WORLD

In The Post-American World, Fareed Zakaria offers a unique perspective on the changing global landscape in terms of history, economics, and society. Zakaria argues that the United States, once an unrivalled superpower, must now face the reality of a “third great power shift” in the modern era. This shift refers to the rise of countries such as China, India, Brazil, and Russia, which have experienced significant economic growth and are challenging American dominance. According to Zakaria, the United States has witnessed a relative decline in its unilateral power and influence as these non-Western countries continue to thrive. In order to adapt to the transformations occurring in rapidly developing nations like China, the United States must adjust its practices and strategies. This is essential for the U.S. to navigate the ever-changing twenty-first-century world.

In the opening chapter, titled “Rise of the Rest,” Zakaria lays the foundation for his argument about the shifting global order. He presents his central thesis, which asserts that the world is currently undergoing a historic power shift away from American dominance towards a “post-American” era characterized by the rise of other nations. To support his thesis, Zakaria draws parallels between the current power shift and two significant transitions in history. The first is the rise of the West, where European countries gradually surpassed older powers like China and the Ottoman Empire, establishing Western dominance for centuries. The second is the American Century, where the United States emerged as the undisputed superpower after World War II due to its economic and military strength.

Zakaria argues that the current “rise of the rest” mirrors these past shifts, suggesting that it is a natural progression in global dynamics. He further emphasizes the emergence of new powers by highlighting specific examples of countries experiencing exceptional growth. Overall, “Post-American World” challenges the traditional notion of American dominance and offers a compelling perspective on the changing global landscape. Zakaria’s analysis prompts readers to consider the implications of this power shift and the need for the United States to adapt to a rapidly evolving world.

China’s rapid economic growth, surpassing Japan to become the world’s second largest economy, along with its increasing military and political influence, serves as a prime example of the “rise of the rest.” Similarly, India, with its vast demographics and growing economic strength, is also a significant player in this global shift. Brazil, on the other hand, stands out for its successful transition to a stable democracy and strong economic performance, positioning itself as a major force in the emerging multipolar world. It is important to note that these examples are just a few among many other countries worldwide that are contributing to the diffusion of power.

As these countries rise, the dominance of the United States diminishes, and the global economic landscape undergoes a transformation. The US no longer solely dominates the market, as other countries gain significant market share and generate new wealth. Emerging powers are asserting their voices on the international stage, challenging American leadership in global institutions and alliances. While the US still maintains its military superiority, other nations are rapidly modernizing their forces, potentially leading to a less predictable multipolar military landscape.

Zakaria emphasizes that the “rise of the rest” does not necessarily indicate the downfall of the US. However, it does require the country to adapt to a new reality where it can no longer dictate the global agenda. This adaptation, according to Zakaria, entails embracing cooperation with other nations and building stronger international institutions to navigate the complexities of a multipolar world. The author presents a compelling argument regarding the rise and fall of poverty, using examples and data from various countries such as China, Turkey, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Kenya, and South Africa. These nations are experiencing significant global growth, marking a shift towards a more inclusive international system. The author also highlights the emergence of the “Rise of the Rest” and no state actors, which has led to the empowerment of groups and individuals, challenging traditional hierarchies and centralized control.

Government functions are now being shared with international bodies like the WTO and the EU, while NGOs are Proliferating worldwide. Fareed Zakaria asserts that power is transitioning away from nation states, rendering traditional applications of national power, both economic and military, less effective. In the past, we witnessed a multipolar order dominated by European governments, followed by a bipolar duopoly during the Cold War, and eventually a unipolar world under American dominance since 1991. However, the distribution of power is now shifting away from American dominance in all other dimensions, while still maintaining a single superpower status at the politico-military level. The author emphasizes that this shift does not signify an anti-American sentiment, but rather a transition into a post-American world.

He then asserts that despite the turmoil in global politics, the global economy continues to advance. Historically, economies have experienced their highest growth during or immediately after wars, as seen in examples such as the Cold War, Israeli conflicts, and the Iraq War. He goes on to discuss the concept of “The problems of plenty,” where resource rich countries thrive while others are still developing. These countries are seen as nonmarket parasites in a market-driven world and pose political challenges to the United States and the Western idea of international order. Iran, Venezuela, and Russia are cited as examples.

According to him, some countries act more responsibly, aligning with American interests, such as Canada, the Persian Gulf countries, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia. He further argues that as other countries become more active, the United States will inevitably have less room for maneuver. To deter rogue actions, the US will need to form broad and lasting coalitions, allowing other countries to have a stake in the new world order. In today’s international order, progress necessitates compromise. The author concludes by stating that finding a balance between accommodation and deterrence is the primary challenge for American foreign policy in the coming decades.

The emergence of the new order should not be interpreted as a reflection of American decline, but rather as a manifestation of the diverse array of forces that Washington can effectively navigate and even influence. While the rest of the world is experiencing significant economic growth, America will inevitably witness a relative decline. The increasing influence of non-governmental forces will impose significant constraints on Washington’s actions. For the past three centuries, the global order has been supported by the presence of dominant liberal powers initially Britain and subsequently America – who played pivotal roles in establishing and upholding an open world economy.

These powers safeguarded trade routes and sea lanes, acted as lenders of last resort, maintained reserve currencies, made foreign investments, and kept their own markets open. Moreover, they also tipped the military balance against major aggressors of their respective eras, ranging from Napoleon’s France to Germany and the Soviet Union. As the creators and sustainers of the existing order characterized by open trade and democratic governance, these powers have fostered a benign and advantageous environment for the vast majority of humanity. In the future, when historians reflect on this era, they may observe that during the initial decades of the 21st century, the United States accomplished its significant and momentous mission of globalizing the world.

