Editorial – Magazine

Pakistan in a season

What you have in your hands is just the fourth issue of ‘Global Village Space Magazine’ – and we have already made our job more difficult. Ask how? We are competing against ourselves; trying to do something different, something new to beat the previous publication – to ensure that you get something that is immensely readable and “collectible”. This April issue thus deals, simultaneously with four major themes – and each competes with the other for attention and importance.

On Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s 39th death anniversary, Moeed Pirzada analyses how in Bhutto’s phenomenal success and tragic failure Pakistanis can discover themselves with all their hopes, aspirations and fears. In a well-researched piece he questions: Was he overthrown in a CIA sponsored political agitation – Spring revolution of 1977? This is for you to read and decide.

If Bhutto was hanged in April, then a new political party, was also born in April eighteen years after his execution –and thirty years after the birth of PPP. Looking at today’s political shift it looks as if Bhutto’s DNA might have been with Bilawal but his restless soul, at least in Punjab, has been captured by PTI.

Brig. Samson Sharraf, one of the founding members of PTI and someone who has left PTI, disgruntled by its transformations, tells us of the inner schisms, battles and pangs of growth – and how this party, that like PPP in 1967 grew out of the intellectual ferment of Punjab, is transforming KP for good.

April and Easter give us an opportunity to focus on Pakistan’s resilient Christian community. This theme begins with Asif Aqeel’s brilliant research into Pakistan’s Christians, their contributions our national mosaic, their challenges and many of us, for the first time, get to know who they are and where they come from.

Finally, can anyone forget that Pakistan and China formally signed CPEC into a reality in April 2015. Three years onwards we examine its achievements, its risks and its geopolitics through series of well-researched pieces.

Andrew Small, author of “China Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics” examines how initial contracts may not have been favorable to Pakistan, but now Pakistani governments are learning to negotiate.

Arif Rafiq, of the Middle East Institute Washington, argues that the Pakistani government and companies had not done their homework while Chinese were prepared. This is also a theme that repeatedly recurs in an exclusive discussion we had with Yao Jing, China’s Ambassador to Pakistan – but with him, we discuss issues far and beyond CPEC; issues that bind and confront almost 60 years of a relationship that has moved from strength to strength.

Sudheendra Kulkarni, head, Observer Research Foundation, Mumbai, argues that India’s hostility towards CPEC and BRI is myopic and India should instead join CPEC in a larger vision.

Prof. Marvin Weinbaum, also from Washington examines if time for TAPI, to connect Central Asia energy reservoirs with South Asian markets has finally arrived. There is much more to provoke your minds, and relax your senses with splash of colors…

Bon appétit! Looking forward to your feedback …

Najma Minhas

Managing Editor

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