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Nearpeer CSS Monthly Press Pack January 2020

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Nearpeer CSS Monthly Press Pack January 2020

A Note by Nearpeer’s CSS Current

Affairs Instructor, Mr. Zohaib Anjum
(46th Common, 1st Position AJK, PAS

Y ear 2019 elapsed with shades of gloom and doom. The year witnessed
many crucial developments at national and global level. As the year end
was coming closer, a new feeling of nausea and uncertainty was
creeping in. An unending streak of conflicts, protests and chaos remained
over the world. To encapsulate a few, crisis in Venzuella entered a new era
with Juan Guiado declaring himself new president. A fanatic in Christchurch,
Newzeland went on killing spree while live-streaming his attack on a mosque killing 51 people followed by Jacinda
Arden winning the hearts of all Muslims of the world with her overtures. Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi
appeared at ICJ denying accusations of genocide of Rohingyas at the hands of Tatmadaw. US Special Forces killed
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of IS in Syria and Iraq. US formally walked away from
Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. Trump's policy of withdrawal continued as he abruptly withdrew
from Afghan peace process with Taliban.

2019 was full of protestations with pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, protests in Algeria, Sudan, Chile,
Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Bolivia, Indian, Russia and Nicaragua. Perhaps the most interesting news of year 2019 was
the impeachment of US President Donald Trump over his pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
to investigate Democratic front-runner Joe Biden. Similarly, Turkey, Malaysia and Iran held Kualalampur Summit
raising eye-brows in Riyadh.

Erdogan, Modi and Putin became more assertive. Modi went on to carry out aerial attacks inside Pakistan
followed by a brief but tense standoff with Pakistan. India unilaterally stripped Kashmir of its special status in
August, 2019 and India further nosedived into lap of Hindu nationalism with CAA, National Register for Citizens
and a Supreme Court verdict against the construction of Babri Mosque in Ayodhya. Amazon burned and tensions
remained all at an all-time high in Persian Gulf. In May 2019 four commercial ships were attacked while in the
Strait of Hormuz which US accused Iran of being "directly responsible". Iran restarted its nuclear program. Central
American migrants continued exodus towards greener pastures in the North.

United Kingdom continued to make its folly due to its government's inability and inaction over Brexit. Europe
remained mired in turmoil with war in Eastern Ukraine, Brexit, financial crisis and US pressure on NATO. United
States of America continued its trade war with China. North Korea and United States nuclear talks stalled after a
brief thaw in June 2019.

For 2020, hopes and hurdles are walking besides each other. Kashmir and economic crisis would dominate
Pakistan's internal and regional politics. Global affairs are going to remain as turbulent as ever but still let's hope
against hope that it would change anything.

Dates for competitive examination 2020 are out. Time is ripe for formulating an effective strategy for revising
everything that CSS aspirants have read in the past 6 to 8 months. It is time to keep nerves calm and spirits high.
Competitive examination is going to test you like you were never tested before. But one who would be able to
keep a hold on his meanderings would be in a much better position to come out triumphant and victorious. I
wish you all the best for your attempt. - Zohaib Anjum

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How to use this document?

T his document was compiled by the CSS wing of Nearpeer to help CSS aspirants by
providing them with all the important articles of last month from local as well as
international newspapers.

This will serve as an important guide in preparation as well as revision of not only current
affairs but many other compulsory and optional subjects such as Islamic Studies, Pakistan
Affairs, Sociology, Gender Studies, International Relations and Political Science.

This issue is designed to help the you in the following ways:

1- It will help you with catching up with all the happenings of the last month
2- It contains analyses of various issues of importance. Analyses is as important as knowing
the content of news
3- A diverse range of articles are selected from among local as well as international
newspapers and journals, so now you know you do not have to go through old archives of old
4- This will also serve as a quick revision guide for aspirants just before the exams
5- Candidates can use this issue in order to brush up their analytical as well as comprehension
6- Additionally, they can also use it to improve their vocabulary and its usage

All the Best!

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India and Pakistan Are Edging Closer to War in 2020 By: Michael Kugleman (Foreign Policy) ...................... 3
2020 Hindsight By: Mahir Ali (Dawn) ........................................................................................................... 6
Creation Myths (December 15, 2019) By: Asad Rahim Khan (Dawn) ............................................................ 8
Time For Action (December 15, 2019) By: Aisha Khan (Dawn) ................................................................... 10
The Americans Are Coming? Washington’s China Pushback and Its Uncertainties By: Jin Kai (The
Diplomat) .................................................................................................................................................. 11
COP25, the UN climate talks in Madrid, ends in a sad splutter .................................................................. 14
How Trump Lost His Trade War? ............................................................................................................... 16
Extension Verdict (Dawn Editorial) December 18, 2019 ............................................................................. 18
The Uncertain Future of Pakistan's National Action Plan By: Sehar Kamran .............................................. 19
Saffronia (December 19, 2019) By: F.S. Aijazuddin (Dawn) ........................................................................ 20
Modi Makes His Bigotry Even Clearer (The New York Times, Editorial) ...................................................... 22
The United Kingdom Has Voted. Will It Remain United? ........................................................................... 24
Mind The Gap (December 20, 2019) (Dawn, Editorial) ............................................................................... 26
Violent Capitals (December 20, 2019) By: Afiya S. Zia ................................................................................ 26
KL Summit Fallout (December 23, 2019) (Dawn Editorial) .......................................................................... 28
Pakistan’s High Stake CPEC Reboot (Foreign Policy) .................................................................................. 29
Clipping NAB’s Wings (December 29, 2019) (Dawn , Editorial) ................................................................... 32
Amendments to NAB Ordinance (December 31 st, 2019) By: Hassan Khawar (Tribune) .............................. 33
The Perfect Storm (December 14, 2019) By: Irfan Hussain (Dawn)............................................................. 34
Pakistan-Russia Relations are Steadily Warming Up .................................................................................. 36
How to Fix Pakistan’s Crashing Economy ................................................................................................... 37
By: Atif Mian (The New York Times) .......................................................................................................... 37
Implementing Tariff Policy (December 9, 2019) By: Abbas Raza (The Nation) ............................................ 40
The World Solved the Ozone Problem. It Can Solve Climate Change (The New York Times, Editorial) ....... 42
Season of Revolts (December 4, 2019) By: Mahir Ali (Dawn) ..................................................................... 44
From Red to Green – Pakistan Aims for Climate Resilient Cities By: Adnan Rehmat .................................. 46
Current State of Civil-Military Relationship and Future Trends By: Umer Karim ........................................ 47
Globalisation is the New Colonisation (December 2, 2019) By: Muhammad Ahmad Saad (The Nation) .... 49
India, Kashmir and Deterrence (December 9, 2019) By: Riaz M. Khan (Dawn) ........................................... 51
Alarming Number (December 9, 2019) By: Aisha Khan (Dawn) .................................................................. 53
New Troubolemakers Emerge (The Economist) ......................................................................................... 54

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of cease-fire—was a lousy deal for

India and Pakistan Are Edging Washington and Kabul.
Closer to War in 2020
The suspension of talks didn’t last long.
By: Michael Kugleman Trump announced plans to scale up
(Foreign Policy) offensives against the Taliban, but this was
more of a bargaining tactic than a
battlefield redirection. Washington wanted

T urmoil is never far away in South

Asia, between disputed borders,
acute resource shortages, and threats
ranging from extremist violence to
earthquakes. But in 2019, two crises stood
to increase military pressure on the Taliban
so that the insurgents would make more
concessions at the negotiating table—such
as the cease-fire they had refused to agree
out: an intensifying war in Afghanistan and to earlier. Indeed, several days after Trump
deep tensions between India and Pakistan. made a surprise Thanksgiving visit to
And as serious as both were in 2019, expect Afghanistan, talks resumed—and this time
them to get even worse in the coming year. with U.S. negotiators aiming to get a
Taliban commitment to reduce violence
Afghanistan has already seen several grim against U.S. troops.During the last few days
milestones in the last 12 months that of December, media reports revealed that
attested to the ferocity of the Taliban the Taliban had agreed to a temporary
insurgency. Casualty figures for Afghan ceasefire to clear the way for a deal with the
security forces and civilians set new United States. The Taliban, however,
records. It was also the deadliest year for rejected these reports.
U.S. forces since 2014.
Meanwhile, 2019 was a dangerously tense
Ironically, violence soared even as there year for India and Pakistan—two rivals that
was unprecedented momentum toward are both neighbors and nuclear states. In
launching a peace process. U.S. President February, a young Kashmiri man in the
Donald Trump, eager to exit Afghanistan, town of Pulwama staged a suicide bombing
stepped up efforts to secure a deal with the that killed more than three dozen Indian
Taliban that would give him the political security forces—the deadliest such attack
cover for a troop withdrawal. U.S. in Kashmir in three decades. Jaish-e-
negotiators and senior Taliban Mohammad—a Pakistan-based terror
representatives held multiple rounds of group with close ties to Pakistan’s security
talks, and by September the two sides were establishment—claimed responsibility.
finalizing a deal that centered on a India retaliated by sending jets across
withdrawal of U.S. troops coupled with a Pakistan-administered Kashmir and
commitment by the Taliban to renounce ties launching limited strikes, for the first time
to international terror groups. since a war in 1971. Soon thereafter,
Pakistan claimed it had carried out six air
However, in September, Trump abruptly strikes in Kashmir to showcase its might,
called off talks, giving a recent Taliban and it also shot down an Indian fighter jet
attack on a U.S. soldier as the reason. The and captured the pilot. The confrontation,
likelier explanation, as I wrote for Foreign which de-escalated when Islamabad
Policy back then, was the administration’s announced the pilot’s release several days
recognition that the emerging accord with later, represented the most serious
the Taliban—which didn’t call for any type exchange of hostilities in years.

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Then, in August, India revoked the arguably sought political advantages from
autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, the the distractions of saber rattling.
India-administered part of Kashmir, and
declared it a new territory of India. New Against this tense backdrop, the opening in
Delhi also imposed a security lockdown in November of a new border corridor that
Kashmir that included the detention of enables Indian Sikhs to enter Pakistan visa-
hundreds of people and a communication free to worship at a holy shrine, which in
blackout. For Islamabad, which claims better times could have been a bridge to an
Jammu and Kashmir as its own, the move improved relationship, amounted to little
amounted to a serious provocation, if not a more than a one-off humanitarian gesture.
hostile act. Pakistan retaliated by expelling
India’s envoy from Islamabad and Bad as these crises are, they are poised to
suspending trade with New Delhi. get worse next year.
Undaunted, in the weeks that followed,
senior Indian officials—including the The good news for Americans is that a
defense and foreign ministers—turned their U.S.-Taliban deal likely isn’t far off; both
attention to Pakistan-administered sides are fully invested in a troop
Kashmir, which New Delhi has long withdrawal. For Trump, the importance of
claimed, and suggested they eventually troop departures will grow as the U.S.
planned to reclaim it. presidential election draws closer, and
especially because the Washington Post’s
Bilateral relations remained fraught over release in December of the “Afghanistan
the last few months of the year. Islamabad Papers”—documents that feature senior
issued constant broadsides against New U.S. officials admitting failure in the war—
Delhi for its continued security lockdown in will likely solidify U.S. public opinion in
Kashmir. By year’s end, an internet favor of winding down America’s role in
blackout was still in effect. Then, in the 18-year war.
December, India’s parliament passed a
controversial new citizenship law that However, any U.S.-Taliban deal will do
affords fast-track paths to Indian little to reduce violence, other than halting
citizenship for religious minorities—but attacks on U.S. troops. In other words, the
not Muslims—fleeing persecution in war will continue.
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
The new law angered Islamabad not just for A U.S.-Taliban accord would clear the path
excluding Muslims, but because of the for an intra-Afghan dialogue between the
implication—accurate but not something Afghan government, other political
Islamabad likes to admit—that Pakistan stakeholders, and the Taliban that aims to
persecutes its Hindu and Christian produce a cease-fire and an eventual
communities. political settlement that ends the war.

These prolonged tensions often The path to intra-Afghan dialogue,

overshadowed what was arguably the however, is fraught with obstacles.
biggest story in both countries in 2019: Afghanistan held a presidential election in
economic struggle. India suffered its September. The preliminary results—
biggest economic slowdown in six years, released in December—showed President
and Pakistan confronted a serious debt Ashraf Ghani in the lead, but with barely
crisis. The two weren’t unconnected: Given the 50 percent of votes needed to avoid a
the inability of New Delhi and Islamabad to second round of voting with the second-
fix their economies, both governments place finisher, his bitter rival Abdullah
Abdullah (who rejected the results). The

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close margin suggests that when final easy on Islamabad. Pakistan, not wanting to
results are announced, the loser won’t show weakness, will not give in easily.
accept them.
The doomsday clock for the next India-
This means Afghanistan is unlikely to have Pakistan war is at a minute to midnight.
a new government in place for at least Diplomatic intervention from Washington
another few months, and even longer if the and other third parties, and cooler heads on
final results are different from the initial both sides, may keep it from ticking further
ones and require a second vote. Due to forward. But it’s hard to see a path to
winter weather in Afghanistan, a runoff unraveling such tightly knotted tensions—
likely wouldn’t occur until the spring. or to solving Afghanistan’s unending
Without a new government in place, it conflict.
beggars belief that Afghanistan could
launch a process to establish an intra-
Afghan dialogue, much less negotiate an
end to the war. And even if and when an
intra-Afghan dialogue is launched, the
hardest of sells will be required to convince
the Taliban to lay down arms and agree to
share power within a political system that it
has long rejected and vowed to overthrow
by force.

Consequently, Afghanistan in 2020 is likely

to see a withdrawal of U.S. forces before a
peace agreement is in place—a
demoralizing outcome for already
struggling Afghan forces that would deliver
another boost to the Taliban and further
increase violence.

Meanwhile, the underlying tensions

between India and Pakistan remain sharp. 2020 Hindsight
Pakistan arrested dozens of Islamist By: Mahir Ali (Dawn)
militants this past year, but New Delhi
wasn’t convinced Islamabad was taking
strong and “irreversible” steps against
India-focused terrorists and their networks.
And New Delhi’s actions in Kashmir in
2019 represented worst-case scenarios for
E ighty years ago, at the beginning of
World War II, W.H. Auden
famously condemned the 1930s as a
“low dishonest decade”. In some ways that
description fits the 2010s, yet it feels
inadequate. While the past 10 years have
In either scenario, escalation would be provided numerous occasions for despair,
swift. Bilateral relations are much worse they were peppered throughout with signs
than they were during last February’s of hope. Inevitably, much of the good, the
confrontation. Ever since its resounding bad and the ugly will carry over into the
reelection victory last spring, India’s ruling 2020s.
party has pursued its Hindu nationalist
agenda in increasingly aggressive
fashion—which gives it no incentive to go

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Large parts of the world erupted in protests few instances of popularly propelled
in the early years of the last decade, regime change, but ended with the widest
following the shock of the global financial panoply in living memory of far right or
crisis and the subsequent use of public authoritarian (and often both) regimes,
funds by all too many Western from Egypt and Turkey to India, Sri Lanka,
governments to rescue private enterprises. China, Russia, the Philippines, Britain,
The Occupy Wall Street movement Poland, Hungary, the US, Brazil and
inspired copycat protests in several Bolivia. If, borrowing last century’s
countries. popular nomenclature, the decade ahead is
dubbed the Roaring 20s, the reference will
The US was also the breeding ground for probably be to the incessant yelling of
various other manifestations of rage against demagogues and the terminal gasps of
the established order, from Black Lives dinosaurs.
Matter to the pussyhat protests, Me Too and
the articulate anger of the Parkland The counterpoints are not irrelevant.
students, who challenged the right to bear Ethiopia may yet succeed in establishing a
arms after a devastating mass shooting at model of reconciliation in strife-torn
their school. But the US also threw up the Africa. New Zealand under Jacinda Ardern
Tea Party. And Donald Trump. puts Australia to shame. Finland lately
boasts not only the world’s youngest prime
Halfway across the world, mass youth minister in 34-year-old Sanna Marin, but
unemployment and WikiLeaks revelations her coalition partners are also all women. In
about corruption combined with a self- Britain, had the vote been restricted to
immolation of a desperate Tunisian street under-40s, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party
vendor sparked an Arab Spring that was would have won a landslide. Likewise in
largely nipped in the bud. A few tyrants fell, the US, Bernie Sanders’ popularity is
only to be replaced in short order by others highest among the youth.
— or by anarchy. The occupation of Iraq
earlier in the century and then the Young women, in particular, have been
unrestrained brutality of the Syrian regime sparkling repositories of hope in recent
led to the terrorist Islamic State’s years — from Malala Yousafzai and Ahed
‘caliphate’. Tamimi to Emma Gonzalez, Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Greta
More recently, a half-hearted reshuffle on Thunberg, among so many others.
the top deck has failed to placate Lebanese Thunberg’s cause is overwhelmingly
protesters. A desperate, brutal response to significant in the decade ahead; unless man-
protests in Iraq and Iran has sowed the made climate change is ameliorated in the
seeds of future rebellions. The war in next 10 years, most other nightmares (and
Yemen drags on, with the Saudi-led dreams) are pretty much academic.
coalition facilitated by the US and Britain.
Israel, meanwhile, goes into its third The 2010s are likely to be remembered as
election within a year with absolutely no the decade of smartphones and dumb re-
hope of relief from the pattern of gimes, the proliferation of social media
occupational hazards reinforced by alongside anti-social attitudes, seismic
Benjamin Netanyahu, again bolstered by rebellions and ruthless repression, working-
the West. class indignados and ruling-class
insouciance, monumental technological
The previous decade began with broadly advances and their misanthropic misuse,
left-wing revolts against the established profoundly damaging austerity combined
order in various parts of the world, and a with a disregard for posterity, insidious

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inequality and erroneous ethno- With this latest legislation, it rose to fever
nationalism, a resurgence in religious pitch. For context, India’s citizenship bill is
fanaticism and racist fantasies, rude part of a one-two punch: it offers amnesty
awakenings and sleepwalking into to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan,
catastrophe. Bangladesh, and Afghanistan; India’s
National Register of Citizens will then
Notwithstanding all the warnings about its swoop in on the Muslim illegals left over.
potential abuse, perhaps artificial Anticipating Hindutva heaven, the lotus
intelligence ought to be welcomed, given boys are already setting up concentration
that the natural variety seems to have been camps all over Assam.
devastatingly depleted in the past 30 years,
during what was half-wittedly hailed as ‘the This is important for other reasons. Like
end of history’. anything else, fascism runs on rules.
Despite the visuals coming out of New
Thunberg recently summed up in five India — lynchings and evil yogis and
words the times we live: “Our house is on Shahrukh Khan’s hostage videos —
fire”. It’s particularly easy to appreciate actually setting up a Nazi apparatus takes
that sentiment in Sydney, where the sun time. Armed with a second term, Modi is
seldom blazes yellow but instead casts a red now remaking India’s institutions.
glow. That, in turn, serves as a reminder of
the choice Rosa Luxemburg pinpointed a But instead of a crisis of the spirit, the
century ago between a regression into Indian response has been to drag in their
barbarism and a transition to socialism. neighbour. “India has just cast itself in
Pakistan’s image,” wrote journalist Barkha
A better world remains implausible but not Dutt. “It will reduce us to a Hindutva
impossible. There is, as Leonard Cohen put version of Pakistan,” said MP Shashi
it, a crack in everything — that’s how the Tharoor.
light gets in. Here’s wishing all readers, and
everyone else, a cracking new year. It’s almost as if the rumours were true: the
Indian left might not be intellectually robust
Creation Myths (December 15, 2019) enough to take on the goblins at home.

