Central Asia

1) RUSSIA’S CHANGING POLICY TOWARDS SOUTH ASIA: OPTIONS FOR PAKISTAN
Author(s):Shabir Ahmad Khan

Abstract :

Foreign Policy is something not tangible and reflected by deeds and agreements between states. Recent deeds and agreements between Russia and Pakistan as well as research confirm that there is an obvious change in Russia’s policy of South Asian Region in favor of Pakistan. Russia recognizes Pakistan’s importance for peaceful political settlement in Afghanistan and linking Eurasian Union with South Asia, Indian Ocean and beyond. Russia has stopped viewing India as a counter weight to China in the region. Rift between Russia and American led West has intensified in post-Crimea period and the USA-India strategic partnership is yet another factor responsible for Russia’s changed approach towards South Asia. So changes in Russia’s policy goals along with changes in international and regional orientations caused shift in Russia’s policy towards South Asia. In contemporary regional geo-political environment, Pakistan needs to take positive and correct course of action through diversification of foreign relations, importantly by having close relations with Russian Federation as response to Russia’s shifted policy and tilt towards Pakistan. It will enhance Pakistan’s bargaining power in international dealings.
2) PAKISTAN’S ECONOMIC INTERESTS IN CENTRAL ASIA: PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES IN REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE
Author(s):Hashmat Ullah Khan & Muhammad Manzoor Elahi

Abstract :

Central Asia, a newly born region of Asia, possess has been anticipated to excessive geopolitical, geo-economic and geostrategic significance for its peripheral regions. The region also assumed to became an epicentre of regional and global powers’ strategic interests. The research focuses on the policy options for Pakistan in connection with its economic security as an extended peripheral actor of Central Asia. The natural oil and gas reserves of Central Asia can also serve as sources of economic connectivity between the said actors. The research accentuates that the region is one of the cost-effective source of energy for Pakistan. The Central Asian Republics’ share in the world oil production is2.4 % (31.2 thousand million barrels), and the share of gas production is 4.2% (20.2 billion cubic meters).Despite historical affinities, religious commonalities and geographical proximity, Pakistan’s relations with Central Asian countries remain to be strengthened. In addition, the research highlights the prospects and challenges faced in strengthening of economic interests between Pakistan and Central Asia when the landlocked region and the former provides shortest land route access. But this phenomenon could not be materialized due to poor law and order situation in Afghanistan. The New Great Game and the power politics of global powers also poses hurdles for Pakistan to develop strong economic ties with Central Asia and get benefits from its natural resources. Keywords:
3) INTEGRATION THROUGH LANGUAGE IN THE PAK-AFGHAN BORDERLAND: THE INTERPLAY OF PAST LEGACIES, PRESENT REALITIES AND FUTURE SCENARIOS
Author(s):Ayaz Ahmad & Asghar Khan

Abstract :

This paper overviews the genesis, development, decay and legacy of Pashto language policy and planning (LPP) in Pakistan and Afghanistan within the context of borderland. It argues that despite sharing one language, Pashtoons living across Durand Line gradually diverged to integrate respectively in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Therefore, support and opposition to Pashto language was politically motivated. The Afghan, British Indian and Pakistani elite used planning and policy for Pashto as an instrument and indicator of political ends. This paper establishes that the development and weakening of Pashto in domains of power is intrinsically dependent on its speakers. Political interests, therefore, made Pashto the center of Pashtoon identity. Current policies in the borderland point to a future where cohesion through language takes place in Afghanistan and Pakistan. So, acceptance of linguistic diversity as a unifying asset is gradually replacing the earlier fear of viewing it as a threat to unity. Keywords:
4) BELIEVERS VERSUS INFIDEL FRAMING IN THE CONTEXT OF WAR AND CONFLICT WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE WAR ON TERROR IN AFGHANISTAN
Author(s):Shuja Ahmad

Abstract :

When we look back and see what happened after the incidents of 9/11- we see that not only USA was successful in making a coalition; Taliban and Osama too were successful in winning the support of people specially in the areas of their influence. One of the reasons was the narrative- whereas, Bush and his allies mostly used Good Versus Evil and Loss Gain framing- Taliban and Osama were using Believers versus infidels and Faroun versus Musa framing to win the support and to convince people to take part in the WOT. This paper explains the way believers versus infidels framing works in time of war and conflict. It focuses on the way believers versus infidel framing worked after 9/11 with special reference to the discourse that was generated in the areas dominated by Taliban. Moreover, it argues that this framing was instrumental in portraying those who carried out the attacks as heroes and people of faith sacrificing their lives to kill infidels- the framing downplayed the hijacking of planes and killing of thousands of innocent people/ non-combatants.
5) THE VISION OF REGIONAL COOPERATION IN THE THREE ASIAS: THE ROLE OF ECO AND SAARC
Author(s):Moonis Ahmar

Abstract :

This paper will examine the vision of regional cooperation in the three Asias by analyzing the need of transforming SAARC and ECO as functional organizations so that the two can be useful for promoting meaningful cooperation in Central, South and West Asia. The regions of Central, South and West Asia are strategically, economically and politically relevant and important when one talks about the concept of three Asias. Regional cooperation is not a pipe dream but a major requirement for ensuring social and human development of people living in a particular region. Ideas, concepts, approaches and theories about regional cooperation and regionalism primarily emerged in the West, but it is in the Third World Countries or global South where connectivity and linkages in people, goods, services and capital became a need and a necessity with the passage of time. Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries having their membership in SAARC and ECO and without their cogent role the vision to promote regional cooperation in the three Asias cannot be transformed into a reality.

Volume No. 79

Issue No. Winter 2016