As we were about to go to print, India and Pakistan almost came to a full-fledged war. Since the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, no two nuclear powers ever came that close to an actual war. People in India and Pakistan had always shrugged the western concerns on the threat of a nuclear flash in South Asia. Perhaps there has been tremendous confidence in the professionalism of military institutions on both sides of the divide.
But in the last week of February 2019, they definitely came close to an actual war when Indian planes entered and dropped laser-guided bombs on targets inside the Pakistani province of KPK – claiming it as a pre-emptive strike to stop terrorists about to attack India; though Pakistani government and independent media could find no evidence, whatsoever to justify these claims.
Later, Pakistan Airforce shot down two Indian planes and captured one Indian pilot – Wing Commander Abhi Nandan. Rumors are alive that Indian PM wanted to escalate further through missile attacks – Brahmos – but Pakistan conveyed warnings of its own stern response through friendly P-5 countries and standoff was diffused.
But what happened was unprecedented, and situation despite the U.S. involvement to diffuse is still uncertain. It all developed while Indian PM, Narendra Modi faces a difficult and uncertain election in April and many suspect that warmongering with Pakistan was used to bolster his standings at the polls.
In our April issue we will do a detailed analysis of this standoff between India and Pakistan and how challenges of proxy conflict, state terrorism and rise of extremist political philosophies are threatening a nuclear conflict in South Asia. Baluchistan features heavily in this issue from Jam Kamal Khan, Chief Minister of Baluchistan to Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.
In our special feature we discuss Baluchistan’s struggle for modernity from Baluchistan’s accession to Pakistan in March 1948 to present; Dr Yaqoob Bangash, author of ‘A Princely Affair: The Accession and Integration of the Princely States of Pakistan, 1947-55,’ discusses the events leading to Baluchistan’s accession to Pakistan by the Khan of Kalat.
Fast forward seventy years to Baluchistan’s Chief Minister who explains how his government will be different from previous ones and what he will do to bring development for the rightly so ‘naraz’ Baloch as he puts it. Our Wanderlust section this month will have you traveling in Baluchistan province on the Makran Coastal Highway and take you visit Pakistan’s own natural Sphinx and the Princess of Hope as well as discovering the enchantment of Kalat district.
In our second special feature we cover the evolution of Pakistan’s ‘suo motu’ culture and whether ‘judicial overreach’ has limits. The evolution of the Lawyers movement in 2007 and the media both became the backbone of a ‘populist’ Chief Justice -who has felt that he needs to step into the realm of those areas that were previously covered by the legislature.
Dr Moeed Pirzada, Editor Strategic Affairs GNN News Network, discusses the Lawyers movement and the impact it left on the social and political fabric of the country. Barrister Ali Zafar, Pakistan’s former Federal Minister and Amit Pai, advocate of the Indian Supreme Court share thoughts on the evolution and consequences of using suo motu powers in their respective countries.
Finally, Hassan Shad, an international lawyer, discusses the recent Dharna judgment by the Pakistan Supreme court using work done by the US jurist Dworkin to point out that judicial decisions should be generated using arguments of principle.
March 8th International Women’s Day offers us a moment to reflect and honor everyday women. In this issue, we are remembering and celebrating those Pakistani women who don’t usually hog the media spotlight but have brought honor to their families and their country.
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