However, they might also note that amidst this process, the United States overlooked its own globalization. The author, Fareed Zakaria, then proceeds to discuss a non-western world, one that is not dominated by the West. Consequently, we can summarize that Zakaria aims to shed light on the shifting global dominance from the United States to emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and others. In essence, Zakaria’s writing is both intelligent and incisive, yet easily comprehensible.

“The Post-American World” holds particular relevance in today’s geopolitical and economic landscape. The book effectively advocates for a harmonious world with multiple centers of economic activity under the guidance of the United States. However, it falls short in addressing the numerous complexities that the United States currently confronts as a global player. Nonetheless, the book is a captivating read for those seeking a straightforward yet captivating exploration of the intricacies of a globalized world.

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Unraveling Cyber Anarchy: Fortifying Our Digital Realm

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Unraveling Cyber Anarchy Fortifying Our Digital Realm
Unraveling Cyber Anarchy Fortifying Our Digital Realm

Much like the physical world, there is a virtual/digital world which is also characterized by anarchy. Challenges and threats emanating from the cyber world are as serious and consequential as those of the “real” world of traditional security. Today, the realm of world security is not only about “bullet vs. bullet,” it is also about “click vs. bullet.” The internet has changed the way we share information, interact, and develop on a global scale. It has had a significant impact, bringing about previously unheard-of breakthroughs in connectedness, equality, and human prosperity. But in addition to these astounding developments, the digital world often portrays more somber truths. It has developed into a haven for disinformation, cyber threats, data theft, and digital authoritarianism that jeopardizes peace and stability.

In this age of lightning-fast technical development, everyone involved in the problem-solving process needs to share some of the blame. The digital ecosystem, which once offered almost endless possibilities, now necessitates group action to reduce the risks that come with it. It is critical to recognize the interdependence of people and technology and the significant influence they have on one another as we negotiate this challenging landscape. The need to counterbalance accountability in the digital domain is central to this subject matter. This means that the dynamics of the digital ecosystem will fundamentally change such that defenders will now have the upper hand against harmful actors. To strengthen cybersecurity defenses, improve resilience, and prevent sensitive data from being misused, coordinated actions are needed.

The ongoing and intense hegemonic battle between the United States and China can be explained by the conflict over big data hegemony. Thus, gaining a competitive edge in AI technology may come from acquiring more data through connections with more governments. To dominate AI technology, the United States and China plan to create their own exclusive network platform, or value bloc. As such, friendly nations like the United States and China may be compelled to adopt a binary framework. Being on either side of the ROK, a state with such intimate ties to both blocs, is bound to incur significant losses.

The evolution of the ICT threat landscape, which is getting harder to navigate and more complicated, is worrying states more and more. By improving their precision, frequency, scale, and effect as well as making them more difficult to identify and neutralize, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing have the potential to either create entirely new dangers or greatly amplify those that already exist.

The complexity of digital supply chains, the digitalization of control systems in critical infrastructure, and the reliance on ICTs to deliver essential public services raise the danger of malevolent use of ICTs by extending the so-called attack surface. Ultimately, the threat landscape is primarily shaped by a complex web of entities within the ICT domain, including but not limited to States.

Given this, it is not unexpected that the topic of dangers has become increasingly prominent in multilateral talks about ICTs and global peace and security. More than 100 contributions on this topic were made by States and the multi-stakeholder community in the framework of the Open-Ended Working Group on security of and the use of information and communications technologies 2021-2025 (OEWG) in 2023 alone.

Complex interdependencies and emerging technologies are opening up new avenues for human development while also highlighting weaknesses in our digital infrastructure. Artificial intelligence and next-generation interconnectivity are becoming more widely used, which increases the complexity and risk of technological systems and increases the effect and destructiveness of cyberattacks

. Malicious actors are taking advantage of these weaknesses to carry out espionage, steal intellectual property, and launch destructive assaults on vital infrastructure. These actors include state-sponsored organizations and criminal syndicates. Autocratic nations such as China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and others are employing sophisticated cyber capabilities to aggressively pursue goals that jeopardize both international security and economic development. Cyber-enabled influence operations and ransomware attacks are examples of these threats that go beyond classic espionage and have caused significant disruptions to businesses and essential services globally.

To improve the resilience and defensibility of our digital ecosystem, stakeholders must work closely together over the long term as the digital landscape changes. The five pillars of this strategy—defending vital infrastructure, upending threat actors, influencing market forces, investing in resilience, and forming global partnerships—are meant to promote collaboration between the public and private sectors. The States must implement two significant changes to achieve these goals: redistributing the burden of cyberspace defense and realigning incentives to reward long-term investments.

The most capable players must assume increased responsibility for safeguarding the digital ecosystem, rather than placing the entire responsibility of managing cyber threats on end users. A secure and governed cyber world is, therefore, a key concern of the international community, including the south Asian nations. The task of maintaining cybersecurity in South Asia in the face of the complicated emerging cyber challenges, ranging from regulatory issues to lack regional cooperation, involves a mosaic of issues that needs both public and private participation.

Cyber threats must be addressed immediately in Pakistan due to the growing digitization of governmental services and key infrastructure. Pakistan must strike a balance between its ties with China and the United States while defending its interests as a country at a crossroads of geopolitical interests. To strengthen cybersecurity defenses and reduce the threats presented by hostile actors, cooperative actions with international partners are essential. Adopting the tenets of this plan would help Pakistan become more resilient to cyberattacks and maintain the stability of the global digital economy. For Pakistan’s progress and security in the digital age to continue, it is necessary that it actively participate in multilateral discussions and initiatives addressing ICT security.

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From States to Specters: 9/11 and the Ghosts that Haunt International Security

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From States to Specters 9 11 and the Ghosts that Haunt International Security
From States to Specters 9 11 and the Ghosts that Haunt International Security

The effects of 9/11 on various approaches to the study of international security draws attention to the scholarly discussion and traditional reaction to 9/11. 9/11 is considered the benchmark that changed the concept of International Security Studies after the cold war. Despite the effects of September 11 on the field of international security studies, the field has not fundamentally altered. The global war on terrorism has left a legacy of dividing opinions between western countries and the rest of the globe. It’s been called the “cold war’s” successor. The global war on terrorism has influenced domestic policy in the United States and Europe and has increased the body of literature on terrorism.

