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  • Zainab Akhter

    Research Analyst
    +91 11 2671 7983

    Dr Zainab Akhter has a PhD from the Centre for International Politics, Organization, and Disarmament (CIPOD), School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She also has an MPhil from the same university as well as a post graduate degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from the University of Kashmir. Zainab was earlier a Research Officer with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), and has also worked with the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) as a Research Associate and at India Institute as a researcher. She has interned with the Hindustan Times and has been awarded the Ladakh Women Writers Award for the year 2008 by Charkha, a Delhi-based NGO. She was selected for the India-Pakistan Legislative Fellowship 2017 by the US Government and was placed as the India Legislative Fellow at Hudson Institute, a think tank based in Washington DC.

    Her areas of research interest are Soft Power, Cultural Diplomacy, India-Pakistan relations, CBMs, people-to-people diplomacy, Jammu and Kashmir (with special focus on Ladakh). She has extensively travelled in Pakistan and Baltistan. She is part of the Editorial Team for the Journal of International Association of Ladakh Studies, a member of the International Association of Ladakh Studies (IALS), Communities without Boundaries International, an international nongovernment organization that works to build peace and Women’s Regional Network, a network of women civil society leaders working together to advance women’s rights and regional peace in South Asia. She has presented papers in various national and international conferences and has published research papers and articles in journals, websites and newspapers on strategic issues related to Pakistan, India-Pakistan relations, Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir and Ladakh.  

    Her journal articles include: “India-Pakistan Relations: Efficacy of Culture,” Millennial Asia: An International Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2016; “Indo-Pak Diplomacy: Modi’s Pakistan Policy,” Mainstream, Vol. 54, No. 9, 2016; “The Strategic Importance of the Siachen Glacier for India,” Indian Defence Review, February 2016.

    She has also reviewed a book titled Conflict in Jammu & Kashmir: Impact on Polity, Society, and Economy, which was published in Book Review, Vol. 36, No. 9, 2012. Her latest publications are In Pakistan’s Tryst with Democracy Shadow of Military looms large, published in Daily O, 18 August 2018 and Pakistan and the Politics of CPEC: A Rethink on the Anvil, published in South Asian Voices (SAV), 21 October 2018.

    Other Publications

    Select Publications

    • Research Analyst, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr Zainab Akhter's write up 'Peoples Democratic Movement & FATF: PTI Government In A Fix' has been published by the External Service Division, All India Radio (ESD-AIR), on October 24, 2020.

      The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government led by Imran Khan is in a tight spot, writes Dr Akhter.
      Read Complete Article [+]

      October 24, 2020
      IDSA News
    • Research Analyst, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr Zainab Akhter’s commentary ‘Imran Khan’s Illusive Dream of Riyasat-E- Madina’ has been published by All India Radio (AIR) World Service, an external services division of AIR, on September 17, 2020.

      September 17, 2020
      IDSA News
    • Research Analyst, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr. Zainab Akhter’s article ‘Bajwa’s Saudi Visit: An Attempt To Mend The Fences’ has been published by the All India Radio (AIR) World Service, an External Services Division of AIR, on August 22, 2020.

      The recent bickering between Islamabad and Riyadh point to the fact that all is not well between the two nations. Thus, Bajwa’s visit was an attempt to salvage the deteriorating relationship.

      Read Complete Article [+]

      August 22, 2020
      IDSA News
    • Research Analyst, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr. Zainab Akhter’s article ‘The Sino-Indian Conflict in Ladakh: An Explainer’ has been published in South Asian Voices, on August 14, 2020.

      In order to understand the standoff, it is important to understand the geostrategic significance of its location and socio-cultural aspirations of the region in question, Ladakh. Often referred to as a “cold desert” and known for its international tourism, Ladakh’s history provides fertile ground for exploring the roots of the current standoff, writes Dr. Akhter.

      August 14, 2020
      IDSA News
    • Research Analyst, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr. Zainab Akhter’s article ‘Exploring Ladakh’s Turkic links’ has been published in Stawa Magazine on August 04, 2020.

      Owing to its geo-strategic location, Ladakh has historically played an important role in ancient trade especially the Silk Route. It was the melting point of culture that connected the Indian subcontinent with Central Asia, China and Tibet. There was a special connection between Ladakh and Turkestan in Central Asia, writes Dr. Akhter.

      August 04, 2020
      IDSA News
    • The Pakistan state has clearly failed to suppress the voice of the Pashtuns in the face of their indomitable courage to fight for their rights, and as they say, within the confines of the Pakistan Constitution.

      June 18, 2020
      IDSA Comments
    • Research Analyst, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr. Zainab Akhter’s article on Indo-China Ladakh dispute, titled ‘Understanding the India-China standoff in Ladakh’ has been published online by Stawa Magazine.

      June 10, 2020
      IDSA News
    • Research Analyst, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr. Zainab Akhter’s article on India-Pakistan partition, titled ‘Lingering pain of Partition’ has been published online by Stawa Magzine on May 26, 2020.

      The Partition of India and Pakistan was not just a separation of land but also a division of thousands of families, writes Dr. Akhter.

      Read Complete Article [+]

      May 26, 2020
      IDSA News
    • Research Associate under the Pakistan News Digest Project, IDSA, Dr. Zainab Akhter’s article on Pakistan’s fight against COVID-19, titled ‘COVID-19: Pakistan Caught Off Guard’ has been published by the All India Radio (AIR) World Service, an External Services Division of AIR, on April 24, 2020.

      April 24, 2020
      IDSA News
    • It is feared that Imran Khan’s move to sideline the already alienated opposition and continuous bickering between the federal and provincial governments would undermine the national effort against COVID-19.

      April 10, 2020
      Issue Brief