We all know, it is either co-existence or non-existence. Yet we continue to move towards dangerous situations oblivious of the consequences that this could lead to the destruction of the entire human race. To mark the International Peace Day on Sept 21, a think tank reported that the average level of global peacefulness improved slightly in the 2019 Global Peace Index (GPI). Trends show peacefulness since 2008 has deteriorated by 3.78 per cent. Pakistan has slipped by two positions in the annual global index on peacefulness, being at 153 among 163 countries. The overall trends though show signs of improvement in Pakistan in some areas. Iceland continues to be the world’s most peaceful country. Afghanistan has replaced Syria as the most violent place. In its annual report, the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace has presented a comprehensive data-driven analysis on peace, its value for the economy, trends and how to develop peaceful societies. India has slipped by four points on the global index on peacefulness finishing at 141. The increase in state-sponsored violence in occupied Kashmir, rising intolerance against the minorities and lower castes under the hate ideology of ‘one nation, one religion, one language’ have added to India’s notoriety as an intolerant society. It also has the seventh-highest overall natural hazard score in the world. Ukraine has shown the best improvement in peace in the 2019 GPI. Egypt has made some progress in the peace index for the first time since 2015. The index shows the Middle East and North Africa region as the world’s least peaceful area for the fifth consecutive year. Half of the countries in Europe, the world’s most peaceful region, have deteriorated in peacefulness since 2008.
The 13th edition of the report has identified climate change as a threat to world peace. We are in a situation where too many mouths chase too little food. What can one expect when big arms are under the control of small minds. We are living in dangerous times.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2019.