Asma Rashid

Dr Asma Rashid is a Lecturer at the International Islamic University Islamabad.

DOI: http://DOI Number

Keywords: China, Pakistan, India, US, South Asia, power politics, partnership


South Asia occupies a very important strategic location in the world. Its geostrategic location, presence of two de facto nuclear powers, and historical role in global politics further add to its importance. As global power dynamics are changing, apart from the US, the two emerging powers of China and Russia are taking a considerable amount of interest in South Asia. All these powers strive to extract maximum benefit from the region, therefore, making alliances with the important states of the region. In the context of great powers’ interests in South Asia, the paper raises and answers two questions: first, why are the deepening of the Indo-US and Pak-China relations likely to have significant consequences for the balance of power in the region? Second, how the Indo-US and Pak-China power blocks are bringing in bilateral opportunities, whereas threatening the interests of other states of South Asia? The paper asserts that the growing Indo-US partnership is a threat to regional peace and stability because it causes a security dilemma in Pakistan and the US is taking advantage of the Indian position in the region to implement its pivot to Asia policy and, therefore, posing a direct challenge to Chinese interests in the region. Moreover, the US is supporting the growing Indian role in Afghanistan that is a direct security challenge for Pakistan. The emerging bloc politics in the region will serve the national interests of the larger states like Pakistan and India and draw economic aid and FDI from China and the US. Reciprocally, the US and China would continue to promote their national interests at the expense of their allies. However, this emerging security matrix increases the security risk of smaller states of South Asia.

First Published

March 25, 2020

How to Cite

Asma Rashid, “Quadruple of Nuclear Giants: Perils of Smaller States of South Asia,” Regional Studies 38, no.1 (Spring 2020):103-129,


Volume 38, Issue 1