Zahid Shahab Ahmed
  • Male
  • Islamabad
  • Pakistan
  • Assistant Professor, Centre for…
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Please feel free to provide a short bio about yourself or the work of your organization (no more than 3 paragraphs)
Dr. Zahid Shahab Ahmed is serving as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Peace & Conflict Studies, National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) in Islamabad. In September 2012, he received his PhD in the area of Political and International Studies from the University of New England (UNE) in Australia. For his PhD research, Dr. Ahmed spent few months at the Secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Kathmandu to produce a unique study focusing on regionalism and regional security in South Asia. He has an MA in Peace Education from the United Nations mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica), and an MA in Sociology from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (Pakistan). In the area of Peace Studies, he has attended numerous academic programs, including a course at the Fletcher School in USA.

He has many years of experience of working in the international development/peace-building and in academia. He has previously taught international and political studies at University of New England and Charles Sturt University in Australia. Dr. Ahmed has also delivered numerous guest lectures at universities across the world, especially on the issues relating to South Asian regional security and peace. In February 2013, he was invited at the Colombo University’s Department of Peace & Conflict Studies. He is trained and experienced in curriculum development. During 2005-07, he assisted the United National mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) in designing a curriculum on “Peace Education in the Muslim Context” by organizing consultative workshops in Canada (2006) and Indonesia (2007). In addition, in 2007, he helped UPEACE in designing a post-graduate program on peace & conflict studies in South Asia. This program has already been implemented in South Asia, for example at the University of Karachi in Pakistan.

Prior to his teaching career, he worked with numerous local and international development agencies in South Asia, in particular in Pakistan, on various peace-building projects. During 2006-08, he managed the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung’s Regional Centre on Conflict Transformation in Asia where he also played a key role in designing the tools on “Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA)”. He has been presenting a balanced critique of PCIA and related tools, such as do no harm, by highlighting experiences from the global South. Therefore, he is a member of a high profile team of eight with Peacemedia-Paixmedia (Canada) assessing the impacts of PCIA. With regard to peace research, Dr. Ahmed has been working as a Culture and Conflict Researcher-Asia with the Commonwealth Foundation for contextualizing a couple of projects in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In the international development sector, Dr. Ahmed has regularly been organizing workshops and conferences. In April 2012, he supported British Council and Peace Direct in organizing a mega event called “Islamabad Peace Exchange”. He has conducted over 30 workshops on peace-building in countries around the world, for example, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil etc.
Please indicate if you're joining PCDN as an individual or organization (please mark the appropriate category)
individual (professional)
Please list the countries and/or regions in which you (or your organization) have direct and significant expertise
South Asia: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives.
What is your current country of residence (or location of your organization)?
What is your current job (and organization) and/or where and what field are you studying?
Assistant Professor, Centre for International Peace & Stability (CIPS), NUST
How many years professional experience do you have ?
What is your personal or organizational website?
Which Languages do you speak Proficiently? (note we can not list all languages, only some major world languages or ones related to conflict regions)
Hindi, Urdu
Which are your primary sectoral areas of expertise (or the primary sectoral areas of your organization) ?
Civil Society, Conflict Mainstreaming, Conflict Resolution, Democratization, DDR, Education, Gender, Internally Displaced, Nonviolence, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Security, Terrorism, Youth
Which are your primary skills areas(or the primary skill areas of your organization)?
Advocacy, Curriculum Development, Evaluation, Program Administration, Program Design, Research, Qualitative Skills, Quantitative Skills, Training
Please select the donors (bi-lateral, international or foundations) in which you have direct and signifcant experience (either work for the donor or on projects funded by them)
What are some of your current areas of research (if any)?
Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment
Conflict Analysis
Conflict Sensitive Project Planning
Peace Education in the Islamic Context
Conflict Resolution in South Asia
Nonviolent Conflict Resolution in South Asia.
If appropriate feel free to list several of your (or your organization's) publications
Ahmed, Z.S. 2013, Regionalism and Regional Security in South Asia: The Role of SAARC, Ashgate Publishing Limited, London. ISBN 978-1-4094-6769-4


Ahmed, Z.S. 2012, Understanding the dynamics of regionalism and regional hegemony in South America and South Asia: Lessons for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and its members from regionalism in South America (Working Paper No.7), Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), Buenos Aires. ISBN 978-987-1891-16-0
Ahmed, Z.S. & Balasubramanian, R. 2010, Extremism in Pakistan and India: The Case of Jamaat-e-Islami and Shiv Sena, Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS), Colombo. ISBN 978-955-8051-46-7
Ahmed, Z.S. & Baxter, M.A. 2007, Attitudes of Teachers in India and Pakistan: Texts and Contexts, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), New Delhi.