The global war on terrorism shifted the emphasis of warfare from relations between states to those between the state and non-state actors. It was a huge event that altered worldwide politics and had an effect on international Security Studies. The 9/11 attacks, according to traditionalists and realists, were an attempt to undermine American sovereignty. They viewed the interstate as a study in their agenda.

However, those outside a nation-state framework carried out the 9/11 attacks. The United States attempted to equate it with the state, although they were nonstate actors. After 9/11, neorealists rethought what it meant to trust in the rationality of the state, as Al-Qaeda, bin Laden, and Saddam Hussein all represented the logic of the terrorist group. “Bin-laden was a reasonable player, and the assault on the United States of America was part of the greater Middle Eastern program,” write Posen and Walt. The neoconservatives injected their views and principles as an instrument for international relations.

Before the global war on terror, interstate warfare, arms control, and nuclear deterrence were seen as the most important aspects of international security, but after 9/11, terrorism and non-state actors rose to the forefront of discussions. The importance of nuclear deterrence and US rivalry with Iran and Iraq have also changed in light of the global war on terror. Such would be the outcome if a non-state entity obtained nuclear weapons. Those who care only about tradition were alarmed by this.

The war on terror has altered conservative rhetoric, but many themes from before 9/11 have persisted. The continuation of the discussion on democratic peace theory, the theoretical study of the source of the conflict. Israel-Palestine conflict, and improvement over the literature on middle eastern security. The debate over great power politics that began with the conclusion of the cold war has persisted even during the global war on terrorism.

Discussion of the rising of China and the deterioration of relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China because of the Taiwan problem. North Korea’s commitment to regional stability in East Asia and its pursuit of nuclear weapons capability has persisted in the wake of 9/11.

In the worldwide fight against terrorism, Europe stands with the United States and NATO, but in the invasion of Iraq, Europe (particularly Germany and France) stands firmly against the United States. As with China’s rise, neorealists see Europe as a counterweight to the United States. In the 1990s technology (BMD, and RMA) was the major driving factor for the traditionalist. Concern that a rogue state might acquire nuclear weapons and increase its military might as a result of the global war on terror has only increased.

Different theoretical traditions (including poststructuralism, postcolonialism, feminism, critical constructivism, and the Copenhagen school) see Security as a discourse with quite different implications. 9/11 is an act of terror, war rather than an accident is also a debate. When the United States and the United Kingdom invaded Iraq, they claimed the country had weapons of mass destruction; when they failed to uncover any such weapons, they shifted their rhetoric to focus on international human rights protection.

During the course of the global war on terror, a variety of think tanks were established to provide critical analysis of the policy, and international security studies began high-level policy involvement. Another reason we haven’t seen an intellectual history of ISS is because writing such a history requires a clear notion of what is and isn’t part of ISS, and the demarcation of ISS has been debated, particularly since the late 1980s.

Academic discussions in the 1980s and 1990s had a significant influence on ISS by bringing a wide variety of epistemological and ontological questions that had not previously been of great interest within the sub-field.

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Pakistan’s evolving diplomatic landscape is full of challenges and opportunities in Middle East

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Pakistan has generally maintained close and friendly relations with its Middle Eastern neighbors since its inception. Pakistan has consistently supported the Arab nations in their struggle against Israel. Over time, the Middle East has become a crucial region in Pakistan’s foreign relations.

The recent changes in the international system, like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have had a significant impact on the diplomatic landscape in the Middle Eastern region. The global energy and food crisis has also raised concerns for all countries involved. It’s interesting to see the agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia that led to the normalization of relations, with China playing a role as a mediator. This shows that there are ongoing changes in these countries and the broader Middle East,
as well as shifts in global dynamics.

It’s a sign that China’s role as a mediator in this agreement marks a shift from the traditional dominance of US influence in the region. With Saudi’s normalization with Iran, there was a glimmer of hope for Pakistan that Pakistan could increase its engagement with Iran for its energy appetites but a recent illegal act of Iran against Pakistan which has violated international law and challenged Pakistan’s sovereignty nipped the chances of opportunities for coordination. I think
with Iran’s beaten air strike chances of countering terrorism collectively and the concept of the Muslim Brotherhood have perished.

Since 2016, Pakistan has been navigating critical situations and striving to maintain a delicate balance among Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and other GCC countries. The Syrian, Iraqi, and Libyan wars have further complicated the situation, with Saudi Arabia and Turkey taking opposing sides, putting Pakistan in a
difficult position as it has good relations with both. Pakistan has made efforts to play a neutralizing role between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The Israel-Hamas conflict is likely to have a profound impact on the region, leading to increased insecurity across the Middle East. Pakistan has always taken a proactive stance in the Middle East due to its strategic location, serving as a link between South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East via
Iran. However, the turbulence in the Middle East has posed challenges for Pakistan. The string of air strikes exhibited by Iran against its neighbor is a solid example of the spillover of war in the Middle East which Pakistan has to endure. Fortunately, Middle Eastern countries are now working towards
normalizing their relations, which presents an excellent opportunity for Pakistan to establish itself as a diplomatic center stage in the region.

Notably, Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey have initiated a cargo railway project, symbolizing their growing cooperation. Pakistan’s evolving diplomatic approach in
the Middle East amidst these scenarios brings both significant challenges and promising opportunities.

