In a captivating and intellectually stimulating session led by the distinguished Dr. Jabir Syed, an accomplished Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at COMSATS University, Islamabad, Pakistan, a comprehensive exploration of the dire and far-reaching consequences of climate change on Pakistan's economy and its multifaceted sectors unfolded. Pakistan, a nation ranked among the top five most vulnerable to the ravages of climate change, has found itself ensnared in the clutches of an intensifying climate crisis over the past two decades. This crisis has manifested through a litany of harrowing events, including cataclysmic floods, meteoric temperature spikes, and erratic weather patterns, all of which have wrought havoc upon the country's socioeconomic tapestry.
New Delhi forges a unique path in Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO): A positive stride amidst diversity
The SCO represents 40 per cent of the world’s population and a third of its GDP, albeit due to China and India.
On 28 April, New Delhi hosted a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member countries’ defence ministers conclave to discuss regional peace and security, counterterrorism efforts and effective multilateralism. The conclave, chaired by India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh, saw the in-person participation of his counterparts from Russia, China, Iran, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The special defence advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan joined virtually.
The crises in Sri Lanka and Pakistan are raising questions about the relevance and the costs of their reliance on the alternative financial system provided by China’s Belt and Road Initiative On March 6, China became the last major bilateral creditor to provide financing and restructuring assurances to Sri Lanka. Following this, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to make a final decision on Colombo’s $2.9 billion bailout package. Sri Lanka’s consistent back-and-forth negotiations with the IMF and China indicate a broader development in South Asia. In 2022, two other South Asian nations and participants of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — Pakistan and Bangladesh — had sought financial assistance from the IMF. These developments in the subcontinent indicate that developing countries are furthering their economic interests and stability by approaching the IMF and the West, even as they try not to antagonise China.
Budget made for capital expenditure must increase if India is to keep pace with China's rising military might. India’s tumultuous and volatile strategic environment showed no signs of abating in intensity. New Delhi continues to face a two-front challenge from both of its primary foes, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Pakistan, notwithstanding the latter’s recent conciliatory overtures, which are only a smokescreen to tide over its dire economic vulnerabilities.
Pakistani establishment must be happy at the Diwali gift when they were moved out of the so-called ‘Grey List’ of the FATF ( Financial Action Task Force) to the so-called white List after four years or so when the onus of proof for terror financing and money laundering rested on their ill-gotten laurels. Islamabad has had that unique distinction couple of times before. But this was the longest and perhaps more painful as the economy of Pakistan has continued to deteriorate both due to natural and man-made causes.
As both India and Pakistan celebrate the 75th anniversary of their independence, unfortunately, Pakistan is identified as the progenitor and a safe haven for terrorism and global terrorists stalking and staring at the world with impunity due to state patronage. Pakistan itself claims to be the victim of terrorism and flashes out statistics to prove it. But it forgets that if you nurture those mercenaries, they will come to bite you back.