Book Chapters

Choudhri, Z.A. & Ahmed, Z.S. 2013, ‘The Image of Governance’, in Islamic Imagery: Studies in Sacred Symbolism, J.A. Morrow (ed), McFarland Publishers, Jefferson.
Ahmed, Z.S. 2012, ‘Political Islam, Jamaat-e-Islami, and Pakistan’s Role in the Afghan-Soviet War, 1979-1988’, in Religion and the Cold War: A Global Perspective, P. Muehlenbeck (ed), Vanderbilt University Press, Tennessee, pp.275-296.
Ahmed, Z.S. 2009, ‘Human Rights in Islam’, in Peace Education: Islamic Perspectives, N. Kakar & S.S.K. Niazi (eds), University for Peace, San Jose, pp. 115-136.

Journal Articles

Ahmed, Z.S. 2012, ‘The role of the Pakistani mass media in the lawyers’ resistance against Musharraf, 2007-2009’, Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies, vol. 4, no. 3, pp.61-78.
Ahmed, Z.S. 2011, ‘Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA): Lessons from Pakistan’, Peace and Conflict Review, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 12-27.
Ahmed, Z.S. & Bhatnagar, S. 2010, ‘Gulf states and the conflict between India and Pakistan’, Journal of Asia Pacific Studies, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 259-291.
Ahmed, Z.S. & Stephan, M.J. 2010, ‘Fighting for the rule of law: civil resistance and the lawyers’ movement in Pakistan’, Democratization, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 492-513.
Ahmed, Z.S. 2009, ‘Madrasa education in the Pakistani context: challenges, reforms and future directions’, Peace Prints: South Asian Journal of Peacebuilding, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 53-65.
Ahmed, Z.S. & Bhatnagar, S. 2008, ‘Interstate conflicts and regionalism in South Asia’, Perceptions: Journal of International Affairs, vol. XIII, no. 1-2, pp. 1-19.
Ahmed, Z.S. 2008, ‘The cycle of violence in Pakistan’, World Affairs, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 106-113.
Ahmed, Z.S. & Bhatnagar, S. 2008, ‘SAARC and interstate conflicts in South Asia: prospects and challenges for regionalism’, Pakistan Horizon, vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 69-87.
Ahmed, Z.S. & Bhatnagar, S. 2007, ‘Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations and the Indian Factor’, Pakistan Horizon, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 159-174.

Encyclopaedia Entries

Ahmed, Z.S. 2011, “South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation”. In India Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic, edited by Arnold P. Kaminsky & Roger D. Long, Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, pp. 650-653.
Ahmed, Z.S. 2011, “Pakistan relations with India”. In India Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic, edited by Arnold P. Kaminsky & Roger D. Long, Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, pp. 537-539.
Ahmed, Z.S. 2011, “Regionalism and Regional Security in Southern Asia”. In India Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic, edited by Arnold P. Kaminsky & Roger D. Long, Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, pp. 590-594.
Ahmed, Z.S. 2010, “Peace Research: Journals.” In The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace, edited by Nigel J. Young, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 467-470.
Ahmed, Z.S. 2010, “Peace Research: Institutions.” In The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace, edited by Nigel J. Young, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 470-475.

Book Reviews

Ahmed, Z.S. 2011, Review of Socio-political and Economic Challenges in South Asia, by Tan Tai Yong (ed.), Journal of South Asian Development, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 239-241.
Ahmed, Z.S. 2011, Review of Asia’s New Regionalism by Ellen L. Frost, Journal of South Asian Development, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 138-141.
Ahmed, Z.S. 2010, Review of Bangladesh and Pakistan: Flirting with Failure in South Asia, by William B. Milam, Journal of South Asian Development, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 181-183.

South Asia Centre for Peace

Regionalism and Regional Security in South Asia

The Role of SAARC

Regionalism and Regional Security in South Asia
  • Zahid Shahab Ahmed, NUST Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (NIPCONS), Pakistan
  • Series : The International Political Economy of New Regionalisms Series
  • Zahid Shahab Ahmed evaluates the progress of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). This study goes beyond economic integration to present a detailed appraisal of cooperation under the overarching themes of economic cooperation, environmental security, human welfare, and cooperation in security matters. According to the author, SAARC is making progress in addressing the myriad of issues on its agenda. The transition from agreements to actions and frequent interactions among the member states has boosted confidence. The progress of SAARC is more evident in the less controversial areas of human security, such as poverty alleviation, health and safety, human resources development, and higher education. Notwithstanding enthusiastic commitments reflected in agreements and action plans, there is a gulf between rhetoric and implementation most notably in sensitive areas relating to traditional security. In the light of the findings of this study, the author proposes that greater cooperation in common human security areas has a potential to pave the way for a cooperation on issues of a ‘contentious’ nature, particularly terrorism.

