One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pakistan’s geographical position and globalization: Opportunities and challenges


Globalization has regional characteristics which determine the trends of globalization. How globalization is proceeding in Pakistan is dependent on the geographical position of Pakistan. Pakistan is connecting Central Asia to West Asia the two major centers of fossil fuel. The immediate neighborhood of Strait of Hormuz make geographical position of Pakistan a strategic one for growing economies of South China Sea who are heavily dependent on the Strait of Malacca especially for China who has also land connection with Pakistan. Geographical position of Pakistan has shaped the process of globalization in all three stages of globalization. In Eastern globalization being in the middle of Silk Road and Indian Ocean mercantile system as well as having fertile lands along Indus river surrounding by Khyber and Bolan passes, it attracted many major invasions from all notable nations Aryans, Greeks, Persians, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, Afghans and British. These invasions evolved culturally plural society which has extended its cultural relations beyond the South Asia to East and West Asia. In Western globalization, Indian mercantile system attracted Danish, French, Portuguese, Dutch and lastly British Colonial powers to area and the Khyber and Bolan Pass made British Empire to strengthen its hold in present day Pakistan to maintain its monopoly on Indian Ocean mercantile system as well as to limit the Russian Empire. The geographical position of present day Pakistan in Western globalization and its cultural make up evolved during Eastern globalization resettled society based on Muslim nationalism which led to creation of Pakistan. International globalization revived the vitality of Indian Ocean and Silk Road not by demand of Silk and Spice but by demand of Oil and cheap skilled labors. Being in the Middle of the new revival of the Indian Ocean Pakistan faces several challenges as well as opportunities that are extended beyond its geographical borders due to international globalization. These challenges based on their regional concentrations categorized into different arcs, arc of fossil fuel, arc of Muslim countries, arc of rising powers, arc of skill and investment dislocations, arc of nuclear conflict, arc of crisis and political disability and arc of terrorism. Certainly these regional challenges as well as regional opportunities could be handled best through regional organizations like OIC and SARRC and to do this we need smart governance. Smart governance is the only way that Pakistan can stand in new trend of globalization which stresses on projection of smart power.

Pakistan’s geographical position and globalization: Opportunities and challenges


Two phenomenons have shaped the post Soviet Union World namely, globalization and clash of civilizations. These two phenomenons are at same time complementing each other as well as cancealing each other. Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations?” first appeared in 1993 in Foreign Affairs magazine. Though Huntington was not the first person to propose the concept of Clash of civilization but, perfect timing (soon after collapse of USSR) made it widely popularized. Globalizoth is discussed both in context of clash of civilizations and integration of civilizations into a global civilization. Every region and country of the world has responded differently to phenomenon of globalization. As it comes to Pakistan, globalization is not new for this country. It has both historical and geographical roots in globalizations (not globalization).

Before I begin to discuss the phenomenon of globalization in the context of geographical position of Pakistan, it is better to introduce ourselves with two important aspects of globalization,

i- Globalization is an answer to clash of civilizations. As cultures are not genetically inherited but they are learnt so globalization is process of unlearning cultural faults by learning about them.

ii- Another aspect of globalization is the process of “deglobalization”. The most dominant characteristics globalization is the mobility of people across nations. Two important factors, one is economical and other is political have slowed down the mobility of people. The economic factor is global economic depression and political one is global terrorism. These two factors have even started a process of “reverse brain drain”.

As decolonization resulted into shift of globalization from one phase into another so “deglobalization” is also a shift of globalization into a new phase. The term of globalization has popularized during 20th century. As globalization is a phenomenon of the interconnectedness of nations and people of world through trade, investments, education, social and cultural interactions and travel so it is not a phenomenon limited only to 20th century and has its roots in history. Based on the place, time and active zone of the globalization we have divided the history of globalization into three eras,

I-Eastern globalization
II-Western globalization
II-International globalization

The geographic position of Pakistan is very unique in all three eras of the globalization. By studying the previous eras of globalization in the context of geographical position of present day Pakistan and the opportunities and challenges they had been providing are also providing lessons and understandings for present day globalization and its opportunities and challenges.