By: Asad Rahim Khan (Dawn) But amid the deepest denial, this is a worthy
coping mechanism. And it flows from a
T started as a murmur. “Amit Shah’s

story that Indian pundits never tire telling
insinuation, that Muslims shall not and themselves: long ago, the genius of the
cannot be safe and secure in India, will people shone through secular heroes like
be widely acclaimed in one country: Gandhi and Nehru, while Jinnah and
Pakistan,” wrote Indian historian Savarkar were on the fringe — two sides of
Ramachandra Guha. the same communal coin. But hate won
over hope; a combo of Congress
This was some months before Kashmir and complacency, Muslim resentment, and
Ayodhya, and days before India re-elected canny chess moves saw Jinnah win
Narendra Modi in the largest turnout in its Pakistan. With the rise of Modi, Savarkar’s
history. But as the Fourth Reich began to sons will now do away with India’s secular
take hold, the murmur became a mantra: ‘a antidote too, and turn it into an extremist
Hindutva version of Pakistan’. republic. Hence the ‘Hindutva version of

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It’s a good story, but like most good stories, obliterates Muslim representation, not that
it gets everything backwards: though easy they vote en bloc anyway. Finally, it’s a
to forget now, India’s pre-eminent young what-if counterfactual, which means
nationalist in the 1910s was not the there’s zero evidence to support it.
Mahatma; it was the Quaid (to say nothing
of comparing a man like Jinnah to a mutant At long last, India cannot externalise its
like Savarkar). By injecting religion into monsters. In Pakistan’s own battle with
the freedom movement for the first time, militancy, the tide turned when it was
Gandhi managed to wrest the stage away diagnosed — that these demons were our
from Jinnah, and root it in religious tropes: own. But India has chosen to elect its
‘satya’, ‘ahimsa’, ‘dharma’, and the demons. It’s time for a better diagnosis.
majoritarian flood that came with it.
Jinnah’s calls for sanity were shouted down And as for Pakistan, proving better than the
by a populist beast he could no longer Fourth Reich is hardly cause to smirk.
recognise. He realised that there was no Lahore, Ghotki, Gojra, Joseph Colony,
other way but a separate state. Hazara Town, All Saints — from terror
attacks to criminal conversions, these
This ties in with the second story: that names have faded from memory. Prime
Prime Minister Modi upended secular Minister Imran Khan’s promise to grant
India. For anyone who was listening to the citizenship to Pakistan’s children remains
screams in the distance, Sanjay Gandhi was unkept; Justice Jillani’s judgement
busy sterilising Muslims (euphemised as safeguarding minorities remains
‘the poor’) during the Emergency, unimplemented.
minorities were being massacred in Assam
and Bihar, state-sponsored pogroms wiped India has vindicated Jinnah. It’s high time
out thousands of Sikhs in Delhi, and then that Pakistan stop failing him.
nearly a thousand Muslims in Gujarat.

Unique to India after Indira, the electorate

rewarded mass murder with thumping re-
election victories both times — for Rajiv in
1984 and Modi in 2002. India was always a
majoritarian project. Now it’s a Hindutva

That leaves us with the third and last

creation myth. “If Pakistan had not been
created,” asked Shashi Tharoor, “could
India become what it is today?” This
fantasy also prevails among Pakistan’s far-
left and far-right: that an undivided India
would mean strength in numbers for the
Muslims and prevent their marginalisation.
But today’s India is home to the most
Muslims in the world after Indonesia, and
may top that list in 40 years. Its only
Muslim-majority (occupied) ‘territory’ is
an open prison called Kashmir — courtesy
the secular Nehru — where the people face
extermination. Its first-past-the-post system

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Time For Action (December 15, 2019) countries to reduce emissions outside
market mechanisms such as aid. Although
By: Aisha Khan (Dawn) these negotiations are technical they do
tend to become politicised, making

I t has taken the world 25 years of disagreements more pronounced and

negotiations to reach the point where positions more entrenched. At best, a partial
countries are now required to put words resolution will be cobbled to show progress
into actions. The Conference of Parties narrowing down the agenda for discussion
(COP) provides an international platform at COP26 in 2020. However, reaching an
for bringing states together to build agreement on a common set of rules to
consensus on global climate agreements govern transactions is critical to the
that would otherwise remain intractable. integrity and success of the Paris
Agreement as weak rules can camouflage
The Paris Agreement was a feat of emissions and, in fact, result in increased
diplomatic success that brought 196 nations global emissions.
to agree on the Agenda of Solutions and
became operational with the finalisation of The other important item on the agenda at
the Rule Book. However, each COP is COP25 was on long-term finance.
criticised for not finding solutions that are Developed countries opposed LTF
fair and equitable for carbon-neutral targets discussions under UNFCCC post 2020.
for all. This effectively means that the
commitment of $100 billion per annum by
The three parallel activities at the COPs developed countries will no longer be
include negotiations by party delegates, mandated after 2020. As of now it is
side events for knowledge sharing and civil difficult to say what the new terms and
society marches. COP25 in Madrid was no conditions will be, but should there be a
exception to this standard format and scaling down on commitments it will
response. The main outstanding agenda at translate into less money available to
COP25 was to reach agreement on the developing states for adaptation and
unresolved Article 6 that split nations into mitigation.
vanguard and laggard.
The emerging global scenario after years of
As part of the Paris Agreement countries negotiations doesn’t appear to be of ‘one
had agreed to set up new global carbon humanity and shared responsibility’.
market systems to de-carbonise economies. Negotiations have produced commitments
However, since the Paris Agreement fails to that are not legally binding and science has
describe how systems will work or what not been successful in making countries
rules will ensure real emission cuts, reduce emissions to keep pace with need. It
reaching an agreement continued to pose is time to reconcile with some harsh
the biggest challenge at COP25. realities.

The discussions on Article 6 centre on As the resource base shrinks and

bilateral and voluntary agreement to trade populations grow, each country will put
carbon units, creating the Sustainable itself first, and exclusive agendas will find
Development Mechanism to replace the more traction with governments and
Clean Development Mechanism through a citizens. Moreover, no one is ready to shift
centralised governance system for countries from capitalism and make the changes that
and the private sector to trade emissions are necessary to reduce production patterns
reduction anywhere in the world, and a and challenge corporate interests.
framework for cooperation between

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Civil society marches/strikes would be The Americans Are Coming?

more effective if the thousands that
congregate make a personal commitment to Washington’s China Pushback
reduce demand. If enough people become and Its Uncertainties
vegetarians the emissions from livestock
will go down. Similarly, if people refuse to By: Jin Kai (The Diplomat)
buy products and commodities

manufactured from carbon-intensive n 2011, the British Broadcasting
technologies, emissions will go down. Corporation (BBC) showed a two-
episode series on China’s rise, which
Industry responds to demand, and if was titled “The Chinese Are Coming.” In
demand goes down market forces will this documentary, China’s economic
adjust accordingly. For Pakistan, the expansion throughout the world was
highlight at COP25 was the launching of described in a vivid but largely questioning
the Ecosystem Restoration Fund by the narrative. Besides China’s unprecedented
adviser on climate change. This is the first economic acquisitions in continents like
such initiative by Pakistan at a COP. Africa and South America, abandoned
factories in Youngstown, Ohio were
Housed in the National Disaster Risk Man- particularly cited as an example to show
agement Fund and financed by the World how China’s economic expansion, with the
Bank, the programme has five thematic help of globalization, cast shadows over the
areas that will build the ecological integrity economy in some parts of the United States.
through sustainable strategies. The
secretary of the climate change ministry, For the United States, the “shadows” cast
CEO, NDRMF, Nadeem Ahmed and by China’s ambitious growth are spreading
Ambassador Khayyam Akbar also attended almost everywhere, and Washington is
the event. taking actions on a wide range of political,
economic, cultural, social, and ideological
All eyes are now on 2020 but the pathway issues. That seems to suggest that it’s the
to emissions reduction is through people Americans that are coming this time, with a
and not the governments. The answers lie in so-called “whole-of-government”
action not words. If we want to save the pushback on China.
planet, then we must reduce our individual
carbon footprint and the rest will follow. It The concept of a “whole-of-government”
is also time for South Asia to view climate approach, however, is not new at all. Back
change from a regional lens and work on in 2009, the U.S. Department of Defense
collaborative strategies to build resilience. released its Quadrennial Roles and
A regional COP before December 2020 will Missions Review Report, which “supports
set the stage for a stronger ask for climate institutionalizing whole-of-government
justice at COP26. approaches to addressing national security
challenges.” Then-Secretary of State Hilary
Clinton also claimed in an address at the
Brookings Institution on May 27, 2010, that
the administration’s goal is “to begin to
make the case that defense, diplomacy and
development were not separate entities,
either in substance or process, but that
indeed they had to be viewed as part of an
integrated whole and that the whole of

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government then had to be enlisted in their resolution and military capability to

pursuit.” maintain its absolute predominance in the
As U.S.-China relationship became stuck in
a chilly period and a protracted trade war, Meanwhile, when rioting protesters
similar statements and policies were brought extreme chaos to Hong Kong, a
restated in waves of media campaigns and media campaign and political propaganda
political propaganda. This time, Congress in the West, and especially in the United
seemed to have taken a more proactive role. States, swiftly and habitually blamed
The National Defense Authorization Act Beijing and the local government of Hong
passed in August 2018 by Congress Kong Special Administration Region. On
stressed “whole of government” American the other hand, dissidents in Hong Kong
counter-efforts targeting China. were met by political leaders in Washington
Meanwhile, important figures in Trump’s and a bill on Hong Kong was passed to
administration like FBI Director demonstrate Washington’s political values.
Christopher Wray, Assistant Secretary The same pattern repeated with respect to
Christopher Ashley Ford, and Vice recent U.S. policies on Xinjiang, one of
President Mike Pence as well all made China’s five autonomous regions.
similar remarks on different occasions
when talking about the U.S. response to Given the current tension, the incremental
China’s comprehensive challenges or even interactions between Washington and
aggression toward the West and especially Taipei, though less bold and publicized, can
the United States. be seen as another “gray zone” arena of this
ongoing “whole-of-government” pushback,
Obviously, Washington’s resolution goes which may lead to an unwanted escalation
well beyond political rhetoric and critiques. should Beijing’s red line be crossed.
Since mid- 2018, a “whole-of-government”
(if not a “whole-of-society”) pushback has Nevertheless, a preliminary study of all the
been implemented in almost all directions, above policies, means, and measures
with all possible means, and at all levels. applied by Washington indicates that
For example, the full-tension trade war although U.S. policy instruments have been
policy has been a core part of Washington’s intensifying since the beginning of this
comprehensively firm stand in its trade war, there seems to be an unspoken
confrontation with Beijing. The Trump limit to prevent an instant and total
administration not only implemented decoupling – at least so far. At the end of
punitive tariffs and blacklisted a growing the day, decoupling with China is not the
number of Chinese entities for high- only option for Washington.
technology export restrictions, but also
used the long-arm jurisdiction of U.S. Meanwhile, the so-called “whole-of-
domestic law to target and punish Huawei. government” pushback against China is
In addition to these trade-related moves, facing some uncertainties. For example,
Washington also initiated a full clampdown U.S. domestic public opinion and support is
on civic communication between the an important variable. As the U.S.-China
United States and China on the grounds of trade war dragged on and China’s
suspected espionage activities. Moreover, retaliation hit back, the U.S. public (and
the U.S. Navy recently stepped up its farmers, in particular) had to bear the
reconnaissance in the South China Sea, consequences. As an article in August 2019
notably joined by the U.S. Coast Guard – by Sophie Quinton at PewTrusts points out,
obviously a “gray zone” tactic to economists believe that the trade war has
demonstrate Washington’s political reshaped international markets in ways that

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could hurt U.S. farmers for years to come. system, which coincides with China’s
Meanwhile, a public opinion survey position.
conducted by the New York Times through
the online research platform SurveyMonkey Washington’s yearlong obstruction of
in September 2019 shows that 58 percent of WTO reform and new judge nominations is
Americans say the conflict with China will a good example to demonstrate the discord
be bad for the United States, an increase between the U.S. and Europe. Keith
from 53 percent the last time the same Johnson at Foreign Policy recently made
question was asked in June 2019. the prediction that Trump “may finally kill
the WTO.” World trade is veering
Collaboration with U.S. allies will be dangerously close to operating under “the
another important external variable. law of the jungle,” and as The Associated
Although U.S. allies such as Japan and Press commented, the United States under
Australia in the Asia-Pacific and the U.K., Trump appears to prefer it that way. But the
Germany, and France in Europe may have EU emphatically disagrees. The statement
all joined with the United States to confront by E.U. Ambassador João Aguiar Machado
China over issues like the South China Sea at the WTO General Council meeting
disputes in one way or another, these precisely pointed out that “the very idea of
countries may take different position and a rules based multilateral trading system is
attitude when it comes to the at stake. The European Union firmly
“comprehensive” and “whole-of- believes in a multilateral trading system
government” pushback the U.S. intends. where rules can be enforced, where
One notable point of friction would be disputes can be submitted to adjudicators,
Trump’s use of punitive tariffs against and where rulings of ad hoc panels can be
almost all major countries, including U.S. appealed before a standing appeal instance
allies. For example, the Trump’ that gives guarantees of quality and
administration just threatened to impose independence.”
100 percent tariffs on French cheese,
champagne, and wines on December 2, Other uncertainties facing the U.S. “whole-
shortly before the 2019 NATO summit held of-government” approach include China’s
in London. Washington’s relationships comprehensive counter-pushback, which
with its Asian allies are not in harmony may be painful for both sides, and the
either. Last month, U.S.-South Korea talks inherent uncertainty that defines U.S.
over cost-sharing for their military alliance President Donald Trump as well. If a “great
broke up in dispute, even leading to deal” with China can finally be made in
speculation that Seoul may seek a closer future trade talks, it remains an open
relationship with Beijing over not only question as to how far this “whole-of-
economic but also political and even government” pushback might go, although
security issues in the long term. it would not come to an immediate stop for
political or even ideological reasons.
In big picture of the world trade and
economy, in which the U.S.-China trade
war and the U.S. “whole-of-government”
pushback must stand, the Trump
administration’s go-it-alone stance doesn’t
win Washington much popularity.
European countries disagree with the
United States regarding Washington’s
recent unliteral offensive targeting the
world’s multilateral economic and financial

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Since the Paris agreement was made in

2015, emissions and global temperatures
have continued to rise, and the
consequences have been felt around the
globe in devastating storms, heatwaves and
fires, to name but a few effects. The latest
assessment of global emissions, published
on December 4th, shows that if emissions
continue at current rates, the atmosphere
will hold enough greenhouse gases to warm
the planet by 1.5°C within just ten years.

