INAF-549 Post 1979 Pakstn, Afghan, Iran
Spring for 2017-2018
No single year in modern history has had more significant impact on the Islamic world than 1979. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran were epicenter of the year’s history making events whose consequences continue to live among us all. These included the Iranian revolution and the start of three decades of Iranian US tensions, and the execution of an elected Prime Minister by a military dictator in Pakistan setting up the long army rule and process of Islamization . Then the
US hostages crisis in Tehran and the burning of the US Embassy in Islamabad
signaling the merger of Pakistani and Iranian anti Americanism that began
feeding a broader sentiment against the US in the Islamic world. The year ended
however with its most consequential event: the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The US-led jihad against the Soviets, assisted by Pakistan, won but ended up as a bitter sweet victory as it laid the foundation of a deadly extremist religious infrastructure that started beating to the rhythm of global Islamic revivalism unleashing forces of radicalism. They had a horrendous impact on the region and on US and global security the most tragic and visible sign of which was 9/11.

The course will look at all these dramatic developments and their complex
intertwining with local, regional and global issues and challenges. It will
examine how Pakistan’s national vision, embraced by years of authoritarian rule
and deformed democracy, rise of religious orthodoxy, and strategic over
extension by its ambitious army led to a weak institutional architecture that
collided with its domestic tensions, opening up Pakistan to instability and
extremism. The course will study the ongoing war in Afghanistan and the fight against Taliban and Al Qaeda, being waged with the help of nuclear Pakistan that has become both a critical partner and a potential target by opposing sides. And also look at how Afghanistan has endured one of the most devastating conflicts of our time, while simultaneously struggling with the building of “political
institutions, structures of governance, vital state institutions, nfrastructure
and the rural economy”. It will study the attempts by Iran at the export of
revolution, its nuclear program and looming strategic shadow over the region, and the challenges Iran poses to the US power in the Middle East. The course may thus also be relevant to an extent for those interested in the Middle Eastern studies.

The instructor will bring to bear on the course his own expertise and insights as a former Ambassador from Pakistan and Diplomatic Adviser to the Prime Minister where he was associated with full range of Pakistan’s foreign policy including relations with Afghanistan. And as a senior diplomat posted in the post 1979 Iran he had the opportunity of meeting regularly the full spectrum of Iranian leadership.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
More information
Look for this course in the schedule of classes.

The academic department web site for this program may provide other details about this course.