I. Eastern globalization

Asia comprise 30 percent of the land mass of the earth. It was the scene of the first empires and first civilizations of human being. The rise of earlier civilizations in great river valleys of Southwest Asia along Fertile Crescent (Tigris and Euphrates), Northwest India along Indus valley and North China along yellow river indicates that these regions of Asia had surplus grains and products to offer so these offerings resulted to exchange of materials or trade between them. The earlier trade routes linked different earlier civilizations called Silk Road. Silk Road was the birth place of globalization and as it was situated in Asia so it is called Eastern globalization. We can still observe the results of developments of earlier civilizations and following globalization in the form of heavy population of Asia (3/5th of world’s population, 4.05 billion in 2008).

A- Characteristics of Eastern globalization

Eastern globalization had two phases. Phase one that is the birthplace of globalization is Silk Road trade route that is started around 200 B.C and continued to around 1000 A.D. The second phase of Eastern globalization of mercantile system of Indian Ocean that started around 1000 and were dominated Silk Road trade till 1500 A.D.

a- Silk Road (200 B.C to 1000 A.D)

The Silk Road started by the search of Chinese for allies in central Asia against Mongol nomads but these searches started a trade route between China and central Asia. Later on Persian involved in this trading that extended this route to Western Asia. By participation of Romans in trades of through this routes extended it further to Europe and North Africa. Han dynasty of China, Parthia dynasty of Persia and Roman empires built roads and provided the political stability to flourish the trade through these routes. Silk Road was a network of routes connecting people of China, central Asia, South Asia, Western Asia and Mediterranean regions through trade goods, new ideas, arts, cultures and religions from 200 BC to 1000 AD.

1- Silk Road and spread of Buddhism

The traders of the Silk Road were not only trading Silk, Porcelain and precious stones but also trading cultures, arts and religions. The missionaries traveled with Silk Road traders helped spread Buddhism to South Asia, Central and East Asia. The spread of Buddhism is the most significant characteristics of early globalization through Silk Road. Buddhism helped reshaping every aspect of lives of people of these regions into a common global culture of Buddhism ranging from dietary, arts, world view and structures of their societies.

b- Indian Ocean (1000 A.D to 1500 A.D)

The sea trade has seen a rise in Indian Ocean from 1000 to 1500 AD especially between South Asia and Middle East. The sea travel was safer, required little time for travelers as well as less expensive so it helped to transport the items of the daily usage also. The establishing of the maritime system in Indian Ocean soon dominated the trades over land and it resulted in Abandonment of Silk Road trade routes. The flourishing of trade route through Indian Ocean evolved the globalization as it not only helped spreading of Islam to East Asia but also attracted Westerner traders and Kingdoms which later on resulted in Colonization of Asia and Africa.
Two main Straits helped flourishing the Indian Ocean including,

i- Strait of Hormuz

ii- Strait of Melaka

The Strait of Hormuz and Strait of Malacca were connecting the city ports of Hormuz on Persian Coast to Cambay on Northwest of India, Calicut on Southwest of India, Malacca in Malacca Strait and African city States like Mombasa and Kilwa on East Africa making a vast and global mercantile system in Indian Ocean. The exchange items increased compared to Silk road trade which were dominated by exchange of Silk, Porcelain and precious stones to Spices of East Africa and Indonesia, gold and tin from Malaya, carpet from Java, textiles from India, Gold from Zimbabwe and Silk, Porcelain and tea from China. This diversification of the trading transformed Malacca a real cosmopolitan city where traders from different nationalities like Arabs, Persians, Indians, Chinese, Turks, Jews, Armenian, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Javanese, Burmese, Ethiopians, and Egyptians had settled and were active traders in Malacca.

