Islamabad: The latest issue of Policy Perspectives – the flagship journal of Institute of Policy Studies (www.ips.org.pk) – keeps up with its tradition of presenting diverse perspectives on current policy issues, evolving regional scenarios and other global concerns.
The biannual journal disseminates the research carried out by the Institute and its associates. It is also available online through Pluto Journals on JSTOR (www.jstor.org) and on Factiva and affiliated international databases through Asianet-Pakistan.
The first article of the journal, authored by Dr Zulfqar Khan and Fouzia Amin, discusses the strategic matrix of Asia-Pacific that is nowadays revolving around the US pivot and rebalancing policy vis-à-vis China. The emerging landscape reflects a complex state of interdependence between the US, China, and their allies, in spite of which however, the traditional nation-states would tend to search for enemies thereby pushing them to accordingly recalibrate and redefine their national interests.
The second article, contributed by Dr Nazir Hussain, discusses that while the US-Iran relations have been structurally conflictual since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, lately the geopolitical position of Iran in the changing regional security environment, the phenomenon of Islamic State and the agreed framework for a comprehensive nuclear deal raise the likelihood for a détente between Iran and the United States.
The next article, by DG-IPS Khalid Rahman, surveys and draws a picture of today’s Afghanistan, reflecting that though the present dispensation in Kabul can be regarded as relatively more stable than the recent preceding regimes, a number of challenges like security, political and socio-economic ones continue to persist. It suggests that the present regime and its resistant forces will need to soften their respective stances to an extent in order to ensure peaceful settlement, while the role of regional countries, as well as the UN – which is not in the lead until now – will be of critical significance.
The Yemen crisis and Pakistan’s consequent dilemma is the topic of next article. Deliberating upon a few recent developments, the author, Air Cdr (retd) Khalid Iqbal, reflects on Pakistan’s crisis and its strategic necessity of keeping balanced relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The next two articles discuss somewhat related topics. Dr Bakare Najimdeen’s article highlights issues concerning Muslims in Europe particularly in the backdrop of Charlie Hebdo saga. The article by Dr Abdul Wahab Suri explores the trajectories of discourse on Islamic fundamentalism in the Western discourse.
The following piece explores the need for a specific Hindu marriage law that the country lacks for its largest minority. Based on a study conducted at IPS by its research coordinator, Syed Nadeem Farhat, the article also highlights the intra-community differences of opinion which have kept the proposals of law from becoming a reality.
The last piece, contributed jointly by Irfan Shahzad, the Institute’s lead coordinator and Waqar-un-Nisa, assistant research coordinator, deliberates upon the merits and demerits of various electricity import options that Pakistan is pursuing. The article argues that with CPEC’s power generation projects expected to add considerable amount of electric power into the country’s grid, Pakistan will need to re-evaluate and re-prioritize its import options.