Threats and Opportunities:

In 2022 political instability in Pakistan, including the removal of Imran Khan’s government and the ongoing legal battles, has created a lot of uncertainty. This internal turmoil and conflict has
weakened Pakistan’s position on the international stage, making it more challenging to maintain consistent diplomatic partnerships in the Middle East. The shifting political landscape in Pakistan creates uncertainty for regional powers like Iran and Saudia Arabia who may hesitate to commit to long-term partnerships until a more stable government emerges. As a result, Pakistan’s leverage and influence in the region can be limited. It’s a challenging situation for Pakistan. A state’s policy
could be asserted and active when the state is stable internally as foreign policies are normally the reflection of the internal governance of the states. Let us accept internally my state is dealing with the bloody kind of militancy and endemic governance and economic issues with the unending
cycle of political vengeance.

The Middle East countries are major oil suppliers and have a significant impact on Pakistan’s economy. Pakistan relies on the IMF, World Bank, China, and some Middle Eastern countries for
economic stability. The ongoing Palestine-Israel conflict, along with the expected rise in oil prices and the fragility of the currency, may lead to higher costs for goods and services in Pakistan. Given Pakistan’s historical stance on the conflict, there could be negative public sentiments towards certain Western brands, but it is expected to have a symbolic impact on their business.

India’s presence in the Middle East is diverse, with connections between people and investments in various sectors like health, education, media, and film industry. India has been actively
strengthening its ties with the Middle Eastern region through various initiatives and partnerships.
One example is the India-UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which has enhanced cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, energy, and defense. Additionally, India has
deepened its engagement with Saudi Arabia through high-level visits and collaborations in sectors like energy, infrastructure, and technology. India has maintained its democracy, emphasizing the importance of continuity in the governing system. On the other hand, Pakistan faces challenges in
policy consistency, especially in economic policies. India’s impressive economic growth, attracting high levels of foreign direct investment, showcases its industrialization. The recent
altercation between Pakistan and Iran can also be exploited by India. Although the Indian ministry stated that it is a Pakistan’s and Iran’s internal matter, but still we cannot accept India to be neutral as India is a spoiler of the region let me repeat the sentence of our National security advisor Moeed Yousaf that ” Spoiler can’t be a peace maker”. Meanwhile, Pakistan has struggled with debt and relied on other countries for financial support. To enhance its standing, Pakistan should focus on
sustaining policies, fulfilling promises, and ensuring internal stability. In today’s world, a country’s economic health holds more significance than its alignment with global powers.

The normalization of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia has important implications and opportunities for Pakistan. As Iran’s neighbor, Saudi Arabia’s partner, and China’s key ally, Pakistan stands to benefit from increased trade and energy ties. Iran has always been a significant trading partner for Pakistan, while Saudi Arabia serves as an economic ally with a large Pakistani
diaspora that contributes to remittances. However, Pakistan has faced challenges due to sectarian violence and the regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The normalization of ties
between these two countries could help defuse sectarian tensions and reduce the influence of extremist groups, which would have a positive impact on Pakistan’s stability.

The Middle East, especially the Gulf states, has a lot of money and investment potential. Pakistan can use its skilled workforce, strategic location, and growing industries to attract investments and boost trade. We can have joint ventures in infrastructure development, cooperate on energy projects like the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, and increase trade in agricultural goods and textiles. GCC member states are actively using AI to address climate challenges. Initiatives like the UAE’s
‘Net Zero by 2050’, Saudi Arabia’s ‘Green Saudi’, and Qatar’s Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) are great examples. Pakistan, which has been affected by floods and water scarcity, really needs investments in renewable energy and resilient infrastructure. The Gulf, with its wealth and technological resources, could be a valuable partner in this effort. Together, we can use AI to identify and develop solar and wind farms in strategic locations across Pakistan, promoting energy independence and reducing climate risks. The Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) can play a crucial role in facilitating Gulf-Pakistan collaboration on AI climate solutions. By funding projects, streamlining approvals, connecting expertise, promoting technology transfer, and ensuring long-term sustainability, the SIFC can bridge the gap between Gulf resources and Pakistani innovation, creating a regional model for addressing climate challenges through AI.

Conclusion:

Pakistan’s evolving diplomatic role in the Middle East is full of promise with multiple challenges. Its strategic location, skilled workforce, and historic ties make it a potential bridge between different players in the region. By focusing on practical diplomacy and economic cooperation, Pakistan can
forge mutually beneficial partnerships that address its own needs and the challenges of the Middle East. However, Pakistan needs to navigate this evolving landscape carefully. The tensions with Iran have been DEESCALTED but you cannot believe Iran’s assurances because It is a rogue state that has been dealing with the sanctions for almost decades. Balancing relationships with various stakeholders and maintaining transparency is crucial. Domestic stability and good governance are key to projecting a reliable image internationally. By leveraging its strengths, addressing challenges, and promoting peace and cooperation, Pakistan can become a valued partner in shaping regional stability and prosperity.

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South Africa’s Genocide Allegations Against Israel

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On the 7th of October, a significant escalation occurred in the Middle East when Hamas unprecedentedly attacked Israeli territory, capturing hostages. In response, Israel launched a massive military campaign that resulted in more than 26,000 casualties, including women and children. It led to the destruction of homes and the blockade of food, water, and medical assistance, creating difficulties for the survival of pregnant women and newborns. Israel vowed to continue until all hostages are released, and Hamas is annihilated. This disproportionate and collective punishment compelled third parties, none other than South Africa to stop Israel from such aggression.

On December 29, the South African government filed an 84-page legal case at the ICJ, accusing Israel of a “genocidal act” and violating the 1948 Genocide Convention during its nearly four-month bombardment of Gaza, to which both countries are party. South Africa’s immediate objective was to prompt action from the ICJ to order Israel to take “provisional measures” to prevent further humanitarian tragedy and uphold the rights of the Palestinian people mentioned in the Genocide Convention.

