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    A two day workshop on Great Powers in South Asia: Implications for Pakistan was held by the DSS Department, QAU, in collaboration with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Washington DC. The first day had panel presentations, by eminent speakers, including Ambassador Retd. Ali Sarwar Naqvi, Amb. Retd Tanvir A Khan, Senator Retd Akram Zaki, Prof Zhou Rong from China and Dr. Rifaat Hussain from DSS Department, QAU. Mr. Moeed Yusuf, adviser South Asia, USIP also spoke on the occasion. The workshop was attended by participants pertaining to academic and strategic circles, think tanks, research institutes and policy circles. The conference was coordinated by Salma Malik, assistant professor, at DSS.

    Dr. Rifaat Hussain in his introductory remarks stated that the principle idea behind the workshop is the realization that relations amongst great powers, namely USA, Russia and Peoples Republic of China are undergoing a qualitative change and this transition has profound strategic consequences not only for South Asia but also for Pakistan.

    The day two of the workshop was based on breakout sessions and thus highly interactive. Dr. Rifaat Hussain set the pace for the individual sessions by outlining the six major assumptions on which the groups further deliberated. The three groups were based on the thematic presentations by the key panelists from the previous day, and namely were: US, Russia and China. the six assumptions on which the groups were to base their presentations and discussions were; core interests, challenges faced by Pakistan in the respective great power’s interplay in the region, challenges, principle strategies, future of interaction with Pakistan and lastly the wild card assumption i.e. what possible factors of strategic surprise there could be.

    The three groups deliberated for two hours, and were lead by Ambassador Tanvir Khan for Russia, Ambassador Ali Sarwar Naqvi for the US, Senator Akram Zaki & Prof. Zhou Rong led the China group. The sessions were respectively mediated by Miss Andlib Hussaini, Mr. Moeed Yusuf and Miss Shabana Fayyaz from DSS respectively.

    The workshop ended after an exhaustive discussion and question-answer session back in the plenary. Chairman DSS Dr. Rifaat Hussain offered his vote of thanks to the participants, panelists and organizers and the USIP for the collaborative event. Giving his concluding remarks the South Asia adviser to the USIP, Mr. Moeed Yusuf appreciated the success of the workshop and said that we have to look at the various options and challenges faced by these powers, in and around the region, and how it has in turn affected Pakistan. The question that needs to be asked is what is next in store for Pakistan, and how we ascertain the he way forward.


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Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, 45320, Pakistan.
Tel: +92-051 9064 3076, Email: dss@qau.edu.pk