Under the Paris agreement, nearly 200

nations promised to stop global warming
before average temperatures rise by more
than 1.5-2°C above pre-industrial levels.
Privately, most climate scientists admit
COP25, the UN climate talks in they hold little hope that temperature rises
can be kept below the 1.5°C target. Yet the
Madrid, ends in a sad splutter consequences of missing the target are
(The Economist) devastating, particularly for arid regions
like the Mediterranean, and low-lying ones
HE TAGLINE for this year’s United like Bangladesh and the Eastern seaboard in

T Nations climate talks, known as

COP25, held in Madrid, was
“Tiempo de actuar”: time for action. Its
logo was a clock, showing a quarter to 12.
America, where shorelines are being
gnawed by rising seas. For this reason, a
coalition of governments including the
European Union came to Madrid
Midnight duly passed on Friday, scheduled demanding a strongly-worded text urging
as the summit’s last day, and then again on all nations to make promises in 2020 that
Saturday. Yet, despite running nearly two they would cut their emissions more and
days into overtime, finishing only on faster than promised so far.
Sunday December 15th, the talks failed to
produce real action to tackle climate So on Saturday morning, when it appeared
change. A final set of documents fell short the conference would do no such thing,
on both of the meeting’s main goals. They there was outrage. The final text was
agreed on only weak and watered down scarcely an improvement, though a few
commitments to the drastic cuts in observers took comfort in its mention of the
emissions of greenhouse gases that had gap between the reductions promised in
been promised. And a decision on national pledges and what the science says
regulations for new international carbon is necessary to avoid more than 1.5-2°C of
markets was deferred until next year. warming.

Frustrated, angry demonstrations The real effort on this front came from the
punctuated the summit, as they have EU back in Brussels, where its leaders, after
disrupted cities and schools around the some wrangling, committed to reducing
world for the past 12 months, decrying emissions to net zero by 2050. The
political inaction in the face of a global European Commission’s presidency has
climate emergency. But in Madrid, the published a comprehensive and ambitious,
politics were still gridlocked. if sometimes vague, proposal for a suite of
measures that would achieve that goal.

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A second sticking-point in Madrid was over facility to flare methane from landfills—
what is known as “loss and damage”—a demonstrably reduce emissions above what
concept particularly important to the least- the host country has already promised
developed nations already suffering some under its commitments in the Paris
of the worst impacts of climate change, agreement. And second, that “emissions
despite having barely contributed to the credits” granted for green projects are not
pile-up of greenhouse-gas emissions that is double-counted.
warming the planet. They would like to see
the UN make provision for money to help Delegates in Madrid wrangled over how a
them cope with the real, immediate impact new carbon market, operated by the UN
of climate change, for instance in the under the Paris agreement, would link up
aftermath of an extreme hurricane. That is a with a similar one created under the Kyoto
red line for many of those very rich Protocol, a treaty signed in 1992, without
emitters. They contend, among other compromising the whole system. Known as
things, that other disaster funds already the Clean Development Mechanism
exist; and they do not want to open a (CDM), the Kyoto market allowed rich
conversation about liability. countries to buy carbon credits from green
projects in poorer ones in order to offset the
The third sticking-point was the one for emissions they were producing at home.
which COP25 will be remembered. It
concerned an arcane and highly technical Thousands of CDM projects were
clause of the Paris agreement known as registered but their credits left unclaimed
Article 6, which offers a broad framework after their value crashed in 2012 because
for international carbon markets. One demand dried up. Some countries, chiefly
analysis, by the Environmental Defence Brazil, India and China, the main
Fund (EDF), an advocacy group, found that participants in the CDM, would like those
such markets could theoretically reduce the credits transferred into the new Paris
cost of meeting climate targets by between trading scheme. Others contend that doing
59% and 79%. so would flood the Paris scheme with past
carbon credits that no longer correspond to
If those financial gains were reinvested in real, future emissions reductions.
further efforts to mitigate emissions,
cumulative reductions in global emissions For a sense of the scale involved, various
between 2020 and 2035 could potentially groups have tried to estimate the volume of
be double what is currently on the table in carbon credits languishing in the CDM. The
national pledges under the Paris agreement. task is devilishly complicated, as dormant
(These estimates are at the upper end and projects could still be reactivated for
assume global participation, but EDF found credits. But the upper estimates are in the
that even more limited, regional trading range from 1.5bn tonnes to several billions
schemes had the potential to increase cuts of tonnes of CO2. That is of the same order
in emissions by 20%-30%.) as one year’s worth of Brazilian or
European emissions.
The task in Madrid was to establish the
regulations that would make such markets This could be reduced to hundreds of
work for the environment, by both offering millions of tonnes if limits were set on
financial incentives for green projects and which credits can be transferred from the
generating real, measurable emissions CDM to the Paris mechanism, for instance
reductions. That would depend on two based on when they were registered. Even
conditions being met. First, that green so, the credits would free as much in
projects—a solar power-station, say, or a emissions as the reductions achieved by the

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first three years of a new carbon market to To understand what just went down, you
be launched in 2021 with the explicit aim of need to ask what Trump and company were
tackling airline emissions. trying to accomplish with their tariffs, and
how that compares with what really
These same disagreements plagued happened.
discussions at last year’s summit in
Katowice. Around noon on December 15th, First and foremost, Trump wanted to slash
the Chilean environment minister, Carolina the U.S. trade deficit. Economists more or
Schmidt, announced that the question less unanimously consider this the wrong
would not be resolved in Madrid, either. A objective, but in Trump’s mind countries
decision was postponed until next year’s win when they sell more than they buy, and
summit in Glasgow. nobody is going to convince him otherwise.

Not since 1999 have COP climate summits So it’s remarkable to note that the trade
ended on a Friday, as scheduled. In Durban deficit has risen, not fallen, on Trump’s
in 2011, they ran until 6.30am on Sunday. watch, from $544 billion in 2016 to $691
Yet even by those standards, COP25 was billion in the 12 months ending in October.
shambolic. The text was at last approved at
about 1pm on Sunday. A few hundred And what Trump wanted in particular was
metres away, an ice circus entertained its to close the trade deficit in manufactured
visitors with acrobats on skates. Another goods; despite giving lip service to “great
circus, a dispiriting one, was packing up. Patriot Farmers,” it’s clear that he actually
has contempt for agricultural exports. Last
summer, complaining about the U.S. trade
relationship with Japan, he sneered: “We
How Trump Lost His Trade War? send them wheat. Wheat. That’s not a good
(New York Times, December 16)
So now we appear to have a trade deal with
China whose main substantive element is
… a promise to buy more U.S. farm goods.

T rade wars rarely have victors. They

do, however, sometimes have losers.
And Donald Trump has definitely
turned out to be a loser.
Trump’s team also wanted to put the brakes
on China’s drive to establish itself as the
world’s economic superpower. “China is
Of course, that’s not the way he and his basically trying to steal the future,”
team are portraying the tentative deal declared Peter Navarro, a top trade adviser,
they’ve struck with China, which they’re a year ago. But the new deal, while it
claiming as a triumph. The reality is that the includes some promises to protect
Trump administration achieved almost intellectual property, leaves the core of
none of its goals; it has basically declared China’s industrial strategy — what’s been
victory while going into headlong retreat. called the “vast web of subsidies that has
fueled the global rise of many Chinese
And the Chinese know it. As The Times companies” — untouched.
reports, Chinese officials are “jubilant and
even incredulous” at the success of their So why did Trump wimp out on trade?
hard-line negotiating strategy.
At a broad level, the answer is that he was
suffering from delusions of grandeur.
America was never going to succeed in

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bullying a huge, proud nation whose stupid things for a while, then stop doing
economy is already, by some measures, them around a year before the election,
larger than ours — especially while which is a fair summary of Trump’s trade
simultaneously alienating other advanced actions.
economies that might have joined us in
pressuring China to change some of its There will, however, be longer-term costs
economic policies. to the trade war. For one thing, the business
uncertainty created by Trump’s
At a more granular level, none of the pieces capriciousness won’t go away; he is, after
of Trump trade strategy have worked as all, a master of the art of the broken deal.
Beyond that, Trump’s trade antics have
Although Trump has repeatedly insisted damaged America’s reputation.
that China is paying his tariffs, the facts say
otherwise: Chinese export prices haven’t On one side, our allies have learned not to
gone down, which means that the tariffs are trust us. We have, after all, become the kind
falling on U.S. consumers and companies. of country that suddenly slaps tariffs on
And the bite on consumers would have Canada — Canada! — on obviously
gone up substantially if Trump hadn’t spurious claims that we’re protecting
called off the round of further tariff national security.
increases that had been scheduled for this
past Sunday. On the other side, our rivals have learned
not to fear us. Like the North Koreans, who
At the same time, Chinese retaliation has hit flattered Trump but kept on building nukes,
some U.S. exporters, farmers in particular, the Chinese have taken Trump’s measure.
hard. And while Trump may quietly hold They now know that he talks loudly but
farm exports in contempt, he needs those carries a small stick, and backs down when
rural votes — votes that were being put at confronted in ways that might hurt him
risk despite a farm bailout that has already politically.
cost more than twice as much as Barack
Obama’s bailout of the auto industry. These things matter. Having a leader who is
neither trusted by our erstwhile friends nor
Finally, uncertainty over tariff policy was feared by our foreign rivals reduces our
clearly hurting manufacturing and business global influence in ways we’re just starting
investment, even as overall economic to see. Trump’s trade war didn’t achieve
growth remained solid. any of its goals, but it did succeed in
making America weak again.
So Trump, as I said, basically declared
victory and retreated.

Will Trump’s trade defeat hurt him

politically? Probably not. Many Americans
will surely buy the spin, and the trade war
was never popular anyway.

Furthermore, voting mostly reflects the

economy’s direction, not its level — not
whether things are good, but whether
they’ve been getting better recently. It may
actually be good political strategy to do

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supremacy, but for the military itself.

Tenure extensions sanctioned by
parliament would acquire a legitimacy that
could upend a promotion process that
should be marked by transparency and
predictability. The Supreme Court has in its
verdict sagaciously observed that “…in
strengthening institutions, nations prosper”.
Indeed, Imran Khan had himself taken the
same position when it came to the extension
of then COAS Gen Ashfaq Kayani during
the PPP government. And yet, a few weeks
ago, Mr Khan remarked during an
interview that he had decided to give Gen
Bajwa an extension soon after assuming
office. That gave the unfortunate
impression that factors other than the
Extension Verdict (Dawn “regional security environment” — the
official reason given for the extension —
Editorial) accounted for the prime minister having
December 18, 2019 made up his mind so prematurely. Perhaps
Mr Khan should consider the views of the
other principal character in this saga, the

T HE 42-page detailed Supreme Court

verdict has provided further clarity
in the imbroglio surrounding the
extension of the army chief’s tenure. Its
short order on Nov 28 had granted Gen
army chief himself — or at least, his views
as articulated by the military’s public
relations arm. The ISPR has more than once
asserted that the COAS was reluctant to
Qamar Bajwa a six-month extension and accept an extension. Even after the
directed parliament to enact within that spectacle that the government made of itself
time necessary legislation regulating the in its handling of the issue, the ISPR
terms and conditions of the office of COAS. assured the public that it was not Gen
The judgement announced on Monday Bajwa but the government that was hell-
holds that failure to comply will mean the bent on having him continue to head the
incumbent army chief would stand retired army. That may well be the case: one would
from the time his tenure ended in hope that every military official considers
November. Once again, the court expressed the interests of his country and his
incredulity that there exists no provision in institution above those of his own.
the law for extending the army’s chief
tenure. In his additional note, Chief Justice
of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa pointed out
that the office of the COAS is “powerful …
in ways more than one” and that “unbridled
power or position, like unstructured
discretion, is dangerous”.

The PTI government and parliament must

consider the situation carefully. After all,
the outcome will have profound
implications, not only for civilian

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progress can be described as sporadic, at


Undeniably, terrorist incidents in the

country have been reduced. The biggest
The Uncertain Future of achievements have been mainstreaming the
once lawless FATA which now officially
Pakistan's National Action Plan falls under the ambit of Pakistan’s law and
By: Sehar Kamran constitution. It is a big accomplishment
because this area was once deemed
ungovernable. The other notable step has

D ecember 16, 2019 marks five years

since the heinous attack on the
Army Public School Peshawar
which claimed the lives of 149 people,
mostly schoolchildren. The national
been restoring peace to the economic
capital of the country – Karachi.
Considerable success has also been
achieved at registering and regulating
religious seminaries.
tragedy shook up the entire country.
However, the attainment of other objectives
In the aftermath of the attack, a number of still remains unclear. Targets such as the
steps and a multilayered approach was status of Afghan refugees and the
taken by the state, to not only bring the empowerment of the Balochistan
perpetrators to justice, but to prevent such government and its people seem to have
incidents from occurring again, by fallen through the cracks, and their status
identifying and eliminating root causes. remains unclear. The continuous
Today, the physical wounds from that day rebranding and emergence of terrorist
may have healed, but the inflictions on the organizations are some of the biggest
soul and psyche of the entire nation remain impediments in the effective
alive and unhealed. implementation of NAP.
Immediately after the incident, a National Another aspect which has not been given
Action Plan (NAP) constituting 20 points much attention under NAP has been the
was adopted, which included uplifting the continuing and unchallenged rise of
moratorium on capital punishments through radicalism and extremism in the country.
a constitutional amendment, strengthening These phenomena constitute a major threat
counter-terrorism, banning hate speech, to the country and continue to make
eliminating terror financing, registering and themselves evident in various forms and
regulating religious seminaries, behaviors. The Faizabad sit-in of 2017 by a
mainstreaming the restive Federally couple of hardliner religious organizations
Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), is still fresh in the national memory, where
restoring peace in Karachi, eliminating the state was besieged by a group of armed
militancy in Punjab, empowering the protestors.
people of Balochistan and registering
Afghan refugees to name a few. In addition, radicalism and extremism are
not limited to religious organizations and
Over the years, there has been much hue their activities, but spread over to shape up
and cry about the implementation and societal behavior and ethos as well. This
results of the NAP, but it cannot be denied complex and intricate phenomenon has
that important strides have been made by encompassed almost all social groups in
the state in this regard. However, this Pakistan, and often rears its ugly head in
incidents such as the recent storming of the

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Lahore Institute of Cardiology by a group better tomorrow.

of lawyers.

These prevailing and violent tendencies are

a manifestation of decades of unchecked
undemocratic attitudes and mindsets. A
concrete effort is required to address the
rising challenge of violent behaviors in
everyday life, and to increase de-
radicalization efforts at the grass roots
level, which will require time, energy,
resources, and firm political will. A multi-
pronged approach is necessary for the
future and well-being of the country.

When the government of Pakistan Tehreek-

i-Insaf (PTI) came into power last year, the
Ministry of Interior issued a booklet in
December 2018, highlighting its 100 days’ Saffronia (December 19, 2019)
performance, and stated that the party
would review, revisit and unveil NAP 2.0
By: F.S. Aijazuddin (Dawn)
to ‘serve as a roadmap for the next five

years.’ It also highlighted that the launch UR subcontinent has fallen victim
was expected in March 2019. However, as to a condition called ‘saffronoia’. It
of December 2019, nothing has happened began in India and has spread
on this front. unchecked. No country in the region is
immune to its side effects — neither
It cannot be denied that the freedom of Pakistan nor Bangladesh, not even
independent thought, expression, and Afghanistan.
opinion is shrinking, which is not only
dangerous for the democratic process, but Developed in the petri dish of the RSS’s
also harms the due process of sectarianism and tested on the BJP, its
accountability and results in decreasing formula has been now patented by law in
levels of tolerance and peace in society. Prime Minister Modi’s government as the
Pakistan cannot afford this. Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

NAP or NAP 2.0 can only be successfully This latest piece of legislation burrows a
implemented, if there is firm political will tunnel into India for persecuted minorities,
behind it. The time is now to capitalize on specifically Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists,
the gains made by the armed forces, and to Jains, Parsis, and Christians. Under it, had
set a path for a future which promotes the Guru Nanak and Zoroaster been alive, they
values of tolerance and tranquility for a would be eligible for Indian nationality.
Muslims are specifically excluded. They
have not been forgiven by the RSS for the
‘heresy’ of conversion.

