Stories about failed state

Will Pakistan forever be indebted to China for CPEC?

Loans are no fun, nor is $51.5 billion coming under the cover of China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It is easy to find yourself in debt, but it is hard to get out of it. This leads to the question, how will Pakistan get out of Chinese loans? CPEC has financial arrangements on South-South Cooperation model which don’t just depend on giving aid like the North-South Cooperation. Under this Cooperation, China has made use of four major tactics: investment, aid/grants, joint ventures and equity ratio. And when BOT (build-operate-transfer) is not possible, the next best alternative is opting for soft loans. These loans are comprised of three categories: preferential ...

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#KarachiBusAttack: Forget free speech, where is our right to life?

A recent survey showed that Pakistan was amongst the least racist countries in the world. Certain people celebrated this whereas others used this as an excuse to taunt our Indian counterparts. Today, the results of this ‘survey’ are now null and void – 43 people from the Ismaili community were killed in a bus attack today. Eight armed motorcyclists, some of who were disguised at security officials, boarded the bus and opened fire on the passengers. The bus only had Ismaili passengers on-board, which clearly indicates the intent with which this attack took place. Events like these mean nothing more than a day of ...

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No, Arnab Goswami, Pakistan is not an “untrustworthy neighbour” or “a strategic wreck”

On September 26, 2014, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in which he emphasised the urgent need to resolve the Kashmir issue “in accordance with the aspirations of the people” living in the disputed Himalayan region. “We cannot draw a veil over the issue of Kashmir, until it is addressed in accordance with the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.” An Indian television anchor had apprehended that Pakistan would once again raise the Kashmir issue at the UNGA to ‘internationalise’ the dispute. The anchor believed that Kashmir was neither ...

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What did the US accomplish from the invasion of Afghanistan?

The year 2014 has marked the start of NATO’s withdrawal of its combat troops from Afghanistan, 12 years after the war against al Qaeda and the Taliban began, in the autumn of 2001. Many explanations were given as to why the invasion of Afghanistan was vital – from the necessity of finding and punishing the perpetrators of 9/11, to liberating Afghan women and eradicating the opium trade. Time and again, politicians and the media tried to legitimise the war in the eyes of the public. We were told in the weeks following 9/11 that the invasion was an act of self-defence, by former US president George W ...

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The formula of making a failed state

To make a failed state you can start off by looking for a newly created country. It will help if the state is initially in two parts geographically, separated by a country that has several elements living within it that openly criticise the existence of this state. It will also help if the strategic importance of one wing of this state is immense when it comes to global politics. This will make sure that it remains in the centre of major strategic decisions in the future. Once created, chances are that the leaders who led to its creation will acquire top administrative roles. ...

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Bleeding tears for Pakistan: Where have we failed?

Nothing is more refreshing than an evening jog in the park. The wind in your hair, the moist clods of earth under your feet; the almost tangy smell of damp, green grass and the mellow chatter of birds as they begin their daily rounds of “good-night!” to each other. But today is different. Rather than a gentle caress, the wind seems to lash out at me. The grass smells bitter and the normally rhythmic twitter of the birds is like an ominous chant, resounding in my ears, getting louder by the minute until I can take it no more. I surrender ...

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Would you buy Pakistan?

Marketing cannot be limited to individuals or enterprises. Pakistan is in dire need of a new image and nation branding can help build it. When Pakistan was conveniently paired with Afghanistan to form the so-called ‘Af-Pak’ region, world over people were made to think that both countries stand in the same line when it comes to infrastructure and economy. Richard Holbrooke was named as a common ambassador for the two countries by the United States and common policies began to take shape. Afghanistan is a drug-based economy that has no transport, communications or government structure. It has no signs of technology ...

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The air we breathe

On June 27, this paper ran a story on International Drugs Day that reported that Pakistan has one of the highest rates of narcotics seizure in the world. The news made me very happy, especially since the last top ten that Pakistan made to was for “failed” states. But what caught my eye was the photograph printed with the story: that of a drug burning ceremony held in Rawalpindi under the watchful eye of the police. According to the article, Pakistan has seized narcotics worth more than 50 million rupees this year and all of that (or at least most ...

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What does it mean to be a ‘failed state’?

The term “failed state” has been thrown around with wild abandon for quite a while now and has only grown in popularity and public prominence since Foreign Policy magazine, in partnership with US think tank Fund for Peace, started publishing its annual Failed States Index in 2005. But what does it mean to be a “failed state” and what is the real impact of this index? The ranking is based on the total scores of 12 indicators. For each indicator, ratings are placed on a scale of 0 to 10. The total score is the sum of the indicators and is ...

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