Central and West Asia and Diasporas Research Network Seminar

GJ Breyley's picture
October 21, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Asian History / Studies, Contemporary History, Human Rights, Middle East History / Studies, Political History / Studies

Research Seminar, Monash University, K205 Caulfield campus

Friday 21 October, 11:00am-12:30pm

Peace and stability in Afghanistan: The role of Pakistan
Dr Zahid Shahab Ahmed, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University 

Ever since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Afghanistan-Pakistan bilateral relations have regularly faced hiccups. Due to differences on the Durand Line border demarcation and Pashtunistan issue, Afghanistan was the first country to oppose Pakistan’s membership at the UN. Pakistan was a frontline player in the Afghan-Soviet Jihad – backed by the US and Saudi Arabia – and since then has been seen as an important stakeholder in Afghanistan. Most recently, Pakistan has been trying to engage international and regional actors for a dialogue on Afghanistan’s future. In addition, Pakistan is home to roughly two and a half million Afghan refugees that it has started to return due to non-compliance of the government in Kabul. The more the government in Kabul leans towards India - Pakistan’s traditional rival – the more Pakistan panics and uses the ‘refugee card’ to gain Kabul’s subordination. By highlighting various geo-political dynamics, this paper aims to examine the role of Pakistan in Afghanistan’s present and future. 

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and the ghosts of Hama in the 2011 uprising
Dara Conduit, Monash University

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is an important player in the Syrian civil war. It is represented on key exiled Syrian political bodies such as the Syrian National Coalition and the Syrian National Council, and is also a minor player on the ground inside Syria. As one of the oldest and best-known Syrian political groups, the Syrian Brotherhood has played a role in every iteration of Syrian politics since 1945. The group was represented in Syria’s post-independence parliaments, but is better known as the violent social movement involved in the February 1982 Hama uprising. This paper evaluates the influence of the Brotherhood’s history on its participation in the Syrian uprising. It is argued that history has influenced every move that the Brotherhood has made throughout the 2011 uprising, from its opposition coalitions to its international relations, relationship to the Syrian people and approach to armed conflict. However, this long history has proven a mixed burden for the Brotherhood.

Dara Conduit is a Ph.D candidate at Monash University working on the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Ms. Conduit works as a researcher at Deakin University, co-convenes the Australian Terrorism & Political Violence Research Network and has provided advice to the UN OHCHR’s Working Group on Mercenaries. She co-edited Iran in the World: President Rouhani’s Foreign Policy (Palgrave Macmillan), and has had work published in Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, the Middle East Journal and Ortadoğu Etütleri. Ms. Conduit also holds a M. Litt from the University of St. Andrews and in 2015 was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge.


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