2- Indian Ocean and spread of Islam

From 1000 to 1400 AD Muslims dominated the Indian Ocean mercantile which has connected the North Africa, Spain, Malaya and Indonesian archipelago, South China ocean countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, China, South Asian Countries like India and Sri Lanka and Middle eastern countries like Persian and Arabia and through Mediterranean to Europe. Dominance of Muslim traders helped them spread their faith in the trading regions and hence spreading Islam to East Asia, South Asia and North Africa.

B- Position of Subcontinent in Eastern globalization

Due to several factors the Subcontinent had a central position in both stages of the Eastern globalization. Plenty of grains in fertile lands along Indus and Ganges rivers, Important passes like Khyber and Bolan Pass that were connecting Central Asia, China with West Asia and religious and Cultural hub of Buddhism provided it a central position in the early stage of Eastern globalization that is Silk Road.

Similarly, Textile and spices along with Cambay and Calicut ports gave it a central position in second stage of Eastern globalization as it linked East Asia through Malacca Strait and Ceylon to West Asia through Hormuz Strait and North Africa through Red Sea.

The role of Chinese is important in both of these phases of Eastern globalization is important related to position of Subcontinent. Though all notable nations invaded subcontinent but Chinese didn’t. Chinese were the most dominate nation of this area in terms of trade, population, knowledge, area and technological achievements and the continuous flooding of Yellow river were causing cycles of food shortage and even famines. There were plenty of grains, trade and docile people in Subcontinent but still Chinese never invaded the Subcontinent. The reason was the geographical barriers that were stopping China. The Himalaya ranges, Gobi desert and the Sea were the barriers to Chinese invasion.

a- Opportunities

i- Though the Silk Road were not contributing much in terms of commerce and trade as it were heavily relied on Silk, porcelain and precious stones for elite classes of Western Asia and Mediterranean regions to be profitable but it was the first form of globalization which helped flow of arts, culture, religions and new ideas.

ii- As Trade could flourish only under political stability and facilitating of caravans so it helped in flourishing of strong dynasties and infrastructure and social developments in the Silk Road.
iii- The Silk Road provides routes for exchange of knowledge and scholars. The Scholars from different regions come to Chinese, Persian and Roman courts to serve and spread their knowledge. This was the earliest form of the brain drain phenomenon.

iv- The propagation of Buddhism and Islam through trade routes resulted in reconciliations of different cultures, and tribes and increased the interconnectedness of the people living in these areas.

b- Challenges

i- Though trade routes helped spreading religion and cultures developed in Subcontinent to other areas of Asia but it also provided a route for invaders. The fertile lands around Indus and Ganges rivers were producing enormous amounts of grains and populations which were basic needs of empires so it attracted invaders like Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Afghans, Mongols and British.

ii- These routes helped spreading of epidemic diseases through Caravans.

iii- Trade routes attracted thieves and Bandits and increased insecurity which resulted in abandonments of these routes.

iv-Sea trades also attracted Westerners which later on resulted in colonization of Africa and Asia.

C- Shift of globalization from East to West (The role of Mongolian Empire in transferring globalization from east to west)

In a century from 1250 AD to 1350 the Mongols conquered China, Siberia, Tibet, Korea, Russia, much of Eastern Europe, Afghanistan, Persia, Turkey, and parts of Arab civilization in the Middle East connecting Europe, North Africa, Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia and East Asia with each other. The security provided by the Mongolian Empires increased the trade and cultural exchanges in large amounts that history had never seen. West Europe remained unconnected because Western Europe was too much underdeveloped to attract Mongols. This extensive globalization made for the first time to export Gun powder, rockets and mortars invented in China into Europe. Introductions of these war machines helped Europe to develop them further and after weakening of Mongol Empire by help of these war machines colonize the Africa, Asia and America.