This latest constitutional amendment sho-

uld not come as a surprise, no more than the
revocation of Article 370 abrogating the
status of India-held Jammu & Kashmir

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ought to have been. (In 1963, as an expect to be punished for their lack of
afterthought, Nehru admitted that Article foresight. More fragile icons will have their
370 was a “temporary provision”, subject to nationalism tested every day. The violent
“gradual erosion”.) demonstrations in Muslim universities are
an indication of the combustible resentment
Both constitutional changes were foretold against the CAA.
in the BJP election manifesto of 2014. Mr
Modi knew then that majorities are not Will the Indian government’s latest
secured by pandering to minorities. His legislation tempt Indian Muslims to
Hindutva agenda aimed at making consider migrating westwards? Certainly,
nationalism synonymous with nationality. but to anywhere except Pakistan. They may
But are they in fact interchangeable? prefer to stay in their saffron hell than
migrate to our greener purgatory.
The Dalit leader Dr B. Ambedkar who
helped frame the original Indian They have good reason. We are developing
constitution did not think so: “One can have our own home-grown strain of
nationalism without nationality.” Punjabiat discrimination. We are suffering again the
is one example, Jewry another. Nationalism lash of authoritarianism. We are being
without territorial nationality, though, (in cowed by unbridled violence, such as the
Lord Acton’s words) is like “a soul in unconscionable, inhuman attack on doctors
search of a body”. and medical staff in the Punjab Institute of
Cardiology in Lahore by a mob of lawyers.
India found that body in the independence In an afternoon of infamy, black coats
movement. Ambedkar felt that the pre-1947 bludgeoned white coats. Oxygen masks
Hindu politician “knew that if he was to were allegedly torn off patients. Intolerance
succeed in his demand for self-government overpowered sanity. “He that will not
for India, he must maintain, even if he could reason is a bigot;” someone once wrote, “he
not prove it, that India was a nation”. that cannot reason is a fool; he that dare not
Therefore, ipso facto, if the Muslims in reason is a slave.”
India were a separate nation, then, of
course, India was not a nation. To Hindu We are free of Hindu India, but are we in
politicians, the prospect of Jinnah’s our own state free from each other? Ask
Pakistan was like ‘a stab in the back’. anyone who feels the claws of censorship.
Ask anyone who bears the manacles of
Who will be the beneficiaries of Modi’s discriminatory laws. Ask anyone fettered
accommodating largesse? Pakistani by injustice.
Hindus, for sure. For them, migration to
India has always been a magnetic option. The other day, this newspaper you read was
Not many exercised it. In 2014, a Pakistani delivered at my doorstep. Today, the news
Hindu parliamentarian gave a figure of vendor has had all his copies confiscated,
5,000 Hindu migrants annually from and if he is caught delivering even one, all
Pakistan to India. There are 3.6 million or his stock of other dailies will be
so left. confiscated. Tomorrow, a sponsored mob
will prevent publication at all.
Who will be the victims of Prime Minister
Modi’s saffronoia? Every Indian Muslim, Many years ago, Indira Gandhi’s son
from Punjab to Bengal, from Kanyakumari Sanjay (encouraged by the IMF and World
to Kashmir. Those who chose — like the Bank) launched a mandatory sterilisation
97-year-old Yusuf Khan saffronised into programme to control India’s population. It
Dilip Kumar — to remain in India can faltered, then collapsed when it was

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discovered that those sterilised were The not-so-hidden message is that the
primarily Muslims. Muslim-majority countries abutting India
persecute Hindus and other minorities, and
Every free thinker or free speaker today that Muslims from such countries cannot be
runs the risk of emasculation. Their words refugees — even people like the Rohingya,
will never be permitted to procreate. some of whom have reached India after
fleeing to Bangladesh from brutal
Discrimination is a state of mind; repression in Myanmar.
censorship is slavery of the mind. But even
slaves have been known to sing, if you The law, as India’s 200 million Muslims
would only listen. Wasn’t it the great have correctly surmised, has nothing to do
liberationist William Wilberforce who with helping migrants and everything to do
cautioned: “You may choose to look the with the campaign by Mr. Modi and his
other way but you can never say again that home minister, Amit Shah, to marginalize
you did not know.” Muslims and turn India into a homeland for
Hindus, who comprise about 80 percent of
Modi Makes His Bigotry Even the population of 1.3 billion.

Clearer Last summer, Mr. Modi’s government

(The New York Times, Editorial) abruptly stripped statehood and autonomy
from India’s only Muslim-majority state,
Kashmir, arresting many of its leaders and
n the face of it, India’s new

O citizenship law might seem quite

reasonable in its offer of expedited
citizenship for migrants of minority
shutting down the internet. Also in August,
Mr. Modi aggressively escalated a program
of citizenship tests in the northeastern state
of Assam, leaving nearly two million
religions from neighboring countries. people, many of them Muslims, potentially
What’s not to like in offering refuge to stateless. Mr. Modi has vowed to extend the
minority groups facing repression in process, which requires Indians to prove
predominantly Muslim states? they’re Indian, to the entire country and is
building large new detention centers for
A lot, as India’s Muslims, about 14 percent those who can’t.
of the population, have proclaimed in the
eruption of protests across India after the In common with other governments around
law was passed by Prime Minister Narendra the world that have turned undocumented
Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata immigrants into a nationalist issue,
Party last week. including President Trump’s, Mr. Shah has
taken to demonizing the primary target of
The devil is in the missing details. the dragnets, Muslim migrants from
Accelerated citizenship is offered to Bangladesh, whom he refers to as
members of the Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, “termites.”
Sikh, Parsee and Jain religions — but not to
Muslims. And the only neighboring Those initial moves met little resistance.
countries named in the law are Pakistan, The citizenship bill, by contrast, has
Bangladesh and Afghanistan, all majority provoked furious protests across India,
Muslim. Other neighbors, from Sri Lanka some of which have been viciously
to China, where Muslims do not repressed by police and the army. The
predominate, are not mentioned. government has also shut down the internet
in several regions, a tactic against dissent
used by India more than any other

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authoritarian-leaning government in the statement urging India to “protect the rights

world, claiming it is necessary to prevent of its religious minorities in keeping with
violence and false rumors. Kashmir has India’s Constitution and democratic
been offline since August, and India is by values.” Alas, that would be far more
far the world’s leader in the number of credible if the Trump administration was
internet shutdowns. treating undocumented immigrants in
keeping with America’s democratic values.
Still, the reaction to the citizenship law has
apparently surprised Mr. Modi, who was re- Mr. Modi’s hold on power remains firm,
elected by a comfortable margin last May, but the protests at home and abroad have
but he has shown no signs of backing down. demonstrated limits to how far Indians will
He rose to power by vilifying Muslims, a allow him to go in pursuit of his Hindu-
core tenet of Hindu nationalists. When Mr. nationalist agenda. The citizenship bill
Modi was chief minister of Gujarat state, might still be blocked in the Indian
thousands of people were killed and tens of Supreme Court, which begins hearings on it
thousands were driven from their home in in January. But if it is not, all democratic
sectarian violence; most victims were nations need to speak out against a law, and
Muslims. a national policy, that is patently
discriminatory and a threat to India’s
This is not the way India was meant to be. democracy.
The vision of Mohandas Gandhi (who was
murdered by a Hindu nationalist) and The United Kingdom Has Voted.
Jawaharlal Nehru after the partition of
British-ruled India into a Muslim-majority Will It Remain United?
Pakistan and a Hindu-majority India was to
build the latter into a secular and
(The New York Times, Editorial)
democratic republic, with civil liberties for

citizens of all faiths. f all the agonizing twists and turns
of British politics since the narrow
Since he took office in 2014, Mr. Modi has vote on June 23, 2016, in favor of
actively worked to change that, even leaving the European Union, the landslide
rewriting history books to exclude Muslim victory of Boris Johnson in Thursday’s
rulers — who, among other things, built the election may be the most stunning. It also
Taj Mahal — and changing official place should have been the most predictable.
names to Hindu from Muslim. Hindu mobs After three and a half years of debilitating
that lynch Muslims are rarely punished. debate, the British had simply had enough
and rallied to Mr. Johnson’s unvarnished
The citizenship bill was the first action that slogan, “Get Brexit Done.” They are likely
linked religion to citizenship, undermining to get a very different Britain in the bargain.
a fundamental tenet of India’s democracy.
Some non-Muslim Indian liberals, The scale of the Conservative victory, and
including members of the once-dominant the extent of its conquests in traditional
Congress Party, have joined in the protests. Labour strongholds, may not have been
The law has also drawn sharp criticism anticipated. But the bullish reaction from
from human rights groups and the markets, and, somewhat more
governments. The Office of the United counterintuitively, the celebration in
Nations High Commissioner for Human Brussels, were further reflections of a
Rights called the citizenship bill widespread sense that “If it were done when
“fundamentally discriminatory,” and the ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done
United States State Department issued a quickly.”

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Brexit is now a fact, and that is the first and pledge for Britain to be carbon-neutral by
most concrete takeaway from the election. 2050.)
Without any viable opposition in his own
Tory ranks, whose dissidents he had purged But the first wave of commentaries in the
before the election and whose deputies all immediate aftermath of the election results
vowed to support him on Brexit, Mr. were already wondering what new world
Johnson is likely to get his Brexit bill was being ushered in. The survival of the
through Parliament within days or weeks, “United” in United Kingdom itself was in
and Britain to formally leave the union by question after a strong showing by the
the end-of-January deadline. For many nationalist party in Scotland and its certain
Britons and for many leaders of the demand for a new referendum on
Continent, ending the endless bickering and independence, as well as the uncertain fate
the threat of a chaotic deal-less Brexit was of Northern Ireland under Mr. Johnson’s
a source of great relief. Brexit plan.

But that does not mean Brexit is “done,” or Then there was the uncertainty over
that it will be done quickly. It only opens whether Mr. Johnson would or could live
the next, and arguably more difficult, stage up to his pledges of enormous spending on
of disentangling Britain from the vast and the national health service, schools and the
complex economic relationships that form environment, pledges that helped him pry
the customs links and single market of the working-class voters away from Labour.
European Union, a task that is supposed to
be done within a year but probably won’t It is inevitable that Americans will search
be. Throughout the campaign, in which Mr. for parallels between Mr. Johnson and
Johnson was successfully shielded from too President Trump, and between the
much exposure to too many difficult humiliation of Labour and the Democratic
questions, he gave little sense of how he Party’s search for a standard-bearer. From
would proceed. the time he became prime minister, the
disheveled, populist and often untruthful
That is only one of many areas in which Mr. Mr. Johnson has often been compared to
Johnson has given little indication of how Mr. Trump, who has made no bones about
he intends to use the enormous political his affinity for Mr. Johnson and was among
power the election handed him for the next the first to tweet congratulations on “his
five years. It is worth recalling that during great WIN!” and to promise a “far bigger
most of the referendum campaign he was and more lucrative” trade deal than any
still the mayor of London, pondering Britain had with the European Union. In
whether he was for or against Brexit, and many ways, Mr. Johnson’s success in
that most of his energies since were focused tapping into the discontent of working-class
on getting into 10 Downing Street. workers resembles Mr. Trump’s route to
He eventually settled on a hard pro-Brexit
stance, combining that with shameless And there are bound to be suggestions that
populism; a smattering of lies; a way with Democrats should learn from the
words; and what turned out to be a winning weaknesses of Mr. Corbyn’s Labour, which
strategy to capitalize on the weakness of remained mired in left-wing promises of
Labour under its unpopular left-wing nationalizations and huge spending while
leader, Jeremy Corbyn. (“You voted to be failing to appreciate that its followers were
Corbyn-neutral by Christmas,” was Mr. becoming more nationalistic and socially
Johnson’s typical quip, playing off his conservative. Mr. Corbyn himself became

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entangled trying to deny the anti-Semitism Pakistan still has a long way to go when it
in Labour’s anti-Israel stance, and his comes to ensuring equal rights and
speech after the election typically blamed opportunities for half its population.
the media for the party’s loss. According to the World Economic Forum’s
Global Gender Gap Report 2020, the
There are lessons to be learned, no doubt, country is one of the most inequitable
but it is also important to underscore the societies for women to live in. Ranking 151
differences. Whatever his clownish quirks out of 153 countries, just above war-torn
and failings, Mr. Johnson is a seasoned Yemen and Iraq, the country also had the
politician who knows and understands the lowest ranking in the entire South Asian
workings of British politics and is familiar region. In comparison, Bangladesh
with the continent from which he is performed significantly better at 50; Nepal
separating his country. That may be of little stood at 101; followed by Sri Lanka at 102;
solace to liberal voters in Britain who see and neighbouring India at 112. While many
Brexit as a disaster and Mr. Johnson as an of the countries listed improved with time
opportunist, but at least Mr. Johnson is not when it came to ensuring women’s equal
likely to succumb to the turnstile status — the authors of the report link this
dysfunction or rule by tweet of Mr. welcome progress to the higher
Trump’s White House. participation of women in politics —
Pakistan did not. In 2006, it was placed at
And while Mr. Corbyn’s dogmatic ideology 112 out of 115 countries. And last year, it
did harm Labour’s chances, his unclear was ranked 148 out of 149 countries.
position on Brexit, which had strong
support among workers, and his personal To measure inequality, the survey examines
lack of popularity were probably a greater the difference between men and women in
factor in his defeat than his socialist their participation and access to health,
platform. education, the economy and politics. When
it comes to economic participation,
One certainty is that Britain faces an Pakistan is all the way down at 150. For
intense, broad and prolonged debate on its health and survival indicators, it is just as
identity and its future. Whether Mr. poor at 149; for education, the country is
Johnson can lead his country through the placed at 143; and finally, when it comes to
challenges that lie ahead is far from clear political empowerment, Pakistan performs
from his history or his record. But he is full slightly better at 93. Some of the findings
of surprises, not least of which was are a bit surprising, given Pakistani
Thursday’s victory. Let us hope that a women’s role in the running of a largely
newfound sense of responsibility is among agrarian economy, but this may be due to
them. the informal status of the sector and the fact
that a lot of women’s labour goes
unrecognised. What cuts through and links
Mind The Gap (December 20, all these disparate fields is the perpetuation
2019)(Dawn, Editorial) of a patriarchal culture and the lower status
of women in society. It seems that despite
more awareness and mobilisation for

T HE founder of this nation once said:

“No nation can ever be worthy of its
existence that cannot take its women
along with the men. No struggle can ever
succeed without women participating side
women’s rights — and despite the passage
of many progressive laws, thanks to the
efforts of women parliamentarians over the
years — the large majority of women do not
see the change in their lives. As rightfully
by side with men.” Seventy-two years later, noted in the report, and by the nation’s

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founder all those years ago, the equal status Political violence becomes a collective
of women is inseparable from a country’s norm when a state, government, and its
economic and social progress. officials use gang or mass rape/murders as
a deliberate policy to subjugate minorities,
working classes or a gender group. The
more defiant these bodies, the harsher the

If too vulnerable, they risk total elimination

— the gutting of women’s wombs,
lynching, incinerating violated bodies,
muting Kashmiris, denying Muslims
citizenship. In Pakistan, a puritanical drive
to erase perceived infidels has led to the
mass murder of minority sects and even,
innocent schoolchildren.

Vulnerable bodies serve as a battleground

for men’s wars.

When leadership connives, colludes and

Violent Capitals (December 20, 2019) covers up violent crimes, it creates an
enabling environment. The BJP’s political
By: Afiya S. Zia history is a malignant combination of
communalism and casteism in a broader

P ROMPTED by the escalation of

brutal rape cases, Rahul Gandhi
described India as ‘the rape capital of
the world’. This may not be statistically
accurate but as a political observation, he
cultural context where female foeticide and
honour crimes persist. Each time a woman
in India is doused with kerosene and burned
alive, it recalls the primal Hindu practice of
could not be more precise. His comment
reveals how the BJP’s political script is The engineered attack on the Babri Masjid
underwritten by pathologising women and in 1992 was a performative act followed by
Muslims, encouraging communalism and gang rape of Muslim women in the Surat
sexual violence. riots which were filmed as part of the BJP’s
orchestration. In Bangladesh in 1971 and in
Feminists distinguish between two broad Gujrat in 2002, mass rapes of Muslim
categories of rape; as forcible sexual women were defended as patriotic duty not
gratification, and as a political weapon. a deviant act. The glorification of male
Rape is not motivated by sexual need, guardians claiming to preserve the
poverty, or due to lack of education or religious, cultural and gendered order and
harsher punishments. These are common the stigma linked with woman’s sexual
challenges in all societies and do not subjugation by outsiders become excuses
explain why rapes are recorded highest in for controlling women’s sexuality under the
South Africa and America. It is not a pretext of protection. Outside violence
coincidence, however, that apartheid and brings dishonour; domestic violence
slavery have been the foundational maintains order.
principles of these leading ‘rape capitals’ of
the world. Vulnerable bodies serve as the battleground
for men’s wars/disputes. Women are

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bartered for peace settlements. In on women’s virginity, docility, domesticity

peacetime, this agreement is sustained and unequal rights for minorities.
through the institution of marriage. Its
political economy is based on contractual India and Pakistan compete as inhospitable
exchange of women’s productive and capitals for women and in branding
reproductive labour, for male financial and dissenters as traitors. Disconcerting is the
physical protection. Women often use lack of clarity from those radicals of the left
ownership of assets to negotiate protection who flirt with alliances with a minority-
from domestic violence. There is minimum hating, misogynist political right. But India
penalty for men’s sexual transgressions; for is winning because its progressive
women, it’s a deadly risk. intelligentsia has been so preoccupied with
protesting Western liberalism and
Intertwined sexual and political violence tolerating Hinduvta’s indigenous
prevails in all majoritarian countries, democratic ‘agency’, that the alarming
including Pakistan, where patriarchy and majoritarian violence against women and
religious supremacy conjoin. Being minorities has turned full-on fascist. It is
defensive about deficient human rights now left to the enraged youth of the
serves no pragmatic purpose for women or subcontinent to reclaim our capitals from
the vulnerable. despotic futures.

Some intellectuals mock the failure of a KL Summit Fallout (December 23, 2019)
secular India but reject any appeal for
secular resistance against Muslim (Dawn Editorial)
majoritarianism in Pakistan. They

showcase outrage in select blasphemy cases HE dangers of lack of proper
but do not campaign for the law’s repeal, planning and foresight at the state
pretending the accused they support is level, especially in sensitive matters
innocent of the offence. of foreign affairs, have become apparent in
the fiasco that resulted when Pakistan
On both sides, the high priests of absented itself from the Kuala Lumpur
postcolonial angst observe liberal, secular Summit, which wrapped up on Saturday.
lifestyles and freedom of dress and sexual
practice but preach how modernity, The moot was touted as a forum to discuss
Western feminism and freedoms are the the “state of affairs of the Muslim Ummah”
cause of all ills. They deny indigenised and Dr Mahathir Mohamad, one of the
forms of religious politics and patriarchy architects of the summit, explicitly said the
that squash freedoms of sexual and conclave was not a replacement for the
intellectual expression. They refute how Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
these combine into resources curated and
then muscularly used by our theocratised This is the fifth edition of the summit and
states and religious groups. the 2019 meeting was given an additional
boost as Dr Mahathir, Turkish President
Our countries can reform laws, appoint Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister
women judges and raise awareness but Imran Khan had sought to make the forum
these are not substitutes for rights of free a proactive one, along with other Muslim
speech or sexual relations. Religious, pietist leaders, to discuss the state of affairs in the
and conservative politics prohibits lands of Islam.
freedoms of sexualities and accepts forced
marriages/conversions, and place premium

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However, Pakistan’s abrupt withdrawal has been known for paralysis and
from the summit caused diplomatic grandiose, hollow statements more than for
embarrassment. taking action.

