Two recent high profile events, Pakistan’s Super Cricket League (PSL) final and the Lahore Literary Festival, reflect the country’s struggle with the rise of militant Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism. They also illustrate how militancy often serves illiberal Pakistani leaders as a tool to curtail critical expression much like Western populists such as US President Donald J. Trump seek to redefine truth and refocus public debate.
Never mind the traditional first hundred days. Within US President Trump’s first twenty days in office the broad outlines of his policy for the Middle East had emerged. It clearly has two over-riding objectives – to defeat Islamic State (IS) and to cut Iran down to size. In the Trump world view, both IS and Iran represent clear and present dangers to the stability, values and way of life of the civilized world in general, and the US in particular.
From the streets of Turin to Silicon Valley, people power is taking the world by storm. With frustrations rising and the old order apparently crumbling, who really has the answers? THE AGENDA explores the defining questions of our time and seeks out the stories, solutions and the personalities who might just hold the answers. Discover the mould-breakers experimenting with new ways to approach some of the modern world’s most fundamental issues; find out what happens when bold ideas and real life collide, and meet the leaders whose thoughts and actions are themselves helping to shape the agenda.
Muhammad Hafez Saeed, the recently detained UN and US-designated global terrorist and one of the world’s most wanted men, plans to register his group, Jama’at-ud-Dawa (JuD), widely seen as a front for another proscribed organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), as a political party in Pakistan, according to sources close to the militant.
US president Donald J. Trump’s fuelling of Islamophobia with his newly imposed travel ban as well as his war on the mainstream media feed an increasing trend towards supremacism and intolerance as well as restrictions on freedom of expression, media and religion across the Muslim world.
A new Russian-led, China-backed Eurasia-centred world order may be in the making against the backdrop of alleged Russian cyber warfare against the US and Europe. Analysts see a pattern in Russian moves that could serve China’s interests, should US president-elect Donald Trump adopt a more confrontational approach towards Beijing.
Trump’s victory was a real shock, not only for decision-makers in every single capital on this planet, but also to experts and observers who saw nothing but a landslide triumph for the democrats and Hilary Clinton. Shortly after his victory, statements splashed media and political corridors, and Donald Trump himself announced readiness to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu. Many Israeli officials didn’t shy out from saying that the Trump era will be the golden age for the Israeli- American relations and the odds for establishing a Palestinian state become nil.
Where the Middle East is concerned – as in so many areas of policy, both domestic and foreign – President Obama and President-Elect Trump are poles apart. It is only slowly, but with growing clarity over the eight years of his presidency, that the political assumptions underlying Obama’s Middle East policy, and the strategic objectives shaped by them, have emerged.
Exactly five hundred years ago, in 1516, the renowned English statesman and social philosopher Sir Thomas More published “Utopia”, a novel in which he pictured an imaginary island where a totally just government had created the perfect society. More, however, was under no illusion that paradise is attainable in this wicked world – which is why the two Greek words from which “Utopia” is constructed translate as “nowhere.” In the real world, where imperfect societies abound, it is certainly incumbent on everyone to strive to eliminate injustice and improve life for humanity in general. But it is also necessary…
We are facing the possibility of a second Cold War – and if it happens, Isis will never be defeated. Every conflict during the Cold War was fought by armies or insurgents working on behalf of the Americans, Russians, or, occasionally the Chinese: Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Angola and the list goes on. These countries would use proxies again, but with a higher death count, in the 21st century At the risk of sounding a little foolish, there is, sadly, much evidence that World War Three has already arrived, though not quite in the way so many futurologists of the past imagined…