II. Western globalization

Europe is an extension of Asian landmass has the third largest population (730 million people) among continents. The small land mass of Europe as well as its high lands, with cold winters and mild summers provided earlier Europeans less grains to establish notable civilizations so they lived under the dominance of Mediterranean nations like Greeks and later Romans which had sea access and trade to North Africa and West Asia. The pressure of populations as well as contacts by Asians through crusades, Mongol Empire and Trades lead Europe into Renaissance, reformation, explorations, colonization and enlightenments which caused mass migrations and settlements of European nations to America, Australia, Africa and dominance over sea and overland trades. These series of historical developments led to interconnectedness of European nations stretching from Middle East in the East to America in the West is called Western globalization.

A-Characteristics of Western globalization

a- Crusades activated the shipments of crusaders and trading of supplies to crusaders which resulted in introduction of new social groups of traders in Europe. These newly become wealthy traders financed trades and explorations in Indian Ocean mercantile which were dominated by Muslim traders.

b- These trades fueled consumerism in Europe at first for spices, precious stones, art crafts, arms and exotic zoological and botanical specimens to Aristocratic families and later for newly wealthy merchants and others.

c- Crusades, expulsions of Jews and Muslims from Spain and the demands for oriental art crafts in Europe opened the doors of European cities for Oriental artists and artisans. These cultural resettlements led to cultural pluralism of European societies.

d-The dominance of Muslims especially the Ottoman Empire in Ocean and overland trades of East forced newly rich traders-bankers to cooperate with each other and construct companies to finance explorations of new trade routes in Ocean.

e- The expansion of Mongol Empires from Central Asia, China, India, Parts of Arabia, China and Eastern Europe encourage trading overland and Oceans. Through these trades three important factors of European dominance introduced to Europe via China, namely Magnet, Gunpowder and Printing.

i- Magnet enabled navigations in Open Ocean and also in unexplored areas and helped in discovering new lands and also new routes out of eyes of Ottoman Empires to Indian Ocean mercantile.

ii- Gunpowder enabled first Portuguese, then Dutch, British and Spanish to colonize the Africa, Asia, America and Australia.

iii- Wealth from trades and colonization helped spreading mass printing which led to renaissance, reformation and enlightenments. Quest for wealth and knowledge led to Western globalization which influenced other nations also.

f- Industrialization fueled by colonization and Scientific advancements led to rise of nationalism and economic ideologies. The Western world allied themselves on the basis of nationalistic and economical ideas which resulted in two world wars.

B- Position of Subcontinent in Western globalization

The mercantile system of the Indian Ocean was so important for Europeans that several European nations developed East India Company to dominate the trade in Indian Ocean. British East India Company, French East India Company, Dutch East India Company and Danish East India Company are companies that traded and involved in colonization of Indian subcontinent. During Mongol Empire the Indian cities were rich and industrialized to standards of that time as they were exporting textiles and other art products through Indian Ocean mercantile system. The East India companies was established to promote the mercantilism a policy in which the amounts of exports has to be kept higher than imports under the strict government supervision and control. Due to the policy of mercantilism the local industries of subcontinent damaged very badly. Many artisans left craft works and joined the agricultural sectors so the percentage of people related to agricultural works increased from 63% to 75% from Mongol empire to British Empire.
Mercantilism policies of British Empire led to American Revolution. The weakening of control due to mercantilism as well competitions among colonial empire led to free trade concepts but to importance of subcontinent as a source of raw materials and large markets the British Empire resisted to free trade and continued the mercantilist policies until 1930.

