Seminar on US policy in South Asia region

Published February 25, 2019
Greek-American professor Archimidis (Akis) Kalaizidis at Institute of Regional Studies event in Islamabad.
Greek-American professor Archimidis (Akis) Kalaizidis at Institute of Regional Studies event in Islamabad.

Dr Rukhsana Qamber, president of the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS), welcomed staff and guests to a seminar about the post-cold war US policy towards the South Asian region. She gave an introduction to the topic, and the discussion later was chaired by retired Ambassador Abrar Hussain.

Political science professor Archimidis (Akis) Kalaitzidis, University of Central Missouri in USA, was the guest speaker giving an overview of the history of the American foreign policy, categorized in four groups. This was used as a background to consider the current situation and future scenarios.

Prof Akis said that the US policies today are more unpredictable than before, yet, they also follow trends that have been followed before, as per the mentioned categories. The presidency can decide on many issues, but there are other internal institutions that have power, too.

He said that USA is no longer the only superpower.

“USA is challenging China on trade, not on global institutions,” the Greek-American speaker said. He stopped in Islamabad for a busy week of guest lectures and discussions with academics and diplomats.

Professor Akis said it was his first visit to this important region, and he stressed the importance of having a global view of the world, not only being USA-centric.

“It is important to learn about all regions, indeed now as more geopolitics will have more centres,” he said, mentioning that in April, he is off to Sweden, where the history and future of democracy is the topic, it being the 100th anniversary of universal suffrage in that land.

Following the seminar, a light lunch was served and further discussions amongst academics, diplomats and civil society members took place.

“It is always a pleasure to attend IRS seminars, now coordinated by the new IRS president, Dr Rukhsana Qambar. It is good that we are getting more women in such top posts,” said guests from another think thank on foreign affairs issues in Islamabad.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2019

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