The UN’s top court on Friday Instructed Israel, after the appeal of South Africa:

  • Under the Genocide Convention and following its obligations to the Palestinians in Gaza, Israel must ‘take all measures within its power’ to prevent acts prohibited by the Convention, especially killing and causing physical or mental harm.
  • Israel must ensure that its military forces do not commit any of the acts described in Article 1.
  • Israel must take all measures within its power to prevent and punish direct and public incitement to genocide.
  • Israel must take immediate and effective steps to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.
  • Israel must take effective measures to prevent the destruction of evidence related to alleged violations of the Genocide Convention.
  • Israel must submit a report to the court within a month on the steps it has taken to implement the order.

Unfortunately, the ruling didn’t call for a rapid indispensable ceasefire, nor did it take any decision on whether or not genocide had been committed.

Friday’s ruling represents a nuanced outcome, neither favouring one side nor achieving a decisive victory, yet it underscores the victimisation of Palestinians and lends credence to their assertions. The ICJ placed limits on how Israel can continue its war. Although it won’t stop the war, Friday’s decision has the potential to create a pressured environment for Israel to justify its operations, especially to those countries backing Israel unwaveringly. On the contrary, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded through a video message, reiterating that Israel has a right to defend itself. He called South Africa’s request for a ceasefire “vile” and “blatant discrimination against the Jewish state,” pressing that “Israel’s commitment to international law is unwavering,” and that it will continue to facilitate humanitarian aid to Gaza.

A final decision is a long way away and arduous in this case. The court’s decisions are legally binding but difficult to enforce, exemplified by Russia’s ignorance of the court’s preliminary ceasefire order in 2022 after invading Ukraine. In this case, both South Africa and Israel are obligated to follow the court orders because they are party to the 1948 Genocide Convention. The ICJ is the UN’s top court; its enforcement mechanism lies with the UN Security Council. Firstly, The US has permanent membership and has a history of vetoing against any effort it sees as an antagonist towards Israel. Secondly, the Security Council is considered to be highly hanging on political dynamics, reflecting the limits of its ability to enforce resolutions.

Confirming genocide brings up tough challenges, demanding evidence of both systematic action and intent. These acts include killing members of a “national, ethnic, racial or religious group”; causing them “serious physical or mental harm”; and “the deliberate subjection of a group of life to conditions calculated to bring about its physical destruction, in whole or in part.” Such actions must be accompanied by the objective: “To destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.” Is that an objective Israel does have?

The loss of more than 27,000 civilian lives, including children and women, coupled with the forced displacement of nearly two million Palestinians – representing 90 percent of Gaza’s population, Israel’s imposition of a ‘total siege’ that allows the killing of Palestinians through hunger, the disproportionate, collective and indiscriminate bombardments, demolishment of the residential environs; targeting of hospitals, and healthcare professionals; the deterioration and destruction of cultural, and schools, libraries and universities, and mosques. These all reflect the actions of genocide.

While the intent may be challenging to ascertain, the presentation of 500 statements underscored the Israeli State’s purported intention for inciting genocide since October 7, 2023. The statements are uttered by those with command authority in different sectors of government. The charged party’s intention is indirect and expressive. The law for Palestine database showed people with command authority made genocidal statements several times in the last three months.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu depicted Gaza as “the city of evil” on October 7, and then on December 24, crafted Israel’s onslaught as a battle against “monsters”. “This is a battle, not only of Israel against these barbarians, it is a battle of civilization against barbarism,” he let out. Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant clarified Palestinians, as “human animals,” in his statement about the “total siege” on October 9. Similarly, Israeli President Isaac Herzog declared on December 5, that Israel’s attack on Gaza is “a war that is intended, really, truly, to save western civilization… [from] an empire of evil.”

Israel depicted Hamas as an existential threat to themselves, presenting genocide in their case as a legitimate and indispensable defence. This mindset draws resemblances with the Nazis’ interpretation of their genocidal assault on Jews during World War II. Currently, all eyes are on the ICJ to fulfil its entrust duty after employing the explicit language of genocide and massive attacks on Gaza by Israel to save Palestine.

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Transforming primary education

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Transforming primary education article pic
Transforming primary education article pic

World Education Day, celebrated annually on January 24th, holds a significant place in recognizing the pivotal role education plays in shaping societies globally. The theme for the 6th World Education Day, “Learning for Lasting Peace,” resonates profoundly amid the escalating global challenges of racism, discrimination, hate speech, and xenophobia. This day is celebrated across the globe, including in Pakistan. More than ever, education stands as a beacon for creating informed and empowered citizens, fostering democratic values and stability. It brings positive change to the behavior of individuals and society.

Education, originating from the Latin word “educare,” meaning “to bring up” or “to advance,” is the cornerstone of a nation’s development. It encompasses the process of acquiring knowledge, skills, values, and habits, propelling economic growth, scientific innovation, and cultural preservation. In Pakistan, despite numerous education policies like the National Education Policy 1972, the Education Policy 1992–2002, and the National Education Policy 2009, challenges persist, hindering the equitable distribution of educational opportunities.The recent National Education Policy 2023, focusing on access, equity, quality, and accountability, aims to address these challenges. However, the literacy rate remains stagnant, standing at around 62 percent, and Pakistan grapples with the second-highest number of out-of-school children globally, as reported by UNiCEF. Rural areas face infrastructure deficiencies, lacking proper buildings, electricity, and clean water, hindering quality education. It impedes the commitment to sustainable development goal number 4, which is quality education.

The dire situation extends to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), where nearly 4.7 million children aged five to 16 are out of school. While the government’s commitment to education reform is evident, challenges persist, including poor access, an ineffective and outdated curriculum from 2006, inadequate financing, and a lack of qualified staff. Despite these obstacles, KPK has introduced initiatives like free textbooks, conditional grants, increased education budgets, and teacher induction programs.A notable step in KPK’s education sector is the appointment of approximately 2500 school leaders, focusing on quality improvement in the primary sector, academic program monitoring, and professional development for teachers. This innovative approach is showing promising results in districts like Haripur, where school leaders have enhanced enrollment, improved education quality, engaged the community effectively, arranged successful annual events of co-curricular activities, working on the achievement of 100 percent literacy skills, and impelenting students learning outcomes (SLOs) in letter and spirit.However, the challenge of achieving both quality and quantity in the education system persists, especially in the primary sector. 