C- Shift of globalization from Western globalization to International globalization

Five main processes which shift Western globalization into International globalization is as follows,

a-Decolonization: The mercantilism policies of the colonial empires left limited chances of trade and economic developments which led to the rise of nationalistic sentiments. These nationalistic movements weakened the hold of colonial powers over their colonies. The Second World War added to these weaknesses which resulted to decolonization process. Due to decolonization many new nation states born and the free trade promoted and expanded. Though decolonization helped in development of international globalization but it had serious regional obstacle and weaknesses.

b-United Nations: Second World War was so disastrous that to stop further wars and to resolve the conflicts more peacefully an organization was built of state nations. Still United Nations was so weak that couldn’t stop the realignments along the Capitalist bloc and Communist bloc and hence the threat of war remained alive in the Cold War period. Though UN was an important step towards international globalization but still it was too weak to liberate the nations and lead the world.

c-Collapse of Soviet Union: The Collapse of Soviet Union was one of the key mile stone towards the international globalization as more free nations introduced to world and the interconnectedness and free trade increased. It also melted down the polarity of world and led the nation state to follow their national dreams.

d-World Trade Organization: After World War Two the demand for freer trade was strongly felt to rebuild the economies damaged due to war and long colonization. In 1948 the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) a treaty and International Trade Organization signed by 23 nation states. The purpose was to reduce protectionism and promote free trade. In 1995 GATT was replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) which was the real step towards international globalization as it had 142 members in 2001. Though WTO was a broad based organization for worldwide free trade but still it was not a true agent of the International globalization as it still couldn’t stop protectionist policies of the nation states.

e-World Wide Web: World Wide Web the first true agent of the international globalization as it provided a cheap and effective means of the communication to individuals in all corners of world. Unlike other mediums of communications like newspaper, radio and television it was a decentralized means of communications. Individuals around the world could share and exchange knowledge, information and doing commerce with fewer interventions of governments. World Wide Web has transformed the world into international globalized world.

III. International globalization

A-Characteristics of International globalization

Earlier in position of subcontinent in Eastern globalization we have concluded that the reason that China didn’t invaded Subcontinent was geographical barriers. By reemergence of China as a power in the international globalization China is struggling to overcome those geographical barriers by constructing Karakorum Highway and developing Tibet to cut the Himalayas, by developing interior Mongolia to cut the Gobi desert, and to develop Xinjiang to reconnect itself to Fergana valley as well as Caspian sea oil and gas region. By developing string of pearls it want to overcome the Indian Ocean barriers. If China succeeds to overcome this geographical barriers and the railway networks evolves from South, west and central Asia, Eurasia to European and trans American railway network then certainly the world enters in the second phase of international globalization.

a- Reemergence of Indian Ocean

The Malacca Strait, once again become alive by rapid growths of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Most dominantly China. Similarly the Strait of Hormuz involved in more extensive transportations of trade goods by fossil fuel exports as well as by rapid growth of UAE and Iran. The rapid growth of India had almost completed the mercantile system of Indian Ocean during its golden period of Eastern globalization. Indian Ocean links the Atlantic Ocean to Pacific Ocean hence it works like a highway for the transportation of goods to all over world. More than three quarters of the transported goods is of extra-regional demands. One of the most essential commodities is oil that all countries need uninterrupted supply of them for proper running of their economy.

b- Reemergence of Silk road

Though highways are poor in Central and Southwest Asia but the countries like Iran, Turkey, China, India, Pakistan, Central Asian countries and Russia have extensive networks of railway lines which are connected to Europe via Turkey. The Trans-Caspian, Turk Siberian railway lines are promising for reemergence of Silk Road and overland trade. Iran has connected its railway line to Pakistan-India railway line through Taftan-Zahidan network. As Iranian railway network is connected to Turkey and Turkey to European railway network as well as Central Asian network so the Iranian railway line is connecting Strait of Hormuz to Central Asia, South Asia and to Europe via Turkey. The extension of Iranian and Turkmenistan railway line to Heart of Afghanistan, are connecting Afghanistan also to these networks.

c- Rise of Soft power (President Clinton’s era)

By collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992 the cold war ends and the threats of communist bloc vanish out. It was the time that new democratic president Bill Clinton become the President of the USA the sole global power. Bill Clinton promotes the policy of non interventionism and the next 8 years USA enjoys a constant economical growth. The projection of US values and cultures and economy in this period despite of its military might is known as Soft Power. The space left by both USSR and USA made favorable conditions for grouping, growth and projections of arms bandits who have fought against the USSR and now they have turned their face to West and Islamic countries allied to West. In President Clinton’s period several attacks on US Embassies and other positions occurred. In the same time Taliban emerged in Afghanistan which intensified the extremism.

d- Rise of Hard Power (President Bush’s era)

The 9/11 terrorist attack on USA in 2001 made USA to realize that soft power has weakened its global position so US started following a new policy of projecting the military power of USA. It was the start of global war on terrorism started by President Bush. The dependence and focus on military power declined the soft image of USA in the whole world and especially in Islamic world. It also affected the world trade and was one the factors of global economic depression.
e-Rise of Smart Power (President Obama’s era)

The new President of Barack Obama is not only a change of face and tradition in US but also hoped as a change in policies also. Secretary of State Clinton has spoken of Smart Power that is a conversion of both Soft Power and hard power to increase advantages and decrease the disadvantages of both soft power and hard power used alone. According Professor Joseph S. Nye Jr. it is easy for a country to change policies instead of changing its culture and values. The purpose of projection of the smart power is defined to achieve a broad array of goals,

i- Self determination
ii- Human rights
iii-Free trade
iv-Rule of law
v-Economic development
vi-Neutralizing weapons of mass destruction

Certainly both the policy of smart power as well as its goals are agents of promoting globalization and as Pakistan is on the list of key focal point so we need to answer the projection of the smart power by US through projection of smart governance. With having elected government and restored judiciary it is time to focus on smart governance to become able to project our own smart power and solve our problems.

B- Position of Pakistan in International globalization

Pakistan’s geographical position has made it a key state in the international globalization which at the same time providing opportunities as well as challenges. Opportunities come from being on arc of fossil fuel exports, Islamic countries, rising powers like China and India, dislocations of businesses, skills and investments. Challenges come being on arc of nuclear powers, arc of crisis and arc of terrorism which are threatening the stability as well as the very existence of Pakistan.

a- Opportunities

1)Arc of fossil fuel exports

The demand for fossil fuel is increasing in rising industries of China and India. Both China and India want an uninterrupted supply of fossil fuels to ensure the consistency of their developments. The dependence of China on the Malacca Strait for Persian Gulf Oil threatens for flow of oil in the time of crisis with India or USA, so the China looks to Gwadar Port as an alternative supply route especially during the crisis. Gwadar port is part of famous string of pearl strategy of China to counter the threats to supply of fossil fuel. Gwadar is the most strategic port as it is close to Strait of Hormuz. To counter the efforts of China and to strengthen hold on the Hormuz Strait India is developing the Chah Bahar Port of Iran. Pakistan could be a high way for fossil fuel linking Iran to India and China via land. Similarly it could become a highway for Caspian fossil fuel via Afghanistan to Gwadar port.

2)Arc of Islamic countries

There are 57 Islamic countries with estimated population of 1.5 billion people which speak 60 different languages with diverse ethnic backgrounds. These Muslim countries are concentrated in Central, South, West Asia and North Africa with extensions in East Asia and East Europe. The Extended regions of Islamic countries are rich in fossil fuel and surround the Key locations on Indian Ocean the third largest Ocean but central in international globalization. The Muslim countries have an international organization by the name of OIC. Pakistan was one of the founder countries of OIC along with Saudi Arabia and it let Pakistan to play a key role in solving the problems related to Muslim world through OIC.

