The Point Of British Foreign Aid

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The purpose of foreign aid is to avoid the sighting of a backtracking of progress in developing countries

Aid to foreign countries is a sensitive topic: British people hold this point of view that aid should be directed towards improving services, such as schools, inside the UK rather than have aid delegated to developing countries and it is a reasonable outlook to have because development of other nations should definitely not come at the expense of British services. Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan are the top three countries which receive 0.7% of the UK’s gross national income – since 2015, a law has made it mandatory for the state to dedicate that much money to foreign aid.

But what does that money do exactly? In Pakistan, for example, foreign aid has made it possible for more children to go to school and large numbers of women to acquire skills or get loans in what seems to be a quite progressive tone because this appears to be happening on an equal footing to that of men, in spite of Pakistan’s horrific track record with women’s rights. On the other hand, in Afghanistan, British foreign aid aims to make it easier to work in agriculture (this is inclusive of women, despite Afghanistan ranking quite below Pakistan on the Gender Inequality Index and it demonstrates a marked sign of progress), as well as help the private sector and also educate the poor. The point of foreign aid is that no matter where it is delegated aid should always aim to help support global communities that are in dire need of assistance and the results that get produced should be fast and long lasting.

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International Food Cultures

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How food around the world can bring world peace

Food culture around the world is really varied: in Pakistan, sweetness is added to meat, whether it is an entire chicken or the Peshawari kebab, which has pomegranate seeds in them. In India, the cooking of chicken is mixed with some hotness instead, as exhibited in the Chettinad chicken or the butter chicken. What food sometimes does is that it shows that cultural variations might exist in between nations but with food, influences of modern cultures cross borders and go over even to cultures that are quite conservative in nature.

It is fascinating to have food exhibit a little bit of ‘world peace’ in that way – cultures such as that of Pakistan doesn’t shy away from the fact that other developing nations can actually influence its food culture, which happens in the middle of sprouting of ideas that individuality in food cultures isn’t important for nations which do not have shared (modern) cultures. It is a really nice picture of cultural differences getting wonderfully respected and harmonious relationships existing in-between nations, in spite of all the many challenges.

Donald Trump Talks About Pakistan

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It is proving to be increasingly difficult not to criticize Trump’s overt-longing for engaging with Pakistan and Nawaz Sharif

Donald Trump recently pronounced himself to be quite keen in helping with solving out any issues that Pakistan might encounter (on a daily-basis), even going so far as to praise Nawaz Sharif and people of the country. Pakistan, in recent memory, has also been known for acting overtly hostile and interfering in Indian matters, which recently resulted in India teaming up with Afghanistan, a fellow member of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process and heavily criticizing the state. The big problem with Pakistan is it’s nation’s army, which likes to project an anti-India sentiment but India is working on countering this by showcasing Pakistan’s weakness in the region.

After falling out of financial favours with the United States, Afghanistan and India saw in each other as a natural ally, to counter Pakistan’s growing complex in South Asia. It’s not just that because Pakistan is linked to the Mumbai attacks of 2008 and also as Afghanistan would like to point out, Pakistan horrifically gives sanctuary to the Taliban. In the midst of this level of regional trouble spurred on by one isolated (and pre-dominantly Muslim) Pakistan, it is hard to figure out what Donald Trump wants to gain from his keen interactions with Nawaz Sharif. Aside from taking a diplomatic stance, Trump has already crossed out helping India and Pakistan sort out the two states’ Kashmir dispute, unless the President-elect of the United States is personally asked to do so.

Trump and his administration seem to show no understanding whatsoever of South Asian politics because relations with Pakistan is always a cautious subject for India (and Bangladesh). However, in Pakistan the phone call between Trump and Sharif have been received well because it is being looked upon as a warming of relations between United States and Pakistan, despite Sharif’s deep distrust of the US. In spite of being interested in how the free-world works, United States is perhaps influencing Trump to be a bigger leader for specific alliances the state has, one of which includes Pakistan.

It is a rather eternally hopeful message Trump is sending out to Pakistan, and the message has also been viewed as a welcome move in Pakistan. Trump is anticipating a good relationship with Sharif over the next four years, but that seems like a challenging prospect: Nawaz Sharif has already faced a very politically hurtful corruption scandal, and even suffered a military coup but he never hesitated to forge alliances with Benazir Bhutto, or Zardari, if it can serve his own political needs in Pakistan.

As former-cricketer-turned-politician, and founder of one of the three biggest political parties in Pakistan, Imran Khan pointed out (laced with criticism), Sharif might be politically critical towards Zardari’s political party in Pakistani politics sometimes but he is still an amicable critic there. There is absolutely no other way to look at Sharif except that he likes to participate in self-serving Pakistani politics, but as far as the Trump and Sharif relationship goes, it is worth observing and hoping that President-elect Donald Trump has the United States’ best interests at heart all the time.

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