It is time to support this new cadre of School Leaders for the quality of education as well as empower teachers to address the crisis in the education system. This will bring positive change to the education system and progress across institutions, regions, and provinces. Education is a key to global peace and progress and can reduce regional polarization. Children are the national asset of a nation, and they are the future of Pakistan. For this primary sector, demand more investment, technology-oriented reforms, and an increase in the GDP percentage of education to make it a top national priority.Moreover, supporting Article 25A of the Constitution of Pakistan, which mandates free and compulsory education for all children between the ages of five and sixteen, becomes crucial. This constitutional provision is a fundamental right that needs rigorous implementation.The gender disparity in literacy rates is stark, with male literacy exceeding 70% and female literacy lagging behind at less than 50%. Empowering women through education is not only a matter of justice but also a catalyst for a better-educated nation. Despite the obstacles, now is the time to honor, respect, and empower teachers, the builders of a nation.

 The introduction of school leaders and their comprehensive job descriptions is a positive step, indicating a commitment to positive change. Their efforts, despite resource constraints, exemplify the dedication required to bring about substantial improvements.World Education Day serves as a reminder of the urgent need to prioritize education for lasting peace and sustainable development. Pakistan must seize the opportunity presented by the new National Education Policy 2023, support the school leader initiative, empower teachers, and diligently implement Article 25A to ensure every child’s right to education. Only through collective efforts at individual, societal, and national levels can Pakistan truly prosper through the transformative power of education. 

In conculsion, Education is the mother of all institutions; investing in this sector will bring fruitful change to society; it is the path to human development; and it will ensure human security. Especially investing in the primary sector will transform the quality of education at secondary, higher secondary, and higher education in Pakistan. It needs good governance, investment in the knowledge economy, the national priority of the government, and the consent of all the stakeholders. Then Pakistan will achieve the theme of the International Day of Education in 2024 and Sustainable Development Goal Number 4 in an effective, efficient, and productive way.

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Deep fakes: The Growing Threat

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Deepfakes The Growing Threat
Deepfakes The Growing Threat

Fake news is not a new phenomenon; its origins can be found in the 13th century BC, under the reign of Rameses the Great. But in the 20th century, it rose to popularity, most notably as a propaganda tool during both World Wars. Fake news spread much more quickly after the Internet was introduced in the late 1990s because it was now more widely available and had more influence. Nowadays, misinformation is being used by powerful people and even governments to manipulate public opinion, making fake news a worldwide issue.

The story then turns to the introduction of Deepfake, a new technological danger. Deepfake creates or modifies movies to represent events that never happened by using machine learning, particularly deep learning algorithms. In itself, the word combines the terms “deep learning” and “fake.” Even while Hollywood has always used these kinds of deception strategies, the bar has been considerably lowered. Those who have a gaming laptop, an internet connection, and a basic understanding of neural networks may now make convincing phony films. Certain programs streamline the procedure to a mere click-based face-swapping encounter.

An anonymous user going by the handle u/deepfakes started a community on Reddit called r/deepfakes in November 2017, which marked the beginning of the Deepfake technology. Face-swapping films using the Deepfake algorithm were first created for this reason, and over time they have developed into incredibly lifelike and difficult-to-identify depictions of people speaking or doing things they never really did. Technology development raises serious risks to the integrity of society and people’s reputations by expanding the possibility of producing convincingly fake recordings that target politicians, celebrities, and governments.

A few instances highlight how Deepfake videos can be used as a tool for psychological or political manipulation, even though the majority of them are made for entertainment purposes. One example is a video that purports to support Belgium’s exit from the Paris Climate Agreement and features former US President Donald Trump. A Belgian political party posted the video on Facebook and Twitter, but fact-checkers later refuted it. The power and possible consequences of fake news and face-swapping technologies are further illustrated with a film that features comedian Jordan Peele’s mouth digitally added into an original clip of former US President Barack Obama.

These incidents underline the necessity of increased awareness and forceful action to counter the growing risks that Deepfake films offer across a range of platforms. The effects of deepfake footage in the initial months of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Artificial intelligence (AI)-manipulated deepfakes can produce false yet realistic videos of occurrences. According to the study, there have been cases of consumers becoming confused and doubtful about deepfakes and accusing real videos of being fraudulent. Deepfakes have the ability to disseminate counterfactual messages from reliable sources, as evidenced by the notable deepfake video of President Zelensky making an incorrect assertion about the conclusion of the war. Because deepfakes have the potential to undermine trust in legitimate media and feed conspiracy theories. Detection technology is not foolproof, making skepticism and verification crucial.

Apart from the political sphere, firms encounter distinct obstacles. Deepfake technology has been used to imitate business executives, which has resulted in financial fraud and breaches of sensitive data. Proactive cybersecurity measures are necessary in light of the financial and reputational harm caused by these dishonest actions. Additionally, deepfakes have changed the way that social engineering assaults are conducted. Once very simple, phishing attempts have evolved into more devious tactics by utilizing modified audio and video content. Workers and people now need to be extra careful to distinguish real communications from well-planned deepfakes.

The possible effects of deepfakes on national security are too important to overlook on a global basis. The stability of nations is seriously threatened by military deception, strategic disinformation efforts, and the fabrication of narratives. Global governments are realising that to meet these changing problems, comprehensive cybersecurity plans are required.

