In August 1977, a small crew from Pakistan Television (PTV), visited a house of a former general of the Pakistan Army. The general had also been the country’s president between March 1969 and December 1971. He had been living in that house since early 1972 and was hardly ever seen in public for over five years. He had been under house arrest. Apart from this, he had also become a virtual recluse.
The influx of Chinese economic assistance into Sri Lanka and Cambodia has raised questions regarding the intentions behind these massive loans. While China may still be considered a developing economy, its current strategy of providing soft power loans and aid to its regional neighbours is reminiscent of the tributary system that the country employed back in its empire days.
Throughout most of history China dominated Asia, up until what many Chinese refer to as the “century of humiliation”—when Japan and Western powers invaded or otherwise interfered between 1839 and 1949. Now, with China on the rise again, are Beijing’s leaders looking to establish a new hegemony by drawing on the playbook of the distant past, when China’s neighbours were forced to pay tribute?
The economy of the United States is the largest in the world. At $18 trillion, it represents a quarter share of the global economy (24.3%), according to the latest World Bank figures.
The brave and fractious anti-British uprising of 1857 was put down with a heavy hand. It took another 90 eventful years for Hindus and Muslims who claimed to have jointly led the anti-colonial showdown to part ways. Anger, acrimony, violence visited both communities and tore up large swathes of their habitats across the subcontinent .
While the most common points of reference to engagements in cyberspace are in the United States, Europe, Russia, and China, other countries are quickly realizing the importance of securing critical networks from crime, sabotage, subversion, and espionage. As the country with one of the world’s fastest-growing populations and economies, this realization is bearing down on India more than most.
One can’t rule out the possibility that escalating tensions with India over Kashmir (and they seem to be escalating by the day) and Pakistan-based terrorist attacks that are becoming increasingly frequent, especially against Indian military targets, can lead to a full-fledged shooting war across the LOC in Kashmir and the international border.
Though relations between Russia and Pakistan remained turbulent over the years, they have been warming up over the last decade, with top political and diplomatic meetings. Moscow is reaffirming its role in its immediate domain and beyond, whereas Islamabad is seeking new avenues of opportunity, lessening its reliance on the United States in particular and the West in general.