International Relations/Diplomacy
Central Asia
The Spectre of Afghanistan: Security in Central Asia by Kirill Nourzhanov and Amin Saikal; London, I.B.TAURIS Bloomsbury Publishing Plc., 2021, pp. 249.

Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are three Central Asian countries that share geographical boundaries and cross-border ethnic linkages with Afghanistan. As a result, the developments in Afghanistan have directly impacted these countries. Although the majority of the population in Central Asia is Muslim, they have quite varied religious perspectives due to the long shadow cast by the Soviet Union’s communist regime. On the other hand, the Taliban administration in Kabul in the 1990s intended to establish an Islamic caliphate, which was unacceptable to its Central Asian neighbours.

Interaction with Dr. Eldor Aripov, Director, Institute of Strategic and Regional Studies (ISRS), Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) hosted Dr. Eldor Aripov, Director, Institute of Strategic and Regional Studies (ISRS), Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Dr. Aripov was accompanied by H.E. Mr. Dilshod Akhatov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to India and Mr. Azamjon Mansurov, First Secretary, Uzbek Embassy to India. The VIF’s panel of speakers included Amb D. P. Srivastava, Amb. Ashok Sajjanhar, Amb Skand R Tayal, Amb. Vinod Kumar, Lt. Gen Ravi Sawhney, Brig. Vinod Anand, and Dr. Pravesh Kumar Gupta. Dr.

Turkey’s Role as a Regional Actor in Central Asia: An Assessment

Central Asia’s geostrategic location at the crossroads of East and West has shaped substantial geopolitical rivalries in the region. Even though the region is within Russia’s sphere of influence, China has made significant advances in Central Asia after the fall of the Soviet Union due to the Central Asian republics’ multi-vector foreign policy. Turkey has a considerable interest in this geopolitically crucial region for two primary reasons.

India-Central Asia: Defence and Security Cooperation

Central Asia has emerged as an important geopolitical space after the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991. Its geostrategic location at the crossroads of East and West, South, Central, and West Asia has often resulted in the spread of challenges beyond the region’s immediate borders. Three Central Asian Republics, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, share a 2,500 kilometre long and porous border with Afghanistan, making the region exposed to the unfolding crisis in Kabul.

Talk on ‘India-Uzbekistan Relations and the Regional Dynamics’ by Amb. Manish Prabhat, Indian Ambassador to Uzbekistan

Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) organised a virtual interaction with Mr. Manish Prabhat, Ambassador of India to Uzbekistan, on ‘India-Uzbekistan Relations and the regional dynamics’ on October 4, 2021, to discuss the current status of Indo-Uzbek relations and regional security and strategic dimensions. Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director VIF, delivered the opening remarks. Amb Amar Sinha, Amb. P. S.

A Report on Visit to Uzbekistan as International Election Observer and Discussions with Uzbek Think Tanks

Uzbekistan held its Sixth Presidential Elections on October 24, 2021, where the author had participated as an International Observer from India. During the visit to Uzbekistan, one also had an opportunity to have a discussion with Uzbek Think Tanks, which are partner institutions of Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF). Given below is the report on salient points of discussions with Uzbek Think Tanks on India-Uzbekistan bilateral relations, SCO, connectivity, Afghanistan, and India-Central Asia historical relations. I. Presidential Elections

Uzbekistan-India: Exploring New Horizons of Strategic Partnership

The VIF, in collaboration with the Embassy of Republic of Uzbekistan in India organised a virtual webinar on Uzbekistan-India: Exploring New Horizons of Strategic Partnership on 18 October.

VIF Virtual talk on ‘India-Tajikistan Relations’ by Amb. Viraj Singh, Indian Ambassador to Tajikistan

India and Tajikistan are traditional partners. They share deep historical and cultural relations. Tajikistan was a part of the Kushana and Persian Empire, which had close cultural linkages with India. Subsequently, during the Islamic rule in India, the Persian language and Sufism from this region got assimilated into Indian society. It has become the foundation of cultural and linguistic cooperation in modern times. Tajikistan’s strategic location makes it significant for India’s Central Asia policy.

VIF Webinar on “Indo-Uzbek Relations”

India and Uzbekistan share close historical and cultural links dating back to ancient times. Uzbekistan is India’s extended neighbour and a strategic partner. This relationship is multi-faceted and includes cooperation in political, trade-economic, education, science and technology, industry, agriculture, civil aviation and defence sectors.

The Rise and Fall of Khoqand: Central Asia in the Global Age, 1709-1876. By Scott C. Levi, Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017. 2017, 258pp.

Until recently, a few books have been published on the history of Central Asian Khanates of Khiva, Bukhara, and Kokand. In his book, Levi C. Scott, a professor of Central Asian history at Ohio State University, focuses on the historical significance of Khanate of Kokand in a broader Eurasian context. The chapters in the book outline the formation of the Khanate of Kokand and subsequent socio-political and economic developments, which paved the way for its decline.

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