The fight against deep fakes is fortunately still ongoing. New avenues for creative solutions are being opened up by developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Scholars and cybersecurity professionals are working together to keep one step ahead of criminals through the use of blockchain-based authentication and automated detection algorithms. Human awareness and education play a critical role in the fight against deepfakes. Deterrents can be effectively employed when people are taught to evaluate digital content critically.

Moreover, Awareness-raising and training initiatives should concentrate on identifying and reducing deepfake risks to tackle the deepfake issue. National crisis-response centres must establish a specialised unit for the detection of deepfakes share information and coordinate operations across international borders. Monitoring programs should be expanded to detect altered information, and cybercrime units should be outfitted with the tools necessary to look into and bring charges for events involving deepfakes around the world. Furthermore, technology solutions for access control, encryption, identity management, and general operational security should be given top priority in research and development initiatives. Though it emphasizes constant adaptation to changing deepfake threats and the incorporation of legal frameworks to specify obligations in resolving deepfake occurrences, the dynamic management perspective is still crucial.

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In the Line of Fire- Book review

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In the Line of Fire
In the Line of Fire

In the memoir, In the Line of Fire, Pervaiz Musharraf; the former President of Pakistan, discusses the political, societal, and economic condition of Pakistan. He also discussed Islam, al-Qaeda, and the threat of terrorism along with its repercussions on Pakistan’s domestic and international face. He briefed his stages of life, including childhood, adulthood, life at the Pakistan military academy, his career in the army, and the courses of events that led him as the Martial Law Administrator of Pakistan.

In the first chapter, he started by mentioning his birth, childhood, and academic life along with his family background who were migrants from India. He revered the Turkish people because of his childhood memories because his father was promoted to Foreign Office in Ankara, Turkey. He had an inbuilt passion for the military. After being trained in PMA, Kakul, his leadership, and endurance increased. Because of his chivalry in the 1965 war, he was promoted to captain. His leadership skills helped him earn unquestionable obedience from his subordinates.

Discussing the dismemberment of East Pakistan, Musharraf blames the inept political handling of East Pakistan since independence, and incompetent military leadership that led this debacle to occur. He conformed to the political leadership of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto but his nationalization drive under the slogan of Islamic nationalism to appease religious wing antagonized him. The author became familiar with politics when he got a chance to work under martial law headquarters as Colonel Martial Law. There he witnessed the Siachen incident leading to the Kargil war.

From 1985 to 1988, his army career took a route toward Chief of Army Staff, when the dreadful decade of democracy commenced. Democracy was rolling like a ball in the courts of PPP and PML-N. However, the army always played a reconciliatory role and avoided the military takeover, but the country’s situation was near bankruptcy because of a volatile government. On the incident of the resignation of General Jehangir Karamat, Musharraf writes in his book that General Jehangir gave his opinion on good governance to the government which led to his resignation under pressure from Nawaz Sharif.

Musharraf was appointed Chief of Army Staff just a year before the army deposed Nawaz Sharif’s government. His professional relationship was good initially with Nawaz Sharif except for some minor disagreements over the sacking off, and appointment of some army personnel, and his request for the Court martial of a journalist. This relationship went sour on the Kargil incident, which was the first clash between both countries after they detonated nuclear weapons. This incident was projected as a misadventure of the army, domestically and it distorted its image nationally and internationally. So Pervaiz Musharraf cleared some myths about the Kargil war in his book.

Under the title of the hijacking drama, Musharraf writes about the incident of his plane hijacking. On October 12, 1999, his flight was denied to land in Karachi, and he was ordered to leave Pakistan air space and land somewhere else outside Pakistan when the flight had just an hour’s worth of fuel. Meanwhile, it was aired that Lieutenant General Ziauddin Butt has become Chief of Army Staff. Later when the army took over the rule in resentment, it made the smooth landing of his flight. Nawaz wanted to sack the Chief of Army Staff to assume full power, but his coup met with the army’s countercoup that was already resented over the forced resignation of General Jehangir Karamat. Moreover, the army’s reaction was also a response to the deteriorating economic, social, and political conditions in Pakistan.

Assuming the position of Chief Martial Law Administrator, Musharraf’s strategy was to place the army alongside the civilian bureaucracy to monitor their performance and to guide them. He also kept the constitution working and became chief executive and head of government. At this point in the book, he gives an explanation and justification for all his measures depicting his sincere intentions and patriotism towards the country and nation.

Therefore, he elucidated that the foremost things on his agenda were: to strengthen federation and remove provincial disparity, revive the economy, ensure law and order, depoliticize state institutions, and decentralization of power and accountability setup. So, Musharraf established the institution of NAB, National Reconstruction Bureau, but he stayed in power after the allocated time granted to him by the court elapsed because he thought this time was not enough to steer the system on the right track.

He established a new political party PLM-Q under the pretext that the nation needs an efficient and transparent political party. He allocated seats for women in the National Assembly as a step towards women’s empowerment. He gave a joint electorate to minorities and established the rule that no one could be Pakistan’s President or Prime Minister more than twice. To ensure a foolproof institutional system of checks and balances, he established the National Security Council. He introduced the local system of governance by the Local Government Ordinance of 2000. Economic stability was the main goal of Musharraf. He strived for structural reforms for macroeconomic stability. He made a team of experts to kick-start Pakistan’s economy. He cut down the defense budget and narrowed down expenses instead of levying taxes, and consequently, Pakistan joined the international capital markets for the first time.

In the next part, Musharraf explained the era of the War on Terror, when Pakistan was threatened to join America and Musharraf rationally thought that Pakistan could not afford the animosity of a superpower. Moreover, the benefits of joining it would be the eradication of religious terrorism with American aid, the lifting of economic sanctions and loosening of debt, and being outcast after the nuclear test we would become the center stage internationally. He also wrote about how Pakistan was affected by the war on terror in the form of Afghan refugees and rampant terrorist attacks. He also elucidated the pivotal role of Pakistan in eradicating it and gave a details description of the manhunt of the core leadership of terrorists including Abu Zubaida, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, Ammar al Balochi, Khalid bin Attash, Salahuddin, Abu Faraj al Libbi along with the biography of masterminds of 9/11, Mullah Omer and Osama bin Laden, their aims and goals, and their operational tactics.