  • Contents: Preface; Foreword; Introduction; An introduction to South Asia; SAARC: an overview; Economic cooperation; Environmental security; Human welfare; Cooperation in security matters; South Asian regionalism: possible lessons to be drawn from ASEAN; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

  • Reviews: ‘The study is a most timely and outstanding contribution to the literature on regional organisational mechanisms to promote security and stability. Ahmed is persuasive in making the case for the tremendous potential SAARC possesses in transforming the region to a success story. The book is highly recommended for policy makers, scholars and practitioners exploring opportunities for strengthening SAARC and its role in regional security cooperation, both traditional and non-traditional.’
    Saira Yamin, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, USA

    ‘This is a detailed and well-documented study of a regional organisation with immense potential. In a carefully researched and presented book, Zahid Shahab Ahmed argues that the challenges of nation-building and consolidation of national sovereignty have undermined efforts at regional economic and security collaboration. This book is an excellent contribution to studies of regionalism and the dynamics of South Asia.’
    Shahram Akbarzadeh, University of Melbourne, Australia

    ‘Ahmed has brilliantly woven multiple concepts related to human security together in order to provide an excellent appraisal of SAARC. Ahmed’s holistic approach, which reflects his strong multidisciplinary academic and professional backgrounds, sets a model for many to follow. His careful assessment of various factors influencing security in South Asia, move us beyond the narrow limited views of security, and provides to the readers and to SAARC a diagnostic appraisal of the regional organisation’s performance, and a roadmap for future action.’
    Amr Abdalla, University for Peace, Costa Rica

    ‘The common ailments of SAARC nations are: pervasive poverty, malnutrition, disasters, poor health, illiteracy and intra-and inter-state conflicts. However, these nations started with the least controversial ailments before attempting regional security to be called a useful organisation on its own terms. Zahid Ahmed brings this refreshingly new analysis on SAARC mission, its viability and its enthusiasm for a shared future and shared regional security.’
    Venkat Pulla, Charles Sturt University, Australia

    ‘Ahmed’s pioneering and path breaking work on SAARC is a fascinating study into the nature of regionalism in South Asia. He probes deep into the nature and dynamics of regionalism and appraises the formation and working of SAARC with profundity and alacrity. He throws into relief the reasons for the rather staggered development and working of the Association, teases out the reasons for this and then offers a template that corresponds very well to the reasons of SAARC’s trajectory and development. His work is theoretically robust and empirically vigorous.’ 
    Aijaz R. Mattoo, Islamic University of Science & Technology, India

    ‘Zahid Shahab Ahmed's book is a comprehensive guide for the reader along South Asia's bumpy road to increased regionalism, analysing past developments and the obstacles ahead with great attention to detail, providing a sober outlook on the prospects of a populous region of vital importance for global security.’
    Péter Marton, Corvinus University, Hungary

    ‘In this rigorous study of South Asian regionalism, Ahmed has highlighted the importance of reforming existing institutions such as SAARC, which have a largely unrealised potential for catalysing cooperation. Using his extensive field experience and training in peace-building the author provides an eclectic analysis of regionalism. This book is useful to scholars of international relations more broadly, as well as policy analysts working on South Asian peace-building.’
    Saleem H. Ali, University of Queensland, Australia

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Zahid Shahab Ahmed's Blog

New publication: Extremism in Pakistan and India: the case of the Jamaat-e-Islami and Shiv Sena

Posted on October 22, 2010 at 5:54am 1 Comment

I am delighted to share with you my co-authored study “Extremism in Pakistan and India: the case of the Jamaat-e-Islami and Shiv Sena”, which has just been published by the Regional

Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS) based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. I had a

pleasure of co-authoring this study with an Indian scholar, Rajeshwari

Balasubramanian, under a RCSS “Mahbub ul Haq Research Award-2005”. The

monograph is essentially…


Comment Wall (4 comments)

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At 9:32am on January 30, 2011, sowmya ayyar said…

hi zahid-- i am a current student at UPEACE and will be moving to Bangalore, India shortly to take up a job in a small consulting firm. I have been speaking with Amr and Narinder about doing more work for UPEACE- South Asia. Looks like you are an alum, perhaps we could get the conversation going. I know several others from the last 2 years working in South asia.

smiles :) sowmya

At 10:57am on June 5, 2010, DR. ROLANDO Z. GANAC said…
This is a noble advocacy.
At 10:56am on June 5, 2010, DR. ROLANDO Z. GANAC said…
Please include me on this advocacy.


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