A pop quiz on South Asia | By Air Marshal Farooq Habib (R)

A pop quiz about South Asia

Famous American columnist Charley Reese once compiled a “Pop Quiz on the Middle East” which was published in “Orlando Sentinel” – the main newspaper in Orlando, Florida on February 8, 1998.

The quiz served to further Reese’s goal which, in his own words, was to “stimulate and, where necessary, inspire people to think for themselves”.

The quiz consisted of a series of questions aimed at identifying the country in the Middle East that used to commit gross acts of violations of the Charter of the United Nations, its resolutions, international norms, treaties and other acceptable standards of state conduct in the region – an obvious reference to Israel.

Reese then exposed the irony of international politics by noting that despite its perennial record of bad behavior, Israel continued to receive a pat on the back, while another Middle Eastern country was regularly threatened for ” not obey” the UN resolution/ s.

The Quiz was a satirical reminder to the reader of the harsh realities of international politics.

The column reflected the geopolitical situation at the time. Ironically, while the current environment may have changed, the larger framework of international relations that is shaped by the policy of extending a country’s power and influence by any means possible, including strength, remains intact.

This framework and the policies that flow from it remain the primary determinant of which acts of aggression are to be tolerated and which will be considered violations of international law.

Charley Reese, whom Dr Eqbal Ahmad once called “a guerrilla journalist who, like all maquisards, pulls from a less obvious and unexpected place” is not alive today (he died in 2008), but in his spirit of “stimulating and inspiring people to think for themselves”, it would be in order to write a sequel to his signature Quiz.

The obvious title in this case is “A pop quiz about South Asia”.

Drawing on Reese’s article, the relevant questions would be:

Q. Which South Asian country continues to sit on the oldest UNSC resolution (Resolution 48) still awaiting implementation?


Q. Which South Asian country has forcibly annexed states and territories and changed its borders since its inception against international laws and norms?


Q. The current Prime Minister whose South Asian was banned from traveling to the United States for failing to stop anti-Muslim riots during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat?


Q: Which country started the nuclear, ballistic and cruise missile arms race in South Asia?


Q.EU DisinfoLab, exposed which South Asian country for questionable use of media, NGOs, fake identities, impersonation, resurrection of dead think tanks and even dead people to slander Pakistan?


Q. The President and Founder of Genocide Watch has identified which country in South Asia where the warning signs of genocide are present, with special mention of discriminatory legislation such as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)?

A: India.

Q. According to Human Rights Watch, which South Asian country has legitimized discrimination against religious minorities and allowed violent Hindu nationalism?


QA serving naval officer from which South Asian country was apprehended while working undercover as a spy in Pakistan, for his involvement in espionage and sabotage?


Q. Which South Asian country has received a waiver to allow entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group?


Q. Which South Asian country has repeatedly made headlines for frequent incidents of loss and theft of nuclear and radioactive materials?


Q. Which South Asian country is a likely candidate for a waiver of the Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) after the delivery of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missiles?

Q. Which South Asian country fired a nuclear-capable cruise missile at a neighboring country, endangering air traffic and lives on the ground, then covered it up with a flippant and very belated admission of a technical malfunction?


This quiz is incomplete but long enough to determine that India, despite its poor record of meeting international obligations, pursuing state-sponsored policies of genocide, and growing religious and communal intolerance, continues to elude to international scrutiny due to emerging geopolitics. situation in the region.

It is a stark reminder that biased motives and perceived interests continue to trump broader considerations of international peace and stability.

The resulting rise in instability and chaos, both in South Asia and globally, is hardly surprising.

—The author is currently working as a Senior Director at the Center for Aerospace and Security Studies (CASS), Islamabad, Pakistan.

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