In the last chapter, Pakistan at home and abroad, he first discusses nuclear proliferation. He condemns the hypocrisy of world powers to accept the nuclearization of India under the guise of peaceful detonation which increased the arms race in South Asia and their criticism of Pakistan for its nuclear power acquisition. He states that it was a requirement of deterrence stability for Pakistan to acquire nuclear capability.

International diplomacy was very important for Musharraf to establish bilateral trade relations with other countries. He gave the idea of enlightened moderation, which was the rejection of terrorism and focus on internal socioeconomic development by the whole Muslim world. It could be achieved by resolving Kashmir and Palestine issues. So, he initiated good terms with India for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue and visited India. Because he believed that international relations are geoeconomic instead of geostrategic.

In the social sector, he took a holistic approach to education, improving educational standards by allocating more funds and scholarships. He also took measures for the emancipation of women in the political domain. As Pakistan was projected as an extremist country internationally at that time, to portray a soft image of Pakistan he promoted tourism, sports cultural art, and harmony.

Musharraf concludes the book by stating that no policy is one hundred percent successful or perfect but still by his diligence, patriotic spirit, and sincerity, Pakistan was steered on the path of progress and prosperity by stability in NWFP and defeating al-Qaida. Pakistan now has suppressed extremism and has sustained economic growth through better agriculture, increased FDI, industries, and exports. In the end, he recommends that more is needed to be done in these sectors along with poverty alleviation, increasing human development resources, consolidation of democracy, and rule of law along with maintaining an upright international stature.

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how’s life

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how's life
how's life

Life is very arduous as well as delightful. Life is another name for challenges, trials and tribulations, and to make hard decisions, but it is also the most irresistible, exquisite, and spunky thing. Life is not about just frittering away, it’s about making your life as you want it to be, chasing your dreams, your passion and everything you want to do in life. We all go through a lot of catastrophes, but that doesn’t mean to give up on your dreams. Life is a vision one has towards life; he has a purpose to live that life.

We all ask some questions, like “What is the meaning of life?”, “Why are we here?”, “What is life all about?”, or “What is the purpose of life?”. Well, we asked these questions because we’re broken somehow, by someone, by circumstances, by other situations. But we do not think that whatever is happening let it happen. Yes, it does hurt you, but if it doesn’t hurt you how’ll you be able to make a stronger and better version of yourself.

Life teaches you a lot of things that people can’t teach you. Where you have to be resilient, strong, determined and negotiator. You meet different sorts of people in your life, some of them are positive, others negative. These people had so much impact on your life, some of them motivates you to be a better person and some of them intimidates you.

Well, life hasn’t been fair to everyone, some of them lost their love, some opportunities, some families, some friends but in the end, it makes you so strong, tenacious and contemplated.

Life is an intricate tapestry woven with threads of joy, sorrow, challenges, and triumphs. It’s a journey marked by peaks and valleys, and each step we take contributes to the unique mosaic of our existence. In the symphony of life, every individual plays a distinct melody, creating a harmonious composition that reflects the beauty of diversity.

Accept change wholeheartedly since it’s the only thing that will never change on this constantly changing path. Every sunrise is an opportunity to start over, to pull off the old layers and emerge a stronger, wiser, more compassionate version of yourself. Even though life’s turns and turns are unpredictable, you can control how you choose to respond to them. Select bravery over fear, confidence over pessimism, and resiliency over resistance.

As a compass, dreams point you in the direction of your true north. Nurture your dreams with steadfast faith and consistent work. Recall that obstacles are not signs of failure but rather side trips that take you in unexpected directions. No matter how small, acknowledge your accomplishments and use them as motivation to reach greater heights.

A fulfilling life is an elixir of gratitude. Take a moment to enjoy the small things in life, the beauty all around you, and the priceless lessons you have discovered along the way. Ordinary moments become extraordinary memories when one is filled with gratitude, and abundance is drawn to one who is grateful.

Take good care of your physical and mental health. Your body is the means of transportation for this journey, and a sound body supports a sound mind. Make self-care a priority, pay attention to your soul’s whispers, and schedule quiet time to revitalize your energy.

Keep in mind that you are the one holding the brush to create a masterpiece as you overcome the complex tapestry of life. Paint with passion, boldness, and purpose. Accept life’s ups and downs, for it is in the tango of contrasts that the splendor of life is revealed. You are the creator of your own narrative and the mastermind behind your fate; you are not just an observer. Take up the brush of life with bravery, thankfulness, and a firm faith in the remarkable journey that is being painted by the moments that are passing.

Relationships are the threads that hold us all together in the fabric of life. Make relationships that feed your spirit and lift your soul. Be in the company of people who uplift, encourage, and support you as you grow. Treasure the relationships that withstand adversity, as they serve as the rock, solid foundations that will steadily support you during turbulent times.

Take good care of your physical and mental health. Your body is the means of transportation for this journey, and a sound body supports a sound mind. Make self-care a priority, pay attention to your soul’s whispers, and schedule quiet time to revitalize your energy.

May you discover in the magnificent tapestry of life the courage to follow your dreams, the wisdom to relish joys, and the strength to overcome obstacles. Accept the unknown with an open mind and a spirit of curiosity because the real beauty of life is found in the process of traveling rather than the final destination. I hope you have a day full of affection, chuckling and purpose as you follow your own path. Treasure each moment because, in the end, what makes a life worthwhile are the experiences you have and the influence you have on others. Go forth, then, with thankfulness, fortitude, and a firm faith in the amazing journey that is life.

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