Towards a Free and Open Indo-Pacific – Challenges and Pitfalls

Taken at face value, the term ‘Asia-Pacific’ is supposed to refer to those Asian countries which are in proximity to the Western Pacific Ocean. Seeing the Soviet Union on the verge of breaking up and visualising the emergence of new alliances, the Australian Prime Minister took the lead in calling for a meeting of some countries in the Asia Pacific region. The Asia Pacific Economic…

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The Seedy Side of the Sea

The sea is best known for not only facilitating global trade but also effortlessly channelling its major chunk through a complex web of interfaces, better known as ports, scattered all over the continental coastline. The recreational needs that it fulfills in addition, by way of cruises, pleasure yachting, sailing, surfing, scuba diving, island hopping and what-have-you, are all perhaps more satisfying on a personal level….

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Maritime Security – Challenges and Response

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when the concept of maritime security was closely tied to the traditional use of naval military power for the protection of one’s coast and maritime interests. For the more robust naval powers, such security was ensured through naval power projection, while relatively weaker states had little option but to rely on defensive means.   Till the time…

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To and for My Grandson

When, in the twilight of your life, feeling haggard, hard done by, It seems that life has passed you by, just when there were new fields to conquer, new avenues to explore, new opportunities to grasp. Your eyes light up when you see, a tiny, sprawled figure, who only slurps, and sleeps, and poops, and yet, and yet………… never fails to put, a spring in…

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Promoting Peace and Partnerships at Sea

The sea has historically and traditionally been a medium of contrasts. Its seemingly placid surface yields easily to an undulating intensity, and it doesn’t take long for gale force winds to develop into destructive storms. An unruffled sea one moment and not long after, triggered by a massive underwater quake, a tsunami sweeps countless shores with unrelenting fury. Legitimate trade likewise plies side by side…

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The Ups and Downs of Nuclear Politics

‘War’ said Clausewitz, ‘is the continuation of politics by other means’. One would have thought that with the onset of the nuclear age, the politics of war should have taken a backseat, but it didn’t. The Allied and Axis powers of the Second World War were replaced by NATO and the Warsaw Pact alliances, whose forces, though arrayed against each other along the East-West European…

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Inching towards a Blue Economy

  Pakistan’s policy makers have often faced criticism for turning a blind eye to the bounties the sea has to offer. The emergence of the port of Gwadar has, to be sure, not only generated awareness about the potential of the maritime sector but has also resulted in governmental approvals for the setting up of a new shipyard and new ship recycling facilities in this…

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World Maritime Day 2018

The World Maritime Day has an added significance this year (2018) as it marks the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention which established the organisation. The IMO had conceived it to promote and communicate its own achievements and objectives around a central theme. This theme is carefully chosen to reflect the flavour of the year. In 2011, the chosen theme was about…

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Diffusion of Islamic Thought Part 2

The religion of Islam, hatched and nurtured in the crucibles of Makkah and Medina, had, soon after the end of prophecy, expanded beyond belief from Afghanistan to the East, Central Asia to the North and Morocco to the West. Scholarly movements thus sprang up in each region to address the theocratic and legal questions being posed by agile and inquisitive minds. In the Kufa of…

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Diffusion of Islamic Thought Part 1

Ever since our Holy Prophet(PBUH), whose gentle demeanour and compelling presence had kept his community united, left this world, the monolithic faith that he preached was destined never to be the same again. The political ascendancy of the Makkan aristocracy over the Ansars, the Ridda wars, the rapid expansion of the physical frontiers of the nascent faith, the empowerment of the Bani Umayyah and the…

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