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World powers urged to make fresh strategy to deal with pandemic


July 4, 2020

Islamabad : The latest edition of Institute of Policy Studies’ peer-reviewed flagship journal Policy Perspectives – co-published by Pluto Journals, UK, and which disseminates research carried out by IPS, its associates, and experts on diverse current and evolving topics – is now available.

This issue of policy perspectives comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has shaken the whole world and its established systems in all realms of life.

In view of this broad and fundamental impact of the pandemic, thought leaders and experts analyze the obvious and less obvious dimensions of human life to foresee new realities and to recommend possible measures and decisions to policymakers.

Such collective activity is likely to curtail the impact of this global challenge. Realizing this, a part of this issue has been exclusively dedicated to the theme, 'Covid-19: Global Challenge, National Response'. Renowned experts who have contributed to this section include Khalid Rahman, Executive President, IPS; Syed Muhammad Ali, Senior Research Fellow, IPS; Zafarul Hasan Almas, Chief Macroeconomics, Planning Commission of Pakistan; Commodore. (r) Syed Muhammad Obaidullah, Former Executive Director, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC); Murtaza Shibli, Senior British-Kashmiri Journalist; Ambassador (r) Syed Abrar Hussain, Brigadier (r) Said Nazeer Mohmand, Senior Security Analyst; Mirza Hamid Hasan, Former Federal Secretary, Ministry of Water and Power; and Ambassador (r) Tajammul Altaf.

Khalid Rahman, in his article “Evolving World Scenario”, stresses that world powers should abandon their differences at this the critical point in time in order to enhance international cooperation and come up with a coordinated strategy to deal with the pandemic.

“The world leaders should devise a fresh strategy and system based on concrete multilateral coordination and cooperation to handle the possible impacts. With joint effort, some major countries should utilize the UN as a platform for discussions and coordination to form a new cooperative mechanism that can benefit all countries equally,” he recommends.

This issue also carries research papers under the three conventional themes of the Journal, namely International Relations, Pakistan Affairs and Faith & Society.

The first paper of this issue, titled ‘Transgender Law in Pakistan: Some Key Issues’ and authored by Syed Nadeem Farhat, Muhammad Daniyal Abdullah, Dr Shafei Moiz Hali, and Hamza Iftikhar bases itself on a recently issued briefing paper by the International Commission of Jurists regarding Pakistan’s Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018 and critically discusses its contention that the law meets the international law obligations of Pakistan. This paper argues that the ICJ briefing paper offers misrepresented interpretation of the international law and consequently, the law undermines the rights of the indigenous gender-variant people of Pakistan. The paper suggests a renewed approach to work out the scheme for gender-variant persons on the basis of the Constitution of Pakistan, guidelines of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the recognized principles of international law.

In the next paper, titled “Reintegration Prospects for the Ex-Convicts in Pakistan: A Legal Perspective,” Aisha Tariq highlights the need for a policy-based stance for smooth reintegration of ex-convicts in Pakistan.

She discussed the existing provisions and indicates a lack of a principle-based mechanism for exoneration of such offenders. Such a mechanism is more likely to secure respectable reintegration of ex-convicts into society, she suggests.

Naufil Shahrukh, Shahzad Hussain, Tuba Azeem and Samand Khan in their paper on “Coastal Communities of Balochistan vis-à-vis CPEC: Mapping Perceptions and Socioeconomic Issues” seek to map the perceptions, expectations and apprehensions of the coastal communities in the Balochistan Province of Pakistan vis-à-vis current and forthcoming changes through CPEC in their region.

They call for an inclusive approach in the development planning and to proactively address the socioeconomic impact of CPEC projects, particularly the Gwadar Port project, on locals. Proffering recommendations based on first-hand observations, the authors advocate devising an integrated strategy at all policy levels and considering the coastal communities as important stakeholders in the CPEC-led development as well as the maritime economy and security of Pakistan.

The paper titled “Maritime Economy and Gwadar Port: A Growth Catalyst” is another dimension related to the above theme.

The authors, Dr Inayat Kalim and Areeja Syed, underscore the significance of the Gwadar Port stating that it might become a hub in the region due to its unique strategic location to attract trade from Central Asia, Afghanistan, west China and other countries owing to its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz.

This port oversees oil trade routes and Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs) between the regions of South Asia, West Asia, Africa and Central Asia.

Dr Kalim and Syed attempt to determine the potential and strength of Gwadar Port as a growth catalyst due to the fact that Pakistan’s international trade is directed through the sea.

In the paper “Impasse of Kashmir and Recurring Pretexts: A Historiographical Analysis” Rabiya Aamir undertakes a historiographic analysis of the disputed territory of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) using some old and contemporary texts.

Providing a basic understanding of Kashmir dispute’s background and the recurring pattern of strategic political moves, Aamir attempts to expose the rhetoric and discusses the revocation of Articles 370 and 35A by India on August 5, 2019, in a wider perspective.

She calls for environmental justice or eco-postcolonial ethic for IOJ&K as the eco-postcolonial ethic stresses the need to understand the expression of resistance against oppression in postcolonial age. Such an approach might possibly determine a future course of action vis-à-vis Kashmir dispute.