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Conference on “100 Years of IR Discipline” Held at QAU

School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) commemorates the 100 years of International Relations as academic discipline in a one day conference.

The Chief Guest of the occasion, Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari, said that IR is a dynamic and cross cutting discipline. She pointed out that IR needs to be predictive in nature, while keeping in view the academic transformation to the pace of fast moving world in lieu of international relations. She insisted that compartmentalization of IR might make it restrictive but there is an adherent plurality in the discipline and it has to be taken into account parallel to foreign policies of world actors. Dr. Shireen Mazari talked about the current issues prevalent in Kashmir and how Pakistan can utilize theoretical positions from the current and newly emerging academia. She reiterated the changing discourses in the security arena and how to use them in the foreign policy.

Vice Chancellor of QAU, Professor Dr. Muhammad Ali thanked all the participants for their esteemed presence in the conference and appreciated the efforts of SPIR in organizing the conference. He further reiterated the resolve of QAU being the flag bearer institution of taking initiatives in academics. Earlier Prof. Dr. Nazir Hussain, Director SPIR in his opening remarks thanked all the participants. He informed the audience about the completion of 100 years of the IR discipline. He then talked about the various initiatives SPIR is taking in uplifting the academic discipline.

The Keynote addresses were given by Prof. Olena Bordilovska, who is currently the Cultural Attaché at the Ukrainian embassy Islamabad and Prof. Dr. Olena talked about prospects of combining theory and practice. She emphasized on the importance of culture, religion, mentality, social behavior, people and society in the discipline of IR. She urged that foreign policy should be made the instrument of long term and far sighted strategic vision and diplomatic calculus.

Dr. Muhammad Waseem from LUMS, constructed the idea of having a ‘local global society’, building on English School of thought. The term he coined is ‘Glocal’, a local-global perspective of IR, suggesting a revision in the West-centric approaches to IR where he urged to review the West against the rest. Dr. Moeed Yousaf, Director Strategic Planning, Prof. Dr. Hussain Shaheed Soherwordi from Peshawar University, Prof. Dr. Tughral Yamin from NUST, Prof. Dr. Naeem Ahmad from University of Karachi, Prof. Dr. Adnan Sarwar Khan from NUML, Prof. Dr. Amna Mahmood from IIUI, Dr. Rabia Akhtar from UOL, Prof. Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal and Dr. Farhan Siddiqi from QAU also delivered the talks.

In the working sessions, conceptual conundrum in IR discipline as a whole and those being faced by Pakistan were discussed by a set of vibrant panelists who advocated the need for critically evaluating the discipline. The conference was attended by academic practitioners and a large number of research scholars.