Stories about China

China coronavirus: Is Pakistan at risk?

As the coronavirus forces the authorities in China to place 12 cities under lock-down, including the reported epicentre of the virus – Wuhan, just how wide-ranging the ramifications of this virus can be are slowly coming to light. While China attempts to grapple with this worsening health epidemic, it is quickly becoming evident that this is not simply a problem which will remain confined within the borders of China. Thus far, more than 800 cases of the coronavirus have surfaced in China and 26 individuals have already lost their lives due to it. But fears of the virus spreading have only been ...

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The Saudi-Iran conflict and the challenges it poses for Pakistan

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, recently visited both Iran and Saudi Arabia at a time when the region is on the precipice of imploding. The timing of the visits was no fortune coincidence. In fact, it showed Islamabad’s intent to maintain peace in the region, further exemplified by its attempts to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Iran in the past. Last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan visited the two countries in a bid to ease tensions after drone attacks targeted two Saudi oil facilities. The fact that Pakistan is actively trying to preserve regional stability suggests that there are ...

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Lessons in tenacity: Why Pakistan should learn from Turkey

When faced with the seemingly unyielding support of its ostensible NATO ‘partners’ for Kurdish secessionists in the Syrian-Turkish border regions, Turkey faced a veritable conundrum. Turkey’s  successful October 9-24, 2019 Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria against entrenched, US military-protected Kurdish fighters came after setting red lines regarding its national security, acknowledging that lack of respect afforded to those red lines by traditional partners necessitated threatening core foundational assets of its ties with them, recognising its advantages and constraints and hedging its bets with new foreign allies. In numerous ways, Turkey’s negotiation of the ordeal vis a vis the Kurds and ...

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How effectively is Pakistan tackling the climate crisis?  

As Pakistan continues to grapple with the climate crisis, it is increasingly important that we as a nation turn our sights towards the future. As environmental lawyer Sara Hayat informed me, “Planting trees has huge benefits for the soil, air pollution, livelihoods of people. However, the tree tsunami must be supplemented by policy measures that curb global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the source. Carbon sinks are useless if no mitigation measures are being prioritised. Furthermore, Pakistan has the highest deforestation rate in the world per a Lahore High Court judgment. Don’t plant trees if you’re going to keep cutting them ...

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How can Pakistan increase its exports?

In my previous articles I have deliberated upon the various aspects which define an effective e-commerce policy and have also discussed the strategies which can be used in order to encourage micro to small to medium enterprises (MSMEs) to sell their products internationally using digital channels, similar to the manner in which they sell locally. The three main components of the e-commerce framework, namely marketing, payments and logistics, are each important factors. However, since marketing and payments have been digitised to a great extent, the logistics and supply chain scenario is where the online world actually touches base with the offline world. ...

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Is the international market interested in Pakistani products?

The Indian government has encouraged the creation of Micro to Small to Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in order to increase exports. The list of products that the Indian government has compiled recently for the MSMEs to consider and potentially engage trading in, is quite extensive. In a similar effort, a list of products has been compiled by our Ministry of Commerce. This article seeks to highlight the importance of choosing an appropriate product to export as well as gaining the initial set of customers for the relevant product. Firstly, it is important to pay attention to a pattern that I was ...

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Cyber warfare or ‘How to win a war without fighting’

Sun Tzu’s first rule in his famous treatise ‘The Art of War’ was to win, if possible, without fighting at all. Since his time, warfare has evolved through many generations – where first generation warfare saw brave generals and their forces fight face to face in pitched battles, second generation warfare ushered in the age of indirect fire and combat between adversaries who could not even see each other. The second generation morphed into the third generation as adversaries attempted to infiltrate each other’s lines to create havoc among their counterparts’ ranks, and it then gave way to fourth ...

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Dining on ashes: Pakistan’s hazardous coal dependent future

This article is the second part in a series about climate change and Pakistan’s carbon footprint. Read the first part here. ~ Earlier this year in August, I came across a newspaper article that read: “The government confirmed on Sun­day successful commercial operations of a two billion dollar 1,320MW coal-fired power plant set up by the China Power Hub Generation Company (CPHGC) under the China-Pakistan Econo­mic Corridor (CPEC) project.” It is mind boggling to see such news at a time where the world is moving towards renewable energy. What makes it worse is that Lahore has been plagued by dangerous smog for the ...

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Is Pakistan’s e-commerce framework effective?

The E-commerce Framework of Pakistan highlights nine different aspects which require the government’s attention. The first one is the e-commerce regulations section. The policy outline for these regulations appear to have been created after much introspection and investigation. However, as someone who has seen e-commerce evolve and flourish in countries such as China, UK and finally Pakistan, I believe that a suitable perspective must be adopted when formulating these regulatory policies. E-commerce in Pakistan is still in its infancy. A McKinsey research states that the lack of funding opportunities in Pakistan is the first major bottleneck in the development of ...

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What does the future hold for Kashmir?

The ‘Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act’ put forward by the Indian Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah, occupies a central role in the deteriorating bilateral relations between the nuclear–armed neighbours and the worsening domestic conditions in the region. Pakistan’s demands for justice against the human rights violations in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) is being spearheaded by Prime Minster Imran Khan, who has termed India’s actions “a war crime” and a violation of 17 United Nations Security Council resolutions. While little headway is being made to restore the previous status quo, Imran’s efforts have materialised with six lawmakers from the United States ...

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