Though OIC is a representative organization of Islamic world but it has failed to play its role in the international globalization. There are many factors but as in this paper we are discussing the role of geographical position in the globalization so we look to OIC in the view of geography. Geographically Muslim world is composed of nations in central Asia and Eurasia dominantly of Turkish origin. South Asia and South China sea nations dominantly of Indian and Indo Asian Origin, Middle East and North Africa dominantly of Arab origin, and beside there are other notable nations like Iranian and African origin nations of Africa. The key players in Islamic world were always, Arabs, Turks and Iranian. A fourth is added and that is people of Indian and Indo Asian origin. As the Turkish people were contained by Russian and British empires in the previous century so the balance of power in Islamic world was imbalanced. The oil boom in Gulf widened this imbalance of power. As Arabs societies were more conservative and rigid than Turkish societies hence the dominance of Arab over matters of Islamic world resulted in spread of extremism in Islamic world. Pakistani culture was developed and its social structures were deeply influenced under long Turko-Mongol rule so the Pakistani were more inclined to Turkish people and were moderate in nature. But the imbalance of power let Arabs influence Pakistani society and result to spread of extremism.

Pakistani government can play a key role to moderate in Islamic world to rebalance the powers of Islamic world and hence help both Islamic world as well as itself. By inclusion of Turkish people back in Islamic world the extremism in Muslim world will decline as People of Central Asia and Eurasia are progressive Muslims and they along with Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Bangladesh and Pakistan can help Arab societies to pave towards democracy and liberate their people to become benefited from oil boom as well as strengthen Islamic world by popular participation in every aspects of Islamic world. A small comparison of Pakistan with other Islamic countries make clear both challenges it faces as well as opportunities that Pakistan has to play through OIC.

Until now we have focused on the role of Pakistan as a sole Nuclear power Muslim country as mightiest in Military power and stress on the size of our large population as Pakistan is the second largest populous country in Islamic world after Indonesia but it is not only military power that determine the role but the economy and technology to project that might is also necessary. As in start of new Millennium we have focused on research and higher education so here we focus on the comparing Pakistan and other Islamic countries in the related fields.
Areas which Pakistan face challenges:

a- Pakistan has 101 to 300 researchers per million people which is far below than Turkey, Tunisia, Azerbaijan and Lebanon’s 1001 or more researchers per million people and Iran, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and Brunei’s 501 to 1000 researchers per million people.

b- The share of Pakistani women in total research is 25% compared to Azerbaijan’s 52% and Tunisia’s 45%.

c- Pakistan spend less than 0.5% of total GDP on Research and related issues compared to Tunisia spending 1% and Turkey, Morocco, Malaysia and Iran spending more than 0.5% of GDP on research and development.

d- Pakistan’s high technology export is between 100 to 1000 million US $ which is far below than 5ooo million US $ and More of Malaysia and Indonesia.

i- Malaysia export high tech items worth 63.4 billion US $ which is about 87% high tech exports of all Islamic countries.

ii- Malaysia and Indonesia’s high tech exports comprise 95% of all Islamic countries high tech exports.

Still there are two areas that Pakistan is leading in Islamic world.

a- Pakistan lead in articles published in international journals along with Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Brunei and Malaysia with 200 and more.

b- Pakistan is third in patent activity after Malaysia’s 4800 and Indonesia’s 4606. 1800 Pakistanis apply for patent but almost all of them are non residents.

3)Arc of rising powers (China, India and Iran)

Robert Rowthorn, the economic faculty of Cambridge University starts his paper, THE RENAISSANCE OF CHINA AND INDIA: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ADVANCED ECONOMIES, this way “Using simple convergence equations, this paper projects that by mid-century per capita incomes in China and India will on average be about half the US level. In terms of total production, both countries should overtake the USA by 2050.

We may not agree with Robert Rowthorn’s predictions as the variations like the current global economic crisis make the predictions erroneous but one thing is clear that no one can deny the rapid growths that China and India made. The rapid growth of China and India like all other major economies will affect the neighboring countries. The economic growth increases the demand for fossil fuel which will increase the role of countries like Pakistan which is going to be the highways for energy transfers. Similarly by raising standards of lives in these countries the textile industry of Pakistan will be in great demand more from China, Iran and Gulf countries than India.

