State Department conference examining 1971 crisis
WASHINGTON: The State Department is holding a two-day conference later this month to examine the South Asian crisis in 1971 and US policy towards the region between 1961 and the year of Pakistan’s dismemberment.
On June28, the opening day, the conference will start with an address by Dr Marc J Susser, the Department’s Historian, to be followed by a keynote address to be delivered by Ambassador R Nicholas Burns, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. A discussion will take place thereafter on the release of the latest volume covering US foreign relations with South Asia from 1961 to 1972. Dr Louis J Smith of the Department’s Office of the Historian will be the featured speaker. A roundtable on the 1971 crisis will follow in which four retired US diplomats will take part. They are Sidney Sober, who was charge d’affaires in Islamabad during the 1971 crisis, Ambassador Anthony C.E. Quainton, Ambassador L. Bruce Laingen and Samuel M. Hoskinson, a retired official of the National Security Council.
A second roundtable on the 1971 crisis will hear presentations from Dr Robert J McMahon, Ohio State University, Dr Gary R Hess, Bowling Green State University and Dr Sumit Ganguly, Indiana University. The next session will look at the South Asian crisis during the Nixon administration, and hear from Dr Ali Riaz, Illinois State