Monthly Archives: December 2011

Our journal’s last two issues

The Pakistan Horizon is the flagship Journal of The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs which we have published continuously since 1948. The July and October 2011 issues have been dedicated to the Arab Awakening and Pakistan’s relationship with China over the past six decades. The contents of the two latest issues of our journal are set out below. Please contact us on should you want more details. 

THE ARAB UPRISING, Volume 64, Number 3, July 2011

  • Pakistan’s Foreign Policy Survey, Staff Study     1
  • The Arab Awakening, Ana Marija Bešker   7
  • The Arab Spring:  How Will It Blossom? Karamatullah K. Ghori    13
  • US Democracy Promotion and Popular Revolutions in the Middle East: Challenges and Opportunities, Muhammad Ijaz Latif and Hussain Abbas    25 Continue reading

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Filed under China, Pakistan Horizon, PIIA, The Arab Spring, The Middle East

PIIA’s Network Partnership with AGORA Asia-Europe

The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) has become an exclusive network partner of AGORA Asia-Europe making us the only think tank in Pakistan to have been chosen as partner.

AGORA Asia-Europe is a pioneer network linking leading think tanks in Asia and Europe in order to bring together intellectual communities from Asia and Europe. It is borne out of the need to build a bridge between Asia and the EU and create a dynamic strategy so that both regions can interact credibly in the 21st century. It will be led and directed by Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo (FRIDE), the European think tank for global action based in Spain.

The main focus of AGORA Asia-Europe will be on applied research, joint policy briefs and high quality seminars. While the EU outlook towards Asia focuses on a larger number of priority areas, the Agora will monitor and assess the EU’s performance under five pillars in order to find a mix between the broad political ambitions of the EU and the narrower practical realities of engaging Asia within the EU’s capacities.

The research pillars will be Global Governance and Regional Settings, Security-Development Nexus and Stability, Energy and Climate Change, Trade, Democracy and Human Rights. Continue reading

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Filed under AGORA, Europe, FRIDE, PIIA

Dr. Masuma Hasan: Reaching Out to Widows in Pakistan

Aurat Foundation Pakistan is a member of the South Asian Network for Women’s Empowerment in Development (Sanwed) and I have had the privilege of representing Aurat Foundation at Sanwed’s inaugural meeting in Chennai in December 2005, at the Conference in Kathmandu in June 2010 and at the International Windows Day Conference held in London on 23 June 2006. These gatherings were highly rewarding. They enabled me to meet colleagues and partners, exchange views, and learn about new ideas, projects and initiatives.

Therefore, I was looking forward to this Sanwed workshop which has been organised by Women for Human Rights (Single Women Group) in Kathmandu but, unfortunately, am unable to attend it. However, I should like to put forward my views on the subject of ameliorating the plight of widows, which is our common concern, with respect to Pakistan.

Until the results of Pakistan’s Census of 2011 become available, we have to rely on statistics about widows on the Census of 1998 which I have quoted in the paper I read in the Conference in Kathmandu in June 2010. However, since the population of Pakistan has increased greatly since the last Census, given the pattern population growth, the number of widows must have also risen in the same proportion. Continue reading

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Filed under Aurat Foundation, Criminal law, Widows, Women

Le printemps arabe

This post revisits an event entitled Europe and the Arab Awakening in Regent’s College in London. The editor is an alumnus of the college and represented The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs. Major stalwarts of the British Foreign Office such as Lord Hannay (former UK Ambassador to the UN, who chaired) and Sir Sherard Cowper Coles (former UK Ambassador to Israel and Saudi Arabia) spoke at the event. Other eminent personalities such as the Guardian’s Middle East editor Ian Black and Hagai Segal of the NYU in London spoke at the event.

Despite the emphasis on “Europe” the event became, as expected, a debate about the Arab “Spring” which, some panel members argued, was better described as the Arab “Awakening”.

Following Lord Hannay’s introduction Sir Sherard shared his personal views about the Middle East. He began by pointing to the tyranny of the “opaque” regimes which had controlled the region subsequent to France and Britain’s conclusion of their League of Nations’ mandates. It was argued that the “bad” would get much “worse” and that the departure of the autocrats from Middle Eastern politics would be “painful”: but Sir Sherard placed reliance in the Arab youth to take the revolution (or awakening) further and he warned all parties concerned of the “long dark winter” ahead. Continue reading

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Filed under Discussion, Europe, The Arab Spring, The Middle East, Uprising

Regional response to NATO’s airstrike on Pakistan

NATO’s attack on Pakistan has enveloped the entire region in a serious row between regional and extra-regional forces. This dispute has compelled the regional actors to join hands to push the influence of external forces away. Rather than apologizing to Pakistan, US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter invited envoys of NATO countries in Pakistan to high tea at the US embassy in Islamabad. He asked them to persuade the Pakistani leadership to cooperate with the US. The US has been trying to portray the incident as a non-deliberate act.

However, Major General Ishfaq Nadeem, Director-General of Military Operations, had already claimed that two or three helicopters launched an unprovoked attack early on 26 November 2011. He also stated that NATO/ISAF forces had been conveyed positions of military posts through map references that left no scope for mistakes.

The response of China and Russia over this rift has exposed their serious regional concerns. China, expressing deep shock at the incident, stressed the need for ensuring Pakistan’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity at any cost. It also emphasized that the event should be investigated thoroughly. Continue reading

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Filed under Discussion, NATO, Pakistan, United States

Recent events at PIIA

Moin R. Khan, Chairman, Pakistan Association of Petroleum Geo Scientists and General Manager Exploration, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), addressed the members on ‘Energy Potential and Meeting the Challenge of Energy Gap in Pakistan’ on 20 October 2011. His presentation drew out the fast depleting energy resources of Pakistan and the need for a proactive policy to prepare for future needs.

Dr. Ihsan Yilmaz, Associate Professor of Political Science at Fatih University, Turkey, addressed an interactive session on ‘Contemporary Turkish Politics in the Light of State Law Relations’, on 29 October 2011. The crux of his presentation was that democracy and secularism are not in contradiction with Islam. He said that Turkey presented a unique model for the entire Islamic world as the Turkish government is democratic and secular, while a large number of its population is Muslim.

A delegation of Indian journalists, from Mumbai Press Club, led by Jatinbabu Desai, visited the Institute on 17 November 2011. In the interactive session, there was a candid exchange of views and focus on the understanding deficit between the people of the two countries. Jatin Desai said that the dialogue process between India and Pakistan was moving forward and would help to reduce their differences on various outstanding issues. PIIA members urged the visiting Indian journalists to project the correct situation in Pakistan and lobby for opening the rail route between Khokrapar in Sindh and Monabao in Rajasthan to facilitate travel of citizens and boost trade between the two countries. Continue reading

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Filed under Discussion, Events, PIIA

Dr Masuma Hasan: Indian Journalists in PIIA

An 18-member delegation of Indian journalists from the Mumbai Press Club visited PIIA on 17 November 2011. They were introduced by B.M. Kutty, a pioneer of peace between Pakistan and India and a member of the Council of PIIA. The women journalists in the delegation did not join us because they were visiting Aurat Foundation, the leading women’s empowerment organisation in Pakistan. I am a member of the Board of Governors and Treasurer of Aurat Foundation but was amazed that not only men but also women could subscribe to gender exclusivity! We would have liked to meet the women journalists and hear their impressions about Pakistan.

The Indian delegation was led by Jatinbabu Desai of the Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy. In his introductory remarks, he spoke about the need to break down barriers and bring the people of Pakistan and India together through more interaction between ordinary citizens. There was the usual Indian view about how we share the same historical and cultural experience. In the Indian delegation and among our own members there were many, including myself, whose ancestral roots were in the other country. Everybody spoke about the need for mutual understanding, increasing trade and communication and people-to-people contacts. Continue reading

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Filed under Al Qaeda, India, Pakistan, Peace building, Taliban