4)Arc of Skills and trade dislocations

Just what happened in West is going to happen to East. By raising the standards of living the pays for workers also raised so the companies searched for cheap laborers which found their places in East Asian countries. Cheap skilled labor attracted investments, businesses and transfer of technology. As the pays in China and other Eastern countries are raising the businesses will be forced to shift their businesses further east, especially Pakistan as it has the largest skilled cheap labors in the regions after India. The dislocations of skills, knowledge, investments, technology and businesses will shape the face of the Pakistani society. The greatest obstacle that caused that we fail to get our shares of these dislocations is weak governance especially law and order and political instability. By developing smart governance we can attract a big share of business and investment dislocations.\

b- Challenges

Seven key challenges of globalization in Pakistan are governance, energy and resources, Infrastructure, equity and meritocracy, security and terrorism, ecology and discontinuity of policies. More serious challenges that threaten our very survival are nuclear war, political instability and terrorism.

1- Arc of Nuclear conflicts

The struggle of Russia and China to modernize their nuclear weapons and missile systems as well as struggling of India and Pakistan to weaponize their nuclear capabilities is pushing the region to threats of nuclear war. The bitter experiences of Iraq-Iran war as well as bitter relations of US and Israel with Iran are leading Iran towards getting nuclear capability. This is extending the nuclear arc to Middle East. In turn Arabic countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan who are fearful of Persian dominance in Middle East are also struggling to get nuclear capability. This is showing an era of nuclear race which are intensifying by US insistence on deployment of missile defense shield which are providing reasons for an arm race in region. The worsening point is deteriorating relations of India and Pakistan who have already fought conventional wars and their attitudes are unpredictable. This bitter relation is a constant threat to both countries.

2- Arc of crisis and political instability

The arc of crisis is stretched from Burma in the East, Including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to Central Asia, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Middle East including Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Israel to North Africa, including Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, etc. Pakistan being neighbors, linker and member of regional organizations like OIC and SARRC is directly get effects of this regional political instability. These political instabilities are the greatest obstacle in the proper functioning of the OIC and SARRC which are affecting the trade, social and economical developments of the region.

3- Arc of terrorism

Being bordered with Afghanistan as well as having a border that divide the tribal people into two countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan made Pakistan vulnerable to any kind of change and developments in Afghanistan. Soviet Union invasion, Civil war, Taliban and US invasion of Afghanistan all have played roles in militarization of people living in the shared tribal regions as well as attracting terrorist from Central Asia, Middle East, North Africa and East Asia. Terrorism is spreading as the connectivity and the experience and capability of the terrorists are increasing. Terrorism is not only damaged the image of Pakistan but it is growing to threat the stability of Pakistan.

As Arc of terrorism Nuclear Weapons, political conflicts and instability as well as terrorism are regional problems and threat to whole region so the regional organizations like OIC, SARRC and ASEAN are needed to be empowered, cooperate and integrate with each other to solve and tackle these problems.


1- Shi Hongtao, “China’s ‘Malacca Straits,’” Qingnian Bao, June 15, 2004, Foreign Broadcast Information Service (hereafter FBIS), FBIS-CPP20040615000042
2- Lee Jae-Hyung, “China’s Expanding Maritime Ambitions in the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean,” Contemporary Southeast Asia 24, no. 3 (December 2002): 553-554.
3- Freeman R (2005b). China, India and the doubling of the global labor force.§ionID=1.
4- Needham J (1954). Science and Civilisation in China, Volume 1. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.OECD (2005). Economic Survey of China.
5- UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Data Centre.
6- WIPO, Statistics on Patents.
7- World Bank, World Development Indicators, Online Database.
8- ISI Web of Knowledge, Online Database.
9- Nye, Joseph S. Jr. "The U.S. Can Reclaim 'Smart Power'." Los Angeles Times (January 21, 2009).

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