South Asia

Home to two nuclear-armed rivals and adjacent to rising global power China and an Afghanistan in transition, South Asia is a key focus of the global security debate. This programme brings together senior Afghan, Indian and Pakistani officials in various forms, and studies India–China land border and maritime issues management, among other topics.

11th IISS–NESA South Asia Security Conference

Promoting dialogue on South Asian security

The 11th South Asia Security Conference convened senior government officials from the United States, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, and included a panel of female experts discussing their national efforts to counter extremism.

  • IISS Voices

    Pakistan–China: strategic partnership means business

    21 October 2016.  Despite the challenges, China is determined to give Pakistan a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform its economy and their relationship. Here, Antoine Levesques examines their efforts to broaden an ambitious strategic partnership.

  • Events

    Truth Always Prevails: a life in business in today’s Pakistan

    14 September 2016. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Sadruddin Hashwani, Chairman, Hashoo Group
    Christina Lamb, Foreign Correspondent, The Sunday Times
    Arundel House, London
    Wednesday 14 September, 5–6pm

  • Strategic Comments

    India and Pakistan’s evolving relationships with the Gulf

    08 September 2016. 

    The relationships of South Asian rivals India and Pakistan with Gulf countries are evolving and strengthening. India’s focus has shifted towards security and defence cooperation, though it does not seek a dominant or partisan role. Pakistan will continue to try to balance its relations with Gulf Arab states and those with Iran, while its most important bilateral relationship will continue to be with Saudi Arabia.

  • Strategic Comments

    Pakistan: a more positive trajectory

    27 July 2016. 

    The past 18 months have been an atypically salutary period for Pakistan. Democracy has deepened, civilian–military relations have been stable, the economy has grown and foreign relations have been conducted with relative maturity and civility. While Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif does face some political turbulence and the country's long-term challenges remain substantial, Pakistan's overall outlook is improving.

  • Events

    Pakistan's Nuclear Diplomacy and NSG Membership: Opportunities and Challenges

    21 July 2016. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Group Captain M. Waseem Qutab, IISS Visiting Research Fellow for South Asia (Strategic Affairs)
    Arundel House, London
    Thursday 21 July 2016, 12–1PM BST

  • Expert Commentary

    News International: What India's NSG application does not say

    20 July 2016.  By Waseem Qutab, Visiting Research Fellow for South Asia (Strategic Affairs) India has greatly politicised the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in past few months. Modi's proactive diplomacy is instrumental in creating this controversial situation and the media is abuzz since there was a stalemate over India's bid during the Group's annual meeting in June at Seoul. A month earlier, India and Pakistan had applied for NSG's membership. Being party to the Non-Proliferation...

  • Events

    Operation Zarb-e-Azb: Final Push to Defeating the Taliban

    18 July 2016. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Colonel Zulfiqar Ali Bhatty, Army and Air Adviser, High Commission for Pakistan, UK
    Arundel House, London
    Monday 18 July 2016, 12.30–1.30PM BST

  • IISS Voices

    Waseem Qutab: India and Pakistan pose a dilemma for the NSG

    15 July 2016.  India and Pakistan are both seeking to become members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Although some nations are in favour of admitting India alone, such a move could undermine the grouping's credibility and have a destabilising effect on South Asia, as Waseem Qutab explains.

  • Events

    India’s Policies Towards Pakistan and Afghanistan: Challenges and Opportunities

    08 July 2016. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Rana Banerji, former Special Secretary in the Research and Analysis Wing, India
    Arundel House, London
    Friday 8 July 2016, 12.30–1.30PM BST

  • IISS Voices

    Rahul Roy-Chaudhury: India’s FDI liberalisation

    29 June 2016.  In a move to create jobs and boost manufacturing, India's government is working to overhaul its restrictions on foreign direct investment (FDI). However, despite the official rhetoric that 'India is now the most open economy in the world for FDI', foreign defence companies still face significant bureaucratic barriers to investment.

IISS Manama Dialogue 2017

India in the Gulf

IISS Senior Fellow for South Asia Rahul Roy-Chaudhury speaks at the 2017 IISS Manama Dialogue in Bahrain.

About the conference

The 11th IISS South Asia Security Conference, in partnership with the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the US National Defense University, took place in Muscat, Oman, on 13–15 October 2017.