Muhammad Zubair Iqbal and Adam Saud

Dr. Muhammad Zubair Iqbal is Associate Professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in Bahria University, Islamabad.  

Mr. Adam Saud is Senior Assistant Professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in Bahria University, Islamabad.

DOI: http://DOI Number

Keywords: CARs, rivalries, strategic location, Heartland Theory, New Great Game, convoluted relationships, Afghanistan, Islamism, extremist elements, counter terrorism


Because of its strategic location, its vast bounty of mines and minerals, and its status as the child of a once superpower, the region involving the Central Asian Republics (CARs) has played host to many overt and covert rivalries and continues to be in the metaphorical eye of the storm.. Today, it is known as the New Great Game, and it encompasses a wide range of geopolitical, geostrategic, geoeconomic, and energy security concerns. Due to their isolation, the CARs rely significantly on their neighbours for trade and communication, particularly China and Russia. The interconnections between these superpowers are complex and frequently overlap. Terrorism is seen as a major threat to the region, and all of these governments wish to take significant action against it. The spread of Islamism is considered as a danger to international security. The emergence of extremist elements and their transnational ties are a source of concern for the CARs as well, particularly in Afghanistan and Syria. Accordingly, they often support efforts by global and regional forces to counter extremist groups. This study makes an effort to dissect and make sense of China, Russia, and the United States’ counterterrorism and security operations in the region. The major extremist security concerns of the region, measures taken by the CARs at the national level to address extremist threats, and the ways in which regional and global powers have cooperated in the past to improve security in the region are all discussed in the paper.

First Published

September 25, 2016

How to Cite

Muhammad Zubair Iqbal and Adam Saud, “The Divergent Plane of Interests: Security and Counter-Terrorism Dynamics of Central Asia,” Regional Studies 34, no.4 (Autumn 2016): 66-85,


Volume 34, Issue 4