This was compounded by revelations by Mr The fact is Riyadh was wary of the KL moot
Erdogan on Friday that the Saudis asked where its geopolitical rivals — Turkey,
Pakistan to withdraw or else face the Iran, Qatar — participated as equals.
expulsion of Pakistani expatriates from the
kingdom as well as the withdrawal of Saudi If the OIC is incapable of addressing the
funds deposited in this country. The Saudi issues of the world’s Muslims, from
embassy in Islamabad has termed these terrorism to disease to illiteracy, then other
comments “fake news”. forums are bound to arise to tackle these
As we have stated previously in these
columns, proper homework should have
been done before committing Pakistan to
the summit.

Withdrawing from the moot at the last

minute, after Prime Minister Imran Khan
made a dash to Saudi Arabia, did little to lift
our international image. This reflects bad
form and a lack of planning at the top.

Surely, there are experienced hands at the

Foreign Office as well as retired veteran
diplomats and other experts in international
relations who could have been consulted to
weigh the pros and cons of attending the
summit before making a policy decision.
Pakistan at one time enjoyed great prestige Pakistan’s High Stake CPEC
in the Islamic bloc; today, this reputation
risks being tarnished if thoughtless actions
such as the KL Summit debacle are (Foreign Policy)
repeated. Perhaps some damage control can
be done by organising a conclave in

n Nov. 20, Pakistani Foreign
Pakistan to discuss the Muslim world’s Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
problems. boldly declared that the China-
Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)—the
As for the OIC secretary general’s Pakistani component of China’s broader
contention that events such as the KL Belt and Road Initiative—was the
Summit “are not in the interest of [the] country’s “top priority.”
Islamic nation”, this position is highly
debatable. Qureshi’s proclamation came just weeks
after Yao Jing, China’s ambassador to
It can be asked what — over the decades — Pakistan, announced that the first phase of
has the OIC done to alleviate the sufferings CPEC—an infrastructure and connectivity
of the Palestinians, the Kashmiris, the project valued at $62 billion—was coming
Rohingya and other persecuted Muslim
groups suffering from oppression. The bloc

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to a close, and that a second phase would predecessor about the project. Imran Khan,
soon begin. elected Pakistan’s prime minister last year,
inherited the project from a government he
Over the last month, Chinese and Pakistani had often criticized for corruption.
officials have been strikingly specific about
what this second phase will entail for Islamabad must now walk a tightrope:
CPEC, a project that is as opaque as it is corralling CPEC to ensure benefits—rather
expensive. While the first phase than damage—to the Pakistani economy,
emphasized energy and roads, the second while reasserting its commitment to a
phase will focus on industrialization, project critical to both its own interests and
agriculture, and socioeconomic its indispensable allies in Beijing.
development, with a particular emphasis on
special economic zones. Chinese media Concerns abound about CPEC. They
reports have claimed that groundbreaking include a lack of transparency, high costs, a
for one such zone, based in Pakistan’s heavy dependence on Chinese labor, and
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, will take major debt risks for Pakistan. These
place this month and “directly employ worries—frequently highlighted in
150,000 people” in industries that include research studies and even acknowledged in
light engineering and food processing. conversations with CPEC backers in
Pakistan—formed the crux of a recent rare
There’s an irony here. Back in 2017, the U.S. government rebuke of the project,
influential Pakistani newspaper Dawn issued by Ambassador Alice Wells, the top
published a document laying out a long- South Asia official at the State Department,
term plan for CPEC. The document, in a speech at the Wilson Center on Nov.
according to Dawn, proposed a far-reaching 21—coincidentally the very day after
and unprecedented scope of future Qureshi declared CPEC to be Pakistan’s top
investments—such as agricultural projects, priority.
a national fiber optic “backbone,” and a
new monitoring and surveillance system Within the constellation of CPEC concerns,
meant to oversee law and order in Pakistani debt risk looms largest. To be sure, many
cities. The plan, said the newspaper, CPEC loan repayment deadlines aren’t due
“envisages a deep and broad-based for at least another decade, and a Chinese
penetration of most sectors of Pakistan’s official recently stated that CPEC debt now
economy as well as its society by Chinese amounts to less than a 10th of Pakistan’s
enterprises and culture.” The Pakistani total debt. Still, Islamabad risks a future
government rejected Dawn’s report, calling fiscal train wreck by taking on so many
the documents aspirational and the article Chinese loans at a moment when it’s
inaccurate. And yet, some of the very already so deeply debt-ridden. Beijing has
objectives identified in that master plan— been trying hard to alleviate worries about
specifically agriculture investments and Belt and Road-linked debt—but cases such
special economic zones—have been as the seizure of a Sri Lankan port have
identified in recent days as second-phase unnerved many.
CPEC priorities.
In Pakistan, public debt has already reached
Clearly, both capitals have long had big alarming levels. In mid-2019, it stood at a
plans for CPEC. However, the launch of whopping a percent of GDP—a 13.5
CPEC’s second phase comes at a moment percentage point increase from the previous
when it faces growing challenges, year. This problem can be attributed in part
particularly for a government that has to the domestic debt of Pakistan’s
appeared less enthusiastic than its floundering public companies—including

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the national airline and railway—which The current government’s worries about
increased by nearly 250 percent between CPEC shouldn’t be surprising. Pakistan
2013 and 2018. These companies continued Tehreek-e-Insaf is a populist party that has
to borrow heavily in 2019, and Islamabad long expressed a preference for investments
has made little headway in pursuing their in people over infrastructure, and for a
privatization. cleaner and more transparent form of
governance. Khan has long claimed to be an
More broadly, Pakistan—which saw GDP anti-corruption crusader with dreams of
growth fall to 3.3 percent in fiscal year weaning Pakistan off international support
2019, a drop of 2.2 percentage points from and transforming the country into a self-
the previous year—is in full-on austerity sustaining Islamic welfare state. CPEC
mode. Current and fiscal account deficits goes against all of these principles and
coupled with a new International Monetary objectives.
Fund bailout package are obliging
Islamabad to make major cost-cutting Then there are the broader implications of
moves. Islamabad’s intensifying dependence on
Chinese largesse and the leverage this
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party confers on Beijing. Khan is an unabashed
has telegraphed some unease about CPEC. nationalist who made a name for himself as
Soon after taking office in August 2018, it a fierce opponent of drone strikes and of
announced a review of all CPEC foreign influence more broadly. He once
agreements, in an effort to address declared that “Westoxified Pakistanis have
allegations about special perks for Chinese been selling their souls … for a few million
companies and other corruption-related dollars.”
concerns. The next month, in an interview
with the Financial Times, Commerce Khan hasn’t railed against China’s deep
Minister Abdul Razak Dawood even footprint in Pakistan—no senior Pakistani
suggested that Pakistan would suspend official would dare upbraid Beijing—but he
CPEC while Islamabad undertook its can’t be pleased about the impunity enjoyed
review: “I think we should put everything by its nationals there. Last year, just a few
on hold for a year so we can get our act months before his government took power,
together. … Perhaps we can stretch CPEC a group of Chinese engineers in the city of
out over another five years or so.” Dawood Khanewal, furious they couldn’t leave their
later said his comments were taken out of housing facility to visit a red-light district
context, but the message was clear: without a security detail, went on a rampage
Islamabad had very real worries about and attacked the police posted there to
CPEC. protect them. No action was taken against
the men, who also cut off the electricity
Subsequent months brought more supply being used by the police at the
indications of Islamabad’s desire to be facility.
cautious with CPEC. In March, the
government reallocated about $170 million Meanwhile, ever since Khan became
in funds meant for joint infrastructure premier, he has had to awkwardly feign
projects with China to other types of ignorance when asked in television
construction projects. And in June, its new interviews about China’s abhorrent
federal budget revealed a $645 million treatment of the Uighur Muslim people, and
reduction in Belt and Road-related projects his government has had to pressure
from the previous year. authorities to stop an investigation of
Chinese nationals in Pakistan accused of
selling more than 600 Pakistani women as

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brides and sending them to China. and Islamabad, despite its misgivings, must
Antagonizing Beijing simply isn’t an find a way to keep it on course.
option for the Pakistani government, and
this can often make Islamabad look

Nevertheless, Pakistan has renewed its

commitment to CPEC. Not only is it
building out the project’s second phase,
but—reportedly at the behest of Beijing—it
has also formed a new CPEC authority
meant to make the project’s decision-
making process more efficient. This new
body is led by retired Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa,
a former military spokesperson. This
appointment is no small matter in a nation
where the Army’s political power is

For Islamabad, going wobbly on CPEC

isn’t an option—not just because of Clipping NAB’s Wings (December
Beijing’s determination to move forward
and the development benefits that
29, 2019)
Islamabad hopes will emerge, but also (Dawn , Editorial)
because of Wells’s harsh criticism of the
project (which prompted denunciations
from Pakistani leaders and a unanimous
Senate resolution condemning the U.S.
diplomat’s speech). There can be no worse
optics for Pakistan than defying its Chinese
T HE latest attempt to try and redefine
the powers of the National
Accountability Bureau, and the
manner in which it was done, shows that the
aggressive ‘accountability drive’ the PTI
ally and caving in to pressure from launched when it came to power is now in
Washington to rein in the project. its dying throes.

Fortunately, there is an opportunity here. The redefinition is actually an attempt at a

Pakistan knows the IMF is expecting more surgical clipping away of the bureau’s
transparency with CPEC. Islamabad can powers to even begin an inquiry — let alone
argue to Beijing that opening the books on investigate, detain and prosecute —
the project’s finances can create an opening wealthy businessmen in particular. The
for the two sides to renegotiate problematic change is being made through a presidential
loans—thereby making them more ordinance, as the government does not
financially viable for Pakistan, but also seem to be able to muster the numbers in
more desirable for China. Beijing doesn’t parliament to pass legislation — not least
want prohibitive borrower debt to because of this very same ‘accountability
jeopardize the future of CPEC, the most drive’.
operationalized element of the Belt and
Road Initiative to date. The approval and announcement of the
ordinance itself was marred by confusion as
The stakes are high. A troubled but too-big- whole clauses asked for by the powerful
to-fail project has moved into high gear— secretaries’ group of the bureaucracy were

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jettisoned from the final text before manner of people, whether public or
promulgation, but communicated to the private, for personal gain, and no effort to
media nonetheless. create new authorities and carve out special
laws will fill that void. Perhaps it is time to
What will emerge from the confusion once shut down NAB and focus on strengthening
the dust settles is a compromise within a the writ of the state across the board.
compromise. NAB’s powers had to be
clipped because the bureau’s monumental Amendments to NAB Ordinance
incompetence and overweening ambition
had caused it to cast its net far wider than it (December 31st, 2019)
could manage. By: Hassan Khawar (Tribune)
But the ordinance has created a double
standard, and may well have let the cat out
of the bag in the process. All matters related
to taxes as well as transactions that do not
involve holders of public office will no
T he PTI government has finally
introduced the much-awaited
changes to the NAB Ordinance.

Why did the NAB law need to change? The

longer be within NAB’s remit; instead, they
will be dealt with by the numerous critique on the law has centred around three
institutions that already exist for the key issues: undue harassment of the
purpose, such as the FBR, FIA and the business community leading to loss of
accountability courts. market confidence, bureaucracy coming to
a standstill due to fears of accountability
Also, when pursuing cases where the and some structural weaknesses in the law.
allegation is ‘misuse of authority’ by a
public office holder, the bureau will need to The businessmen have long complained
prove that there was some material benefit about NAB’s interference in business
that the accused gained from this alleged activities, even on tax-related matters. The
‘misuse of authority’, rather than turning recent amendments, however, have
the allegation into the crime itself. excluded all tax-related cases from the
purview of NAB, with all respective
A number of critical questions arise. For inquiries, investigations and trials
one, why can’t there be one across-the- transferred to the relevant agencies and
board standard by which to activate the courts. Similarly, all cases that have no
powers of NAB, whether for private or connection with a public office holder,
public individuals and transactions? barring a few valid exceptions, no more fall
Second, what will the fallout be of these within NAB’s jurisdiction. These changes
changes on the countless NAB cases will indeed provide a sigh of relief to the
already under way, or in appeal, including business community.
those in which public office holders are
implicated? For civil servants also, the NAB law has
been a sore point. Since the PTI
Clearly, the ‘aggressive accountability government took over, the bureaucracy has
drive’ launched by the government last year been complaining about the blurred line
has hit its limits and is now being rolled between corruption and financial or
back, leaving behind lacunae and administrative irregularities. Such
unanswered questions. What this episode irregularities do not necessarily constitute
teaches us is that, ultimately, accountability corruption unless they are deliberate and
is about the writ of the state. If its writ is have been carried out for some material
weak, the weakness will be exploited by all benefit. But the lack of clarity has been

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putting even well-meaning bureaucrats at citizens oversight mechanisms to ensure

the whims of NAB officials. Moreover, the impartiality of the anti-corruption agencies,
media trials, even before the inquiries were but no such mechanism exists in Pakistan.
complete, led to an overnight loss of
reputation of bureaucrats. Notwithstanding these omissions, the
revised Ordinance is a step in the right
The recent round of amendments has at direction. Going forward it will be
least partially addressed these issues. The important for the PTI government to stand
cases of procedural lapses, advice or behind these changes and even consider
opinion rendered, misuse of authority and further improvement to enhance the
acts of good faith can no more be impartiality and credibility of the statute.
questioned by NAB unless there is direct or Moreover, the amended law is still an
corroborative evidence of material benefit ordinance and will have to pass through the
accrued by the accused. The burden of legislative approval very soon, and
proof also lies on NAB to produce that therefore it is important for the government
evidence. However, the revised Ordinance to take the opposition on board with these
did not create space for the proposed amendments. But most importantly, more
Scrutiny Committee to filter out any than the law, it’s the practice that matters.
frivolous inquiries against bureaucrats. The ultimate litmus test of these
Similarly, no provisions were made to amendments would therefore be their
prevent the re-opening of previously closed unbiased application on existing political
inquiries or to stop NAB officials from cases.
making pre-mature public statements
before a reference is filed.

Lastly, the structural weaknesses in the

NAB law that have been highlighted time
and again were not touched at all. For
instance, the role of NAB Chairman in the
appointment of Prosecutor General very
much stands; the remand duration of 90
days has not been reduced; the financial
limit of 50 million rupees for conducting
NAB inquiries has not been revised
upwards; and even the plea bargain
provisions remain, providing a backdoor
exit to the corrupt.

An independent and powerful anti-

corruption watchdog is central to control of
corruption, but not without due controls or
oversight. In the UK for instance, the
independent Director of Public
Prosecutions acts as a gatekeeper and no
proceeding for an offence under the Bribery
Act 2010 can be instituted without his
consent. In case of NAB, the Prosecutor
General continues to operate under the
Chairman’s shadow. Similarly, many
countries have put in place parliament and

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power. Nevertheless, the streets in many

countries are now contested spaces where
the struggle for power is increasingly being

The Perfect Storm (December The ballot is being replaced with the bullet
and the baton because young people no
14, 2019) longer view conventional politics as a
By: Irfan Hussain (Dawn) vehicle of change. The youth now view
elections as a cunning way for the
establishment to shift power from one party

VER the last year, protesters have to another without effecting any real
taken over streets from Hong Kong change.
to Iraq, and from Barcelona to Iran.
In the post-Second World War scenario,
The reasons are diverse, as is the those who inherited power from their
composition of the chanting, stone- colonial masters have done little to improve
throwing groups confronting the state. But the lives of their people. Corrupt
a few familiar threads run through the princelings, generals, dictators and
fabric of dissent. One is the relative youth bureaucrats have shovelled their snouts in
of the protesters; next is the frustration with the same troughs. Meanwhile, the poor
a corrupt and exploitative status quo that is have got poorer, with education, healthcare
boiling over; and finally there is the failure and employment being neglected as a
of systems that have provoked dissidents to matter of course.
risk their lives, limbs and liberty while
facing the might of state. Some populists have staged revolutions in
the name of equality and social justice, but
In Pakistan, we have a special case where have then failed to deliver. Whatever your
mobs are usually associated with religious views about socialism, the reality is that
movements or parties. Clerics are favoured most socialist countries have invested in
by the establishment that often needs their their citizens. China is a prime example of
support in the shape of votes, or street what an educated, healthy workforce can
power. They are thus often given a free pass achieve. India, on the other hand, shows us
for their violent rampages. how difficult it is to maintain growth, with
poverty and caste divisions slowing down
The recent dharna, or street protest, by progress.
Maulana Fazlur Rahman and his extremist
followers is a case in point. Large swathes Apart from purely economic reasons,
of Islamabad were blocked off by the people are on the streets because they want
protest that had no clear purpose, but the to win back the dignity they think they have
state handled the situation with kid gloves. lost. A new generation that has more
Had a secular party staged a similar protest, aspirations than their parents is now
its members would have been thrashed, and pushing for political power, as for most of
jailed quicker than they could have yelled: them, the process of change is too slow.
“Go, Imran Khan, go!”
Many of us with a Western education
In Iran and Iraq, the state has been much consider our clerical parties a retrogressive
tougher in facing any challenge to its force that wants to push Pakistan back to
power. But the reality is that no modern the mediaeval era. But placing our
state is going to allow protesters to take prejudices aside, the fact is that desire for

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change can be revolutionary, whether it is Pakistan-Russia Relations are

secular or religious. So when we sneer at
mullahs for their backwardness, we are Steadily Warming Up
being intellectually lazy, and making no
effort to understand their motivation.
By: Abdul Basit

This struggle for power between the people s Additional Foreign Secretary in
and the state is intensifying at a time when charge of Pakistan’s relations with
the contradictions built into capitalism are European countries, I accompanied
becoming sharper. The inequality between President Asif Ali Zardari on his official
workers and bosses has never been higher. visit to Russia in May 2011. We were
Phenomena like Brexit and Trump are just upbeat, because we found the Kremlin
the tip of the iceberg. Expect more of the receptive to almost all our suggestions
same. aimed at putting the bilateral relationship
on a substantive trajectory against the
So how do we break out of the circle in backdrop of new geo-strategic and geo-
which we are trapped? Clearly, the elite will economic considerations. Indeed, it was a
not hand over money or power to the new beginning.
deprived. Is revolution the only answer?
Obviously, the situation will vary from one Since then, bilateral relations have come a
society to another: some leaders will make long way. However, Islamabad is still
the adjustments necessary to defuse the waiting to welcome President Vladimir
situation. Others will try and use force to Putin in Pakistan. He was scheduled to visit
put down protest. In Iran and Iraq, for in 2012 but the trip was cancelled at the last
example, brutal repression has already minute for unknown reasons. In what was
taken hundreds of young lives. seen as a damage-control exercise,
President Putin immediately dispatched
In a world where one per cent of adults own Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to
47pc of household wealth, it is no surprise Islamabad, reassuring the latter that the
when the working class pour out into the President was looking forward to visiting
streets. To a great extent, it is the excesses Pakistan as soon as possible.
of the 1pc that is driving popular anger.
Interestingly, there has been no summit
Add to income inequality the collapse in level visit from Moscow, except one and
governance and the lack of jobs, education that too, in 2007 by
and opportunities, and you have the factors then Prime Minster Mikhail Fradkov.
for the perfect storm. To save itself, the Another important visit that took place
system will need to reinvent itself and from Moscow was by Russian Defence
accept higher taxes to pay for Minister Sergei Shoigu in 2014.
On the other hand, almost all Pakistani
However, the 1pc will fight tooth and nail leaders have visited Moscow post-Cold
to preserve its grip on wealth and power. War, including Nawaz Sharif in 1999 and
For them, any concession is the thin end of President Pervez Musharraf in 2003. Prime
the wedge. But unless they accept some Minister Imran Khan’s visit is yet to be
form of compromise, the present system is scheduled though he met President Putin in
doomed to go the way of the dinosaur. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on the sidelines of the
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
summit (SCO).

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Be that as it may, the two countries have Conference in Amritsar (India) took the
still been able to warm up to each other. floor and defended Pakistan following
Many bilateral frameworks, including the President Ashraf Ghani’s gratuitous tirade
Inter-Governmental Commission (ICG) against the country. I was present at the
which is currently holding its sixth meeting conference and personally thanked Mr.
in Islamabad and Foreign Secretary-level Zamir Kaboulov for his crisp and fair
consultations have been established to intervention.
expand the relationship in all areas. Russia
has also agreed to invest $1.7 billion in the Whereas both Pakistan and Russia have
Karachi-Lahore gas pipeline. Though the now decided to gradually improve
bilateral trade figures are still not very relations, some other limitations also affect
impressive (around $400 million), a mutual the pace. For instance, Pakistan’s economy
desire exists to attain the target of $1billion is still struggling and not in a position to pay
as soon as possible. hard cash for possible purchases of Russian
defense equipment. It also cannot ignore
All said and done, Russia is still careful not US and EU sanctions against Russia. As for
to upset its historical and substantive Russia, it is also struggling economically
relations with India. Hence, every step is and thus is not in a very comfortable
taken with the utmost circumspection. position to offer long-term soft loans.
Needless to say, Russia continues to be the
biggest arms supplier to India and has These limitations aside, Russia is still
recently signed an agreement worth $5.5 willing to upgrade the Pakistan Steel Mills
billion for the supply of five S-400 air and Guddu and Muzaffargarh power plants.
defense systems. India went ahead and It is also ready to spend in CASA 1000 and
signed this deal despite a demurral from the TAPI projects. In short, Russian policy has
US and this goes to show how much India undergone a tremendous change in the
values its relations with Russia. region. Importantly, it has been able to
engage with Pakistan without estranging
On the other hand, Russia also realizes fast India.
changing ground realities and the evolving
Indian strategic partnership with the US. Inter-state relations are not a zero-sum
This gives it considerable diplomatic space game. Pakistan must be patient and
to reach out to Pakistan, breaking from persistent. To begin with, ICG should be
Cold War dynamics. Russia’s decision to held regularly. Annual political
supply four combat Mi-35 helicopters to consultations should also be upgraded to
Pakistan in 2017 while ignoring India’s the Foreign Minister level. As things
objections was a huge leap of faith. progress, Islamabad may eventually win
Similarly, instituting bilateral military Russian support for its Nuclear Suppliers
exercises under the rubric of ‘Druzhba’ Group membership, and be able to persuade
(Friendship) is another important the Kremlin to mediate on Kashmir. Why
breakthrough. Russia also eventually not have another Tashkent-type meeting of
supported Pakistan’s membership of the 1966 that the Soviet leadership had
SCO along with India. organized between Pakistan and India
following their 1965 war?
It is also interesting to see how Russia
reached out to the Taliban and its attempts Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan is
to positively contribute towards promoting expected to visit Moscow at the earliest,
reconciliation in Afghanistan. It was an and it is high time for President Putin to
unprecedented act, when in Dec. 2016, the experience Pakistan’s unparalleled
Russian representative at the Heart of Asia hospitality.

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The consequences of Pakistan’s crashing

economy have been devastating for its over
200 million people. They are instinctively
aware of how far they have fallen behind
and there is a clamor for change for a future
where their children can live in dignity and

It was this public desire for change that

propelled Pakistan’s most famous cricketer,
Imran Khan, and his relatively new party,
the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, into power in
2018. Prime Minister Khan promised
change and a “naya” or new Pakistan to his
people, but change is proving far more
difficult than imagined.

How to Fix Pakistan’s Crashing The fundamental challenge in bringing

change is that those who are benefiting the
Economy? most from the dysfunctional economy and
By: Atif Mian (The New York stand to lose the most from change would
fight every attempt at reform and attack the
Times) people trying to ensure reform.

I f an airplane took off a dozen times only

to come crashing down each time, the
only logical conclusion would be that
the aircraft requires a fundamental
redesign. Pakistan’s economy, like the
Pakistan’s leadership must muster the
courage to take on two primary forces of the
status quo that hold the country back. First,
the moneyed elite who tip the scales of
markets in their favor through unfair
airplane, has crashed 13 times in the last 60 business practices, tax evasion and
years, each time requiring an International preferential access to power. They use their
Monetary Fund bailout. privilege to grab the fruits of other people’s
labor rather than create something of value
It wasn’t always so. During the 1980s, in through their own enterprise.
per capita terms Pakistan was richer than
India, China and Bangladesh by 15, 38 and The second force inhibiting Pakistan’s
46 percent. Today Pakistan is the poorest. progress is religious extremism. Decades of
Its most recent gross domestic product patronage by successive military and
growth estimate was only 3.3 percent, civilian governments for promoters of
barely sufficient to keep pace with religious hate has created a culture of
population growth. institutionalized intolerance. The result has
been devastating for society. Thousands
Pakistan’s federal government is have been killed, communities have been
effectively bankrupt. Last year, the sum of ripped apart and hundreds of thousands of
interest payment due on the government’s people have been displaced or forced to flee
debt obligations and pension payments the country altogether. It is no wonder then
owed to retired employees was more than that few want to invest in an environment
the federal government’s net revenue. The afflicted with violence and intolerance.
entire government machinery, including the Many whose talents are sorely needed in
military, is running on borrowed money.

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Pakistan are forced to flee the country Similar challenges exist in other parts of the
because of extremism. economy. For instance, sugar cane, which
is one of the most water-intensive crops, is
The combined effect of extremism and an grown on nearly 2.5 million acres in
unproductive rent-seeking elite is that Pakistan. This makes no economic sense
Pakistan has one of the lowest investment for a country with a very serious water
rates in the world. Pakistan invests only 15 shortage. Rationalizing agriculture toward
percent of its output compared with 30 more efficient farming choices requires that
percent for the rest of South Asia. This has the government take on the landed
led to diminished productivity. Pakistan’s aristocracy by removing subsidies and
total volume of exports has not risen since charging for excessive water use.
2005. It has become a nation of consumers
with limited capacity to produce and The government also continues to dole out
innovate. Last year, the country imported large export subsidies without an iota of
more than two times as much as it exported. proof that these subsidies have helped
increase exports. Will the government
Reversing those trends requires a develop courage to say no to special
courageous commitment to fight the interests and devise a performance-based
entrenched elements and extremists. assistance mechanism? The auto sector is
Consider the unproductive moneyed class another example that has not innovated in
which instead of investing in real decades but continues to be protected
businesses buys urban land and sits on it. heavily by the government. And the power
This is an idle activity that adds nothing to sector is dominated by private producers
the country’s output and contributes who enjoy high government-guaranteed
directly to Pakistan’s low investment rate. returns in dollars only to run grossly
The value of land keeps rising, not because inefficient plants.
of any effort by the landowners but because
of an urbanizing population. It is even harder to find courageous
leadership when it comes to dealing with
The correct policy response to discourage religious extremists. One would have hoped
such activity would be to tax the value of that decades of suffering at the hands of
land appropriately. This would dissuade the religious extremism would convince at
rich from hoarding land and instead least one government or major political
incentivize them to invest in real party to roll back the purveyors of hate. But
businesses. Land would then be available no one seems interested. Or perhaps no one
for more productive uses and at cheaper has enough courage.
prices. Moreover, the revenue generated
from land taxes could fund much-needed All major political parties continue to
urban infrastructure. fraternize with the merchants of hate
whenever it politically suits them, thus
While instituting a land tax addresses empowering the extremists further. Last
multiple problems in a single strike, month, a cleric who specializes in spewing
carrying through with the policy requires hate against minorities marched on
courage as a large percentage of urban land Islamabad with his followers to put
is held by the powerful elite. Pakistan’s pressure on the government. As he rallied
leadership must develop the courage to put his crowd with dog whistles and extremist
the interests of the collective above those of rhetoric, the leadership of Pakistan’s two
the privileged few. main opposition parties, the Pakistan
People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz, stood next to him in

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solidarity. The ruling political party, purview of a money bill as per the Article
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, was no different 73(2)(a) of the Constitution.
when it was in the opposition.
Moreover, modification in taxes and duties
This is Pakistan’s ultimate dilemma. It by the M/o Commerce (MOC) would
takes courage to put principles above petty require an enabling act without which the
political advantages, to stand firm against role of MOC will again be confined to
vested interests and to openly call out advisory and not mandatory. Besides,
religious bigotry when you see it. policies without legal and statutory strength
only remain guidelines and cannot be
Prime Minister Khan was known for his implemented as such to achieve the desired
fearless play on the cricket field as if he objectives. Same is evident from the
were a “cornered tiger.” Pakistan needs outcomes of the Strategic Trade Policy
similar spirit in the political field today as Frameworks announced by the ministry.
its politicians have unfortunately developed Only those measures are operationalised,
a habit of conniving with vested interests which are implemented through trade
and those who trade in religious hatred. policy orders. The Tariff Policy needs to
Pakistan will change only when its enacted under some legal frame
leadership develops the courage to act work/statute to make it practical and
otherwise. For the sake of Pakistan’s implementable. Without that, it will
children, may that day come soon. continue to a mere policy with no enabling
legal force.
Implementing Tariff Policy
The policy very naively and briefly, inter
(December 9, 2019) alia, describes the objectives, principles and
By: Abbas Raza (The Nation) policy guidelines for its implementation.
However, the policy is silent on the benefits
and targets to be achieved by it and how

T he Tariff Policy envisages invoking

the Federal Government Rules of
Business, 1973, which states that the
“Tariff policy and protection regime” is the
function of the Commerce Division. This
would it incorporate the objectives of other
policies viz. industrial, fiscal, agricultural
etc. For, tariff policy is not merely about
tariff protection to the indigenous industry
but has to reflect the government’s overall
aspect has been raised many a time in the economic and fiscal policies as well. The
past also, but no tangible action was taken. instant tariff policy seems to have taken a
So, tariff setting remained with the FBR, very narrow view of the affairs. Setting up
except in cases where individual references of the Tariff Policy Board (TPB) to be
were made to the FBR in cases of tariff chaired by the Commerce Minister/Advisor
protection/removal of tariff and fiscal with representatives of other ministries and
anomalies. divisions tantamount to creating another
high-level bureaucratic hurdle in the
Since the policy now envisages to invoke process undermining the policy itself. The
the Rules of Business 1973 which would TPB should also include members from
involve tax measures to the extent of Pakistan Business Council and concerned
customs duties and other indirect taxes for business associations.
grant of tariff protection and removal tariff
and fiscal anomalies, would require the A careful analysis of Pakistan Customs
approval of the National Assembly. As the Tariff reveals that there are certain raw
function once invoked would fall under the materials and inputs that are used in the
manufacturing of competitive and

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sophisticated/high value-added products. the National Tariff Commission Act, 2015

However, they are still subject to statutory requires it to periodically review the effects
customs duty rates, as they have never been of its recommendations on tariff protection
used in the production of sophisticated/high and trade remedy measures.
value-added products, so far in the country.
Neither the industrial nor the trade policy The Pakistan Customs Tariff already stands
has prioritised such industrial cascaded in an extensive exercise on the
sectors/products. In other words, there Rationalisation of the Tariff Structure
exists an anti-export bias in the tariffs for conducted in the NTC with participation of
such sophisticated/high value-added and FBR and experts from AERC (Applied
internationally competitive products. Economic Research Center), Karachi in
1992. It was reconsidered by the NTC again
Generating employment opportunities by in 2015-16 updating the cascading
attracting efficiency-seeking investment in according to the economic classification of
the manufacturing sector by making tariff goods viz. primary, secondary,
regime transparent and predictable is a intermediate and finished goods with
good step. However, it is compromised, further classification as locally and not-
inter alia, due to poorly negotiated Free locally available category. It just needs to
Trade Agreements, ineffective exchange be made public and implemented.
rate management, arbitrary and irrational
fixation energy tariffs and POL prices and The concept of strategic protection in
under-invoicing. Tariffs are not only a tool infancy stage to the industry is already
for tariff policy measures, but they also covered under the Article XVIII of GATT
play a very significant role in resource 1994. Pakistan has to invoke the provisions
allocation, especially in a country with of the said article. The article provides
scarce resources. As stated above the tariff special dispensation for the developing
policy should not be considered in countries under the Special and Differential
isolation; it has to be in line with the other Treatment for developing countries, to
macro policies with prioritised objectives which emphasis was also laid in the mini
considering the current economic situation. ministerial WTO conference held in
Shanghai on November 5, 2109.
As regards the simplification of tariff
structure by reducing exemptions and The concept of regulatory duty (RD)
concessions, the same was effectively administered by the FBR is an ad hoc
undertaken by the Tax Reforms Committee measure. The RD imposed under section 18
in the FBR in 2016-17. A large number of of the Customs Act, 1969 requires an
SRO were withdrawn, translating them into analysis considering the implications of the
the First and Fifth Tariff Schedules levy. However, FBR levies RD, as per its
Customs Act, 1969. The policy also lays charter for, revenue purposes only. Besides,
emphasis on timebound protection to the it does not possess institutional expertise to
industry, which will not be possible without undertake economic and protection
stabilising the factors other than tariffs analysis. Pakistan has already enacted the
which impact the level of effective tariff Safeguard Measures (Amendment) Act,
protection to the industry. The recent 2015, which amends the Safeguard
depreciation of Pak Rupee has already Measures Ordinance, 2002, in line with
reduced the protection levels of some WTO Agreement on Safeguards, read with
industries to below peril points and for GATT 1994 Article XIX on Emergency
some has granted unintentional windfall Action on Imports on Particular Products.
profits. For realistic protection measures, The levy of RD under Section 18 of the
the policy has to be flexible. Section 8(3) of Customs Act, 1969 should be restricted, as

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also advised by the IMF and the World The World Solved the Ozone
Bank. Moreover, for the balance of
payments and revenue issues, Article XVIII Problem. It Can Solve Climate
on Governmental Assistance for Economic Change
Development also provide unique and
differential treatment for developing (The New York Times, Editorial)
countries. The government should e the

said article. early 50 years ago, three chemists
named Mario Molina, Sherwood
The overall assessment of the policy reveals Rowland and Paul Crutzen found
that most of the measures proposed in it are evidence that chlorofluorocarbons,
either have already been taken are in place. chemicals known as CFCs and released
The policy is thus an old vine in the new from aerosol sprays, were weakening the
bottle. Moreover, why the government had ozone layer that functions as the earth’s
to wait so long implement various measures natural sunscreen protecting humans,
and that too through the budget for 2020- animals and plants from harmful radiation.
21. There is either dearth of governance or
lack of information at the operational level. The discovery made big news and rattled
However, the trade and industry should the public. Aerosol sales dropped
actively participate and aggressively pursue dramatically, and, despite pushback from
resolution of their issues about tariffs and the chemical companies that made CFCs,
competitiveness based on economic, Congress in 1977 added protecting the
financial, and legal analysis through the ozone layer to the Environmental
tariff policy. Protection Agency’s duties under the Clean
Air Act. Not long afterward, the agency
determined that the compounds, then
widely used in refrigerators, air-
conditioners and some industrial processes,
posed an even graver threat to the
atmosphere than first thought. Soon after,
pressure began to build for a phaseout of
CFCs in the United States as well as for an
international treaty to find alternatives.

The case for global action became ever

more urgent in 1985 when a British team
discovered a hole in the ozone layer above
Antarctica, followed by confirmation by
NASA scientists of a connection between
the hole and CFCs. With the rest of the
world and even industry on board, the result
was the 1987 Montreal Protocol, a
landmark agreement banning
chlorofluorocarbons and other ozone-
depleting chemicals. End of story? Not
quite. As it happened, the ozone-friendly
replacements for the CFCs, known as
hydrofluorocarbons, turned out to be
distinctly unfriendly to the climate. So in

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2016, the Montreal signatories reconvened landed the issue on the front page of The
in Kigali, Rwanda, and agreed to amend the New York Times; also the strenuous efforts
original protocol to phase out HFCs and of advocates like Al Gore to demonstrate
find substitutes more friendly to the the link between warming and the increase
atmosphere. in manufacturing and the use of fossil fuels
since the beginning of the Industrial
The bottom line is that the world, Revolution.
confronted with two dire threats to the
earth’s fragile atmosphere, found two Yet scientific knowledge has not produced
planetary responses with positive action equal to the challenge. One reason
outcomes. The ozone layer is healing. has been the absence, until fairly recently,
That’s worth remembering as we struggle, of obvious environmental damage
often despairingly, to find common ground threatening individual well-being and the
in the battle against climate change. sense of urgency that inspires the public to
Compared with the manifold complexities demand regulatory responses. The prospect
of global warming, dealing with ozone of thousands and even millions of cancer
depletion was, in fact, relatively simple. deaths led to the Montreal Protocol. The
But the key point is that it happened, and Cuyahoga River catching on fire, giant
it’s worth asking why the world has not algae blooms in lakes and rivers, and
responded with similar resolve in dealing widespread contamination of municipal
with the main global warming gases like water supplies led to the Clean Water Act
carbon dioxide, about which we have of 1972. Oppressive inner-city smog — so
known a lot for a long time. bad you could nearly taste it — as well as
mounting respiratory illnesses, and dead
In 1965, following a report from his and dying trees, streams and lakes, helped
Science Advisory Committee, President overcome political and industry foot-
Lyndon Johnson asked Congress to pass a dragging and created the landmark 1990
law curbing carbon dioxide emissions. Four amendments to the Clean Air Act and its
years later, in a memo to John Ehrlichman, innovative cap-and-trade system for
President Nixon’s domestic affairs chief, controlling ground-level pollutants.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then a
presidential assistant, warned that “man has Climate change, by contrast, has for a long
begun to introduce instability” in the time been seen as remote, something for
atmosphere “through the burning of fossil future generations to worry about, and in
fuels.” Atmospheric warming, Mr. polls has appeared far down on the list of
Moynihan said, “very clearly is a problem, voters’ concerns.
and perhaps most particularly, is one that
can seize the imagination of persons In addition, there were no relatively
normally indifferent to projects of expeditious technological fixes for carbon
apocalyptic change.” Indeed, he offered, it emissions, as there were for fluorocarbons,
was not out of the question to imagine and as there were for the pollutants
“mammoth man-made efforts to addressed in the 1990 Clean Air Act
countervail the CO2 rise (e.g., stop burning Amendments, like scrubbers for power
fossil fuels).” plants, and catalytic converters and cleaner
fuels for cars and light trucks. The global
Later came the dramatic congressional warming problem requires a whole suite of
testimony of James Hansen, a NASA fixes, some of them mammoth, as Mr.
scientist, before Congress in June 1988, Moynihan intuited a half-century ago —
linking global warming to human activities carbon-free alternatives to produce
with 99 percent certainty, an assertion that electricity; an all-electric vehicle fleet; an

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end to deforestation; climate-friendly What David Doniger, a climate expert at the

agricultural practices; large-scale dietary Natural Resources Defense Council, calls a
changes; and, quite possibly, advanced “one-two punch of irrefutable science and
technologies to draw carbon dioxide out of irrefutable experience” has clearly raised
the atmosphere. Reimagining the world public awareness and, perforce, the
economy means turning around a very big political temperature. To all this should be
ship. Not to mention global buy-in. added the experience of Montreal and
Kigali, and the catastrophe that did not
Finally, despite predictable industry happen.
warnings of economic ruin, the efforts to
protect the ozone layer and clean up the Season of Revolts (December 4,
nation’s waters and air faced nowhere near
the campaign of denial and disinformation 2019)
mounted by Exxon Mobil and other big By: Mahir Ali (Dawn)
fossil fuel companies — companies that
knew perfectly well what their products
F there’s a common theme that runs
were doing to the atmosphere — to confuse
the public about climate change and to
derail serious attempts to address them.
This cascade of phony science was not the
I through the plethora of mostly
spontaneous popular mobilisations that
have rocked several continents in recent
months, it’s corruption.
only reason legislation aimed at reducing
carbon pollution foundered in Congress. As
Bill Clinton and Mr. Gore discovered after It takes multiple forms, and tends to inspire
signing the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, there revolts when it reaches some kind of critical
was little enthusiasm in either party for a mass. The triggers vary from one country to
treaty that essentially required America and the next. In Lebanon, for instance, it was a
other industrial nations to do most of the proposed charge on WhatsApp calls, in
heavy lifting while giving other big Chile it was a small increase in metro fares,
emitters, among them China and India, a far in Iran it was an unexpected spike in
easier path. Still, industry’s relentless petroleum prices, in Hong Kong it was the
obfuscation played a big role, especially prospect of suspects being extradited to
among Tea Party Republicans. mainland China.

Are there reasons now to hope for serious In Iraq, it was a more general sense of ennui
action? Yes: a trifecta of frightening reports propelled by relentless administrative
in the last year from the Intergovernmental incompetence that prompted initially
Panel on Climate Change on the need to act peaceful protests, which have led to the
before things spin out of control, on most horrific death toll in any of the recent
deforestation and other damaging land-use revolts.
practices, on dying reefs and rising sea
levels. Plus: a cascade of natural disasters, Malta stands out insofar as the promised
including catastrophic wildfires and resignation of its prime minister is the
hurricanes. Plus: the dramatic drop in the consequence of a criminal inquiry into the
cost of producing carbon-free energy like assassination of a journalist two years ago.
wind and solar power. Plus: well-publicized Even there, though, the murder of Daphne
concerns on the part of every contender for Caruana Galizia was prompted by her
the Democratic presidential nomination, fearless determination to delve into deep-
and equally well-publicized efforts by state seated corruption at the highest levels of
and local officials, to fill the global government.
leadership vacuum left by President Trump.

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She named and shamed, among others, a The regime in Tehran clamped down on the
senior minister as well as the prime internet — matching the Modi modus
minister’s chief of staff in the wake of the operandi in relation to India-held Kashmir
Panama Papers revelations. Both have — almost as soon as its hegemony was
finally resigned, Malta’s richest challenged, but plenty of evidence has
businessman has been charged with emerged that the spontaneous protests were
complicity in the murder, and Prime put down with brute force, and that the
Minister Joseph Muscat — himself a death toll runs into hundreds. It is
former journalist, ironically — has agreed interesting that the rebellion appears to
to step down once his party picks a have focused more on the rule of the
replacement. unelected Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
than on the administration of Hassan
That scenario, too, is frequently replicated. Rouhani.
In Lebanon, for instance, the protesters
succeeded where the Saudi crown prince The divide in Iran between the civilian
had failed in securing Saad Hariri’s administration and the Revolutionary
resignation, but he remains ensconced as Guard is relatively well documented, and
prime minister in a caretaker capacity, and the ayatollah is logically seen as a symbol
for the time being it seems that a change of element of that part of the ruling elite that
face will eventually be engineered within cannot be dislodged through popular vote.
the discredited power structure that the
street marchers have been militating The US sanctions against Iran, which a
against. handful of European nations are gradually
finding ways to dodge, no doubt account to
A similar scenario appears to be unfolding a considerable extent for the faltering
in Iraq, where parliament has approved economy. But unemployed young Iranians
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s — who are legion — are also impressed by
resignation, but the prospect of a their government’s tendency to devote
replacement could play out for months — substantial resources to throwing its weight
and it anyhow defeats the purpose of the about in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, at the
revolting masses, whose chief gripe is expense of domestic investment that could
against the post-Saddam political system conceivably revive the economy.
put in place by the US and, inevitably, co-
opted by Iran. Iran may be one of the only countries,
perhaps alongside Egypt, where recent
Iranian symbols have come under attack, protests have prompted outright repression
and the myth of Tehran’s mystical hold without recompense or accommodations.
over Iraqi Shias has demonstrably been Even elsewhere, although concessions have
shattered. But the systemic deliverance been made, the kind of change that the
being demanded by often fearless angry populace desires seems remote.
demonstrators does not automatically
follow. Arguably, the sole exception has been
Bolivia, where regime change has been
Of course, the prospects for meaningful effected through a right-wing coup,
change are even more remote in Iran itself, following allegations of electoral
where the unrest has been described as the malpractices that largely remain
most potent rebellion against the unsubstantiated. Even there, fresh elections
established order since one form of tyranny have been promised, but no one can
effectively replaced another 40 years ago. guarantee that they will be fair or free.

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In Chile, there is finally the prospect of a The often-blundering government of Imran

post-Pinochet constitution. But how that Khan can be faulted for many of its
process will play out under the ruthless shortcomings and governance policy and
presidency of Sebastian Pinera remains to practise constraints but not for making the
be seen. tackling of existentialist climate crisis one
of its better priorities on which it has taken
Overall, in the wake of almost universally positive actions. It started off with its
inadequate to the popular impetus for globally recognized, award-winning
systemic change, it seems likely that the ‘billion tree tsunami’ program in Khyber
lately witnessed season of revolt will not Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province which it has
only slip into 2020 but substantially widen ruled since 2013.
its remit.
The program launched with the aim of
tripling Pakistan’s paltry four percent forest
cover area in five years. The recommended
minimum green cover for a country is 25%
of its landmass. While the jury is still out on
its full results – Khan insists one billion
trees have been planted in KP – there is a
discernible rise in green coverage in the
province. One of the first things Khan did
after becoming prime minister in 2018 was
to upgrade the Federal Ministry of Climate
Change, expand the ‘billion tree tsunami’
project to the rest of the country with the
aim of attaining minimum green cover by
the time his tenure ends in 2023, impose a
ban on single-use plastic and a clampdown
on the use of plastic bags for shopping.

From Red to Green – Pakistan

Known for being outdoorsy before he came
Aims for Climate Resilient Cities to power and his green thumb, a few days
By: Adnan Rehmat ago the prime minister launched his most
ambitious official environment initiative
yet – the Clean, Green Pakistan Index

B eing acutely disaster prone, says the

UN, Pakistan is among the top 10
countries most affected by climate
change. This century alone, it has endured
major climate-induced natural disasters that
(CGPI). It is a scheme aimed at fostering an
open competition among some of
Pakistan’s largest cities to improve their
internal climate and make themselves more
have included devastating floods, green and more livable. Pakistan has 10
debilitating droughts, earthquakes of epic cities with a population of a million or
proportions, steep fall in food production more.
and loss of environment-related jobs and
internal migration by millions. Hundreds of CGPI has five pillars – improving liquid
thousands have died. The cost to the waste management, promoting tree
economy has been astronomical. The social plantation, improving and modernizing
cost is higher. solid waste management, enhancing
integrated sanitation capacities and
providing safe drinking water to all

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residents. Performance on these (prayer leaders who run mosques in every

deliverables will be measured based on 35 locality), environmental groups and
performance indicators. Baseline data on wholescale local communities. They will
these pillars will first be collected in three need to be educated about the program and
months followed by a six-month pilot phase provided basic literacy on changing their
of performance enhancement using special poor environmental habits and given targets
urban environmental development to aspire to and meet.
resources and technical assistance, and then
a total of 19 cities ranked based on their Also, by keeping some of the significant
performance measurements. regions like Sindh and Balochistan
provinces as well as Gilgit-Baltistan and
On paper the initiative is brilliant not just in Islamabad out of its ambit, the program
terms of basic needs – administrations of risks political alienation affecting its
Pakistani cities are under-resourced and branding. Initially the program looks too
overwhelmed – but also in building a spirit bureaucratic and divorced of direct civic
of competition that will improve involvement of its end beneficiaries to
sustainability. The best performers will get optimize on its potential. With CGPI,
additional resources. The management Pakistan can either become greener or it can
capacities of Pakistani cities have eroded continue staying in the red with the climate
over the past two decades catalyzed by not crisis slowly devouring it. The climate issue
investing in modern technologies and needs to be fused into everyday political
professional competencies. The cities are and social narratives for Pakistan to slide
exhausted under population explosion out of the list of worst victims of global
coupled with poor urban management. climate crisis.
They have surrendered their green cover to
an unplanned urban sprawl, increasing Current State of Civil-Military
pollution and causing over 135,000 deaths
annually on account of poor air quality Relationship and Future Trends
alone. Water-borne diseases kill ten times By: Umer Karim
as many.
As always, the catch will be how to manage
akistan’s unique political history has
the program itself. Pakistan is not known
for its governance quality. The Khan
government is especially gaffe prone and
does not inspire confidence in managing
P made the relationship between the
executive and military one of the
defining features of the nation’s political
spectrum. The civil-military relationship at
complex governance challenges. It has
fared poorly in managing infrastructure times has been centered around a
projects under its jurisdiction in Punjab and negotiation of roles and responsibilities
KP where it rules and where CGPI will be between the two institutional structures,
implemented. It has also struggled to stem while at other occasions it has been
the slide in national economic indicators manifest by a power contest between the
under its brief federal rule so far. two institutional rivals ending not only with
submission, but also a formal expulsion
The CGPI initiative is currently short of from the power domain of one of the
details in terms of which communities it contestants.
will involve and how. When involving
cities in a complex and ambitious plan like The political setup that emerged after the
this, it will be imperative to engage homes departure of President Gen. Musharraf was
(families), the market (merchants), one where the military after its overarching
educational institutions (youth), the pulpit political presence of the last 10 years had

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decided to take a step back and allowed the tremendous implications for the state of
democratically elected government to civil-military relationships. As the new
exercise political powers. Yet owing to the government took charge, it was visible that
deteriorating security situation within the both the executive and military essentially
country, the military’s special vestiges had developed a symbiotic relationship,
within the policy making domain remained with trust on both sides. This new political
intact. order was one where the two powerful
components of the state rather than
Meanwhile, in this reshuffling of the negotiating or contesting each other’s
political cards, Pakistan’s supreme court in power domain, often at the cost of mutual
general and its Chief Justice Iftikhar damage, were actually happy in
Chaudhry in particular emerged and coordinating and helping each other.
asserted himself as a powerful player by
means of judicial activism — From a civil perspective, Prime Minister
instrumentalized through the use of suo Khan had no previous beef with the military
motu notices on matters of public interest. and therefore no accounts to settle. His sole
It was the Supreme Court that eventually focus happens to be on recovering the
removed Prime Minister Yousuf Raza country’s wealth primarily embezzled by
Gillani in a contempt of court case. politicians which is a point of no objection
for the military. For its part, the military has
The military was back into political been largely able to maintain its say in the
grapevine as it was allegedly behind the rise national security and foreign policy-making
of the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e- domains.
Insaaf (PTI) that posed a significant
political challenge to the Pakistan Muslim This new dynamic in the civil military
League-Nawaz (PML-N). PMLN affairs still revolves around the personal
eventually won the 2013 elections relationship between two men – Khan and
convincingly, yet Nawaz Sharif never Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa – and
forgot his past with the military. The civil- their mutual trust. This has factored into the
military ties started on a positive note but government’s decision to award General
gradually became bitter, first owing to a Bajwa a full-term extension. However, this
PTI-led sit-in in Islamabad and later on due personal connectivity must not be
to incidents like the Dawn leaks. The considered a hybrid regime as has been
Sharif-military uneasiness was never apparent from the recent saga involving
resolved and ended only when the Supreme Sharif and his departure from the country.
Court, while investigating the Panama It was understandable that any deterioration
Papers case, sent the prime minister in Sharif’s health would have negative
packing. Essentially, Sharif was knocked implications for the current political
out of the political fray but this time not by balance within the country. Yet Khan
the military but by the courts, again enacted significant hurdles to obstruct
establishing themselves as an independent Sharif’s exit and without a court
institutional entity. intervention the latter would not have been
able to travel abroad.
With the elections of July 2018, finally the
political dichotomy of the Pakistan Peoples This shows that even despite all symbiosis
Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League and the government’s decision to award an
that had dominated the country's political extension to Gen. Bajwa, there remains a
fold for the last thirty years was over and it level of disparity between the political
was the turn of the Khan-led PTI to form a goals of Khan’s government and what the
government. This development had

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security circles consider best for the Globalisation is the New

Colonisation (December 2, 2019)
As the Supreme Court took up the petition By: Muhammad Ahmad Saad
regarding the extension of the army chief
and suspended the government's extension (The Nation)
order, a new crisis emerged. Eventually the

court gave an interim extension to the army he world is getting smaller with
chief for six months while instructing the every passing day as powerful
government to draft a legal bill. forces of technology and innovation
have expedited the globalisation of trade,
It won't be wrong to say that this judicial commerce and industry. On the economic
intervention has not gone down well in side, technology is the main driver. The
certain quarters and has been considered an relative cost of ocean, air and road
institutional challenge mounted by the transportation continues to decrease,
Supreme Court at the very last moment. removing an obstacle to cross-border
This inadvertently has brought both the merchandise transactions. The fast
civil and military leadership even closer. revolution in information and
communication technologies has numerous
Depending on how the country's political dramatic impacts on trade in services. The
spectrum now evolves, there are signs that improved availability of information
the current state of affairs within civil- technology and declining transaction costs
military ties will be sustained until leaders have further stimulated international flows
on both sides bid farewell to their positions. of capital, labour and technology. None of
this would have been possible, of course, in
the absence of required international
support to pursue policies consistent with
the globalised world order.

Different countries have removed, open or

hidden, trade barriers to develop and grow
collectively. For this purpose, the
globalised economic cooperation order was
evolved in 1947 in shape of the General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
and then the World Trade Organisation
(WTO) was created in 1995 to help develop
a worldwide economic order led by the US
and European countries. It is the main
global agreement to pave the way for a
globalised world. However, China has
emerged as a major global player in recent
years to pose a serious threat to the
technological colonialism of the West.

Global trade partners should abolish strict

exchange controls and liberalise the capital
accounts transactions to help the poor and
under-developed countries to reap the

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benefits of such international agreements. develop new technologies which are faster
Otherwise, the phenomenon of digitalised and lighter, to help in the more powerful
globalisation, in the wake of international flow of information including rising
trade agreements, would further widen the customers’ expectations and, finally, the
divide between developed and poor business change encompassing a more
countries. competitive climate. This e-revolution is
already radically changing daily life, trade
Globalisation will further grow in a and business irrevocably. Experts are
globalised world where the probability of consistently warning that any company
purchasing goods and services, from which thinks that it can wait until new
domestic and foreign suppliers is the same concepts or applications are more
and a country’s trade is the main source of developed, runs a great risk of being left far
its income. Pakistan is clearly some way behind. It is quite likely that organisations
away from this benchmark of globalisation; that fail to keep up with the opportunities of
the people of a developed country place a new technology will almost certainly see
much higher proportion of their savings in their market position surpassed by faster-
domestic assets rather than investing in moving competitors. The fall of global
under-developed countries. Real interest cellular giants like Nokia and Blackberry
rates and capital/labour ratios continue to and the rise of iPhone, Samsung and other
diverge across countries; despite the Chinese phone companies is an apt
incentive for capital to flow from where it example. The decision to move into new
is abundant, to where it is cheap, and from technology is a strategic one. One has to be
where real rates are low to where they are satisfied that it falls into with overall
high. business objectives and strategy and it will
also work as an integrated part of business
The globalisation phenomenon is unlikely objectives.
to be rolled back despite China’s ever-
growing role in international affairs. It will Similarly, research is an integral part of the
considerably expand and grow due to IT- technology-based globalised world. It is
based technological revolution in the often said that the foundation of the US
world. In fact, ICT has colonised the whole might is not its armed forces but
world due to intellectual/technological universities, having a strong culture of
hegemony of multinational companies. research and innovation, which produce the
Global powers now use their technology best men and women to lead the nation.
instead of armies to conquer poor countries. Pakistan also needs to understand how
It is the big fact that technology marches in information technology works and how the
only one direction and that is forward. citizens can take full benefit from it.
Further technological progress and Getting up to speed on all this and
development have delivered a reduction in beginning to implement new systems might
the cost of acquiring information/data and seem like a daunting task but acceleration
communication technologies have ensured is the main source of promoting
a safe and sound process of speedy globalisation and strong economic growth.
financial transactions across the globe.
The world was divided into Russian and
This electronic revolution has, altogether, American blocs in cold war era but, today,
changed the way people live, think and the whole world has been divided into
move in this ever-changing world. The way developed and technologically poor
people live and work is both a cause of and countries, called the fourth world.
a response to a series of converging and Meanwhile, the mantra of the Islamic bloc
unstoppable trends. The trend now is to has proved useless for Pakistan, especially,

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in the wake of recent developments in “if the people of the Valley are threatened
Indian Occupied Kashmir. Pakistan should, with genocide, as indeed they are,
therefore, work for forging an economic Pakistan’s [nuclear] deterrent must cover
bloc of third world countries to counter the them”. The concept of nuclear deterrence
hegemony of globalised world order led by has an inbuilt ambiguity, but given the
the US. This idea was first propagated by gravity of the subject matter, it needs
late ZA Bhutto in 1976 after the success of further scrutiny.
Islamic Summit of 1974. However, he
could not further it due to elections in 1977 Two questions readily come to mind. Will
and the rest is history. the post-Aug 5 conditions in IHK morph
into a genocidal crisis and how should
In order to reap the economic gains from Pakistan respond to such a situation?
international trade, the government of Second, what broadly underpins Pakistan’s
Pakistan should accelerate domestic thinking on resort to its nuclear deterrent
capacity to produce goods and services for and how will it apply to Kashmir?
foreign markets and to make its economy
an attractive destination for foreign trade Arguably, the lockdown of eight million
and investment. It goes without saying that Kashmiris represents a most reprehensible
the multibillion dollar CPEC is ‘the real human rights violation that deserves the
chance of the century’ to develop Pakistan severest international condemnation, but
as an inevitable global player in the restive despite the danger, in the general
South Asian and Gulf regions. But Pakistan perception, genocide is tied to large-scale
will have to develop and strengthen its massacres, mass exodus and international
relevant educational and state institutions to outrage. The Indians appear to be avoiding
reap the benefits. that tipping point and are attempting to
pursue calculated repression to tire the
India, Kashmir and Deterrence Kashmiris out and entice pliable Kashmiri
individuals to acquiesce in the new diktat.
(December 9, 2019) They are embarked on a long haul.
By: Riaz M. Khan (Dawn)
Pakistan, on the other hand, is waiting to
see how Kashmiris react to repression when

K ASHMIR is generally described as

a nuclear flashpoint. Reference to
Pakistan and India being nuclear-
armed neighbours is often cited in times of
heightened tension between the two
they find some breathing space. This policy
dilemma is at play in Prime Minister Imran
Khan’s warning to those intending to cross
the Line of Control. The current impasse is
fraught and nothing is clear about its
countries and as a reminder that they must denouement. If, however, the situation
avoid an all-out conflict. The Aug 5 Indian deteriorates and there is bloodshed and
move to annex India-held Kashmir (IHK), people start fleeing the Valley, Pakistan’s
the draconian lockdown in the Valley since restraint will come under great stress and
that date, and reckless Indian claims to become untenable. A stage may come when
Azad Kashmir have created a radically new beyond exhausting diplomatic options,
and dangerous situation which has been the Pakistan would be unable to withhold
subject of extensive comment. material assistance to the Kashmiri
In a recent Dawn article, my respected
senior colleague ambassador Ashraf That scenario can precipitate a conflict for
Jehangir Qazi pointed to an impending which Pakistan must be fully prepared.
genocide in the Valley and suggested that

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In all probability, conflict would draw How does all this apply to Kashmir? In
international intervention and activate the practical terms, Pakistan’s deterrent cannot
United Nations Security Council to call for protect people in the Valley or prevent
a ceasefire and dialogue for a political mayhem in IHK. But a genocide can lead to
settlement of Kashmir. This could become a conflict between Pakistan and India with
a new basis for dialogue, since the heart of its own dynamic and risks, thus Kashmir
a meaningful dialogue on Kashmir becoming a nuclear flashpoint. Pakistan’s
provided by the Shimla Accords, the nuclear deterrent must however cover Azad
Lahore Summit Declaration and subsequent Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan to thwart any
bilateral pronouncements has been knocked Indian designs to capture any part of that
out by the Aug 5 move of the Modi territory. Many among the current BJP
government. This could usher in a period of leadership mince no words about their
tenuous peace and another status quo over covetous intentions and claims over the
Kashmir. But conflicts can have territory. It is imperative that we leave no
unpredictable trajectories and far worse, one in doubt that we will defend Azad
and disastrous consequences cannot be Kashmir and GB as we will defend any part
ruled out, which makes the talk of nuclear of Pakistan. We cannot tolerate a repeat of
deterrent relevant. Siachen.

Pakistan developing a nuclear deterrent was Islamabad must also brace itself for Indian-
a necessary and understandable response to sponsored subversion and disaffection in
rectify the qualitative force imbalance Azad Kashmir and GB, and, recognising
created by India’s 1974 nuclear test. their special status, ensure well-being,
Pakistan obviously had no outside nuclear development, rights and opportunities for
umbrella available and had to rely on its the people of these areas.
own capacity. Since 1998, Pakistan’s
nuclear doctrine has maintained that its The Aug 5 move by the Modi government
deterrent is entirely defensive and meant to has so poisoned the well that it is difficult
be a shield against any intended aggression see a path to normal relations with India.
to destroy its territorial integrity. Imran Khan’s Kartarpur initiative and his
call to curb any jihadist impulse along the
India’s Cold Start Doctrine forced further LoC are laudable. These measures, or any
fine-tuning of Pakistan’s thinking as to the other similar gestures or initiatives, are
practical applicability of its deterrent. unlikely to compel India to change course
Because the Cold Start Doctrine to some form of a policy reversal that
contemplated incursion and lopping off a respects Kashmiri sentiment and restores an
vulnerable part of Pakistani territory, environment for purposeful interaction with
Pakistan responded by developing tactical Pakistan. Much will depend on the
nuclear weapons to be deployed against an Kashmiris and sensitivity of the
invading force inside Pakistan. India has international community to their
reacted by declaring that use of a nuclear predicament and to sane voices within
weapon, however limited, anywhere India. Meanwhile, barring further
(including inside Pakistan) would draw a deterioration, Pakistan has little choice but
massive nuclear retaliation. Regardless of to maintain only a circumspect functional
the debates swirling around these scenarios, relationship with its eastern neighbour
they provide the clearest indication of without expectations of normalisation any
Pakistan’s determination to go to any extent time soon.
to defend its territorial integrity.

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cent participation in the work force and that

too in the lower tiers of employment, 38pc
of the population is stunted, in other words
suffering from cognitive impairment, 29pc
live below the poverty line, 64pc don’t have
access to safe drinking water and 52pc lack
hygiene and sanitation services in rural

Twenty-five million children are out of

school with a poor transition rate for the girl
child from primary to middle and high
school. Pakistan was unable to meet the
MDGs and is not positioned well to achieve
the SDGs.

In the gender parity index, Pakistan ranks at

Alarming Number (December 9, 2019) the bottom of the list and in the
vulnerability index it consistently ranks
By: Aisha Khan (Dawn) among the top 10 countries. This should be

a subject of serious discussion at the policy
OOD, water and energy’ is a level on managing the emerging number
regular theme at conferences. crisis. The world is talking about a climate
The nexus is very important and emergency but we should be talking about
needs to be highlighted but it is time now to a population emergency because our
also start talking about the nexus between growing numbers will become our biggest
climate change, population and nemesis.
Climate change will just be a catalyst that
It is easy to make the connection between will exacerbate existing conditions. If we
climate change and vulnerability but as were a country of 100m instead of 208m,
population growth rate is not a direct cause we would have no water scarcity, no energy
or consequence of climate change, it is crisis, jobs for everyone, less emissions
often overlooked. from vehicles (clean air) less expenditure
on road infrastructure, more and better
However the crux of the matter rests on the equipped health and education services,
population growth rate. We had a very good balance between built and natural
family planning programme in Pakistan in environment and a healthy combination of
the 1960s and 1970s but somewhere along rural and urban populations working for a
the line the focus was lost and the prosperous Pakistan.
population exploded beyond the bearing
capacity of the state and the concomitant As things stand, with the present rate of
services needed for the burgeoning growth, we are projecting our population to
numbers. increase to 400m by 2040. In this scenario,
we will have double the population, half the
Population and particularly the youth bulge land for agriculture and half the water that
in Pakistanis is projected as a dividend. But is available to us today for irrigation and
the Human Development Index does not domestic use. With more disasters and mass
reflect a very a promising picture. Women migrations of populations from areas where
are half the population but have only 22 per heat will make survivability impossible

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along with increase in disease and shortage women in society. Without controlling our
of food and jobs, we are looking at a population and empowering women we
humanitarian crisis in the making. will not have the capacity to meet the
formidable challenges of climate change
The main difference between developed and all its attendant social and economic
countries and us is that developed countries woes.
have kept a balance between population and
resource utilization and invested in quality New Troubolemakers Emerge
of human resource, not considering mere
numbers as dividends. (The Economist)

We have increased our numbers

mindlessly, not invested in human resource,
kept women out of the decision-making
loop and created an elitist society at the
S O MUCH TALK of “crisis” has
expense of the ordinary citizen. The surrounded NATO’s 70th-birthday year that
numbers of the have-nots by far exceed it has been easy to forget there are reasons
those who are privileged; the time is not far to celebrate. Not only has the alliance
when the impacts of climate change will proved remarkably durable by historical
push the vulnerable against the wall, standards, but since 2014 it has responded
forcing them to react and retaliate through aptly to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine,
actions that will create a law-and-order refocusing on its core mission of collective
situation resulting in strife and violent defence. It has deployed multinational
conflict. battlegroups into the three Baltic states and
Poland and committed to improved
The most urgent need is to launch a readiness. Goaded by criticism from
campaign to control our population growth President Donald Trump, its members have
rate. The average family size in rural areas raised their spending on defence. Though
is eight which means those who have less many countries, notably Germany, still fall
are producing more and adding to the short of their promises, NATO now
numbers living on the margins. Reducing estimates that between 2016 and 2020 its
the population growth rate should be our European members and Canada will shell
first priority as no other programme, policy out an extra $130bn.
or initiative will produce results without
managing the numbers. The greater our This new money helps explain one
numbers, the higher our vulnerability and welcome development at the meeting of
risk of violence and disruption in society. NATO leaders in Britain this week. Mr
Trump, previously the disrupter-in-chief,
Bangladesh has emerged as an example of who used to call the organisation “obsolete”
how a country can improve its social and and caused consternation at a summit in
economic indicators by controlling its Brussels in 2018 by threatening to
population growth rate and empowering withdraw if Europeans failed to take on a
women. We often like to cite China as a fairer share of the burden, has—however
country that has risen as an economic giant briefly—become a defender. In London this
or give the examples of prosperity in week he blasted President Emmanuel
Singapore and South Korea. Macron’s criticism of the alliance as
“nasty” and “disrespectful”. He made no
But the reason for their upward trajectory sign of blocking stern words on Russia or
becomes evident with one look at their the reiteration of Article Five of NATO’s
population growth rate and the status of treaty, the cornerstone of the alliance.

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America’s commitment will be on display members’ commitment to Article Five and

next year, when some 20,000 of its troops proclaimed that “Russia’s aggressive
are to practise reinforcing Europe in an actions constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic
exercise called Defender 2020. security”. That is welcome, but the alliance
needs to find a new strategic coherence.
The bad news is that other disrupters have Even if Mr Trump remains in favour,
emerged. The viscerally anti-NATO Jeremy America’s focus is shifting ineluctably to
Corbyn could conceivably become prime its rivalry with China in Asia and beyond.
minister of one of its leading members after Exercises and increasing readiness will
next week’s British general election. cement the alliance at a military level—and
Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, this will endure while the politicians come
has caused consternation by buying a and go. Work on newish areas such as space
Russian anti-aircraft system, obstructing and cyberwarfare will help, too. Eventually,
NATO’s decisions on eastern Europe and a strategic dialogue with Russia might
invading northern Syria without regard for make sense. But to thrive NATO also needs
his allies’ interests. He responded with a greater common purpose. Once the
personal insults to a suggestion by Mr impetus came from America. Mr Macron
Macron that, given Turkey’s actions in was right to point out that in future Europe
Syria, it might not be able to count on the will have to play a larger part.
mutual defence enshrined in Article Five.

The most surprising troublemaker, and the

reason relations have turned ugly, is Mr
Macron himself. In a recent interview with
The Economist he said that NATO was
experiencing “brain-death”. He champions
a stronger European defence, which Europe
needs, and on December 4th insisted that
this would “not be an alternative to NATO
but one of its pillars”. But there is lingering
suspicion of his intentions among other
allies. That is partly because of his
enthusiasm for a “strategic dialogue” with
Russia. He has emphasised the threat of
terrorism over the task of defending against
Vladimir Putin’s aggression. Mr Macron is
taking a long view and is seeking to
stimulate fresh thinking, but most of his
allies understandably hear his words as a
threat to the progress of the past five years.
Russia’s actions, not just in Ukraine but
also on NATO territory (including by
sending assassins to Salisbury in Britain
and, possibly, Berlin’s Tiergarten), call for
a strong response. Any desire for
concessions will be seen in Moscow as

In Britain NATO papered over the cracks.

The summit’s declaration affirmed its

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