Best news comes first: Pakistan’s active Corona cases – tests or no tests – are going down earlier than the government estimated. All the data indicates that we hit the high earlier this month and the curve is showing a decline.
Having said this the government, including Prime Minister has urged caution and asked the public to follow SOPs, especially during the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha festival, to ensure there is no repetition of what happened during last Eid, when all caution was thrown to the air, and subsequently Corona cases jumped astronomically.
However, it requires daily communication of the dangers, going through to Eid, via TV and print media. Unfortunately, communication is an area the PTI government has been weak on all fronts for the past two years. On the international front positively for Pakistan things have been quiet- however, international headlines have been kept busy ruminating on the tensions between our Chini bahi and Indian neighbors.
Our special feature this month looks at the economic implications of these tensions and I look at whether India’s banning of Chinese Apps and restricting Chinese Investment will have any impact on China or it will be as the Global Times described as “In China, very few take those calls and actions seriously, with some saying India waging a trade war with China is like throwing an egg at a rock.”
Kamran Adil appraises whether International Law and subsequent agreements between the two countries supports the Indian or Chinese case on the Line of Actual Control. Finally in this section we sat down with President Azad Jammu & Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan, a former Ambassador to China to understand the implications of these tensions on the global order.
In the last two weeks Pakistan’s obsession with all things Turkish moved from Ertugral, Halima Sultan and the shock that Pakistanis faced when they realized that Esra Bilgic wears swimsuits, to general support of the Hagia Sophia’s conversion back to a mosque. Ironically, at the same time a controversy arose over the federal government giving money to Pakistani Hindus to develop a temple in Islamabad for their worship.
It became obvious that the only one type of religious worship was appreciated. Prominent TV anchor Fe’reeha Idris, shares her experience living in the UK and the support she got as a religious and ethnic minority.
She reminds those objecting to building a temple of Jinnah’s first Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan (August 11, 1947): “You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”
My personal favorite from that speech is the: “You will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus, and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”
We also take a look at what Pakistani corporates have done during this difficult period to keep operating whilst ensuring employee safety, as well as their help and support to all stakeholders during the Corona pandemic. Syed Mushtaq Ahmad takes in-depth look at the measures that the National Logistics Cell took during this period in order to ensure safe trade with Afghanistan.
A must read piece is an overview by Retd Air Commodore Jamal Hussain on how the PAF has evolved its strategies and capabilities overtime to deal with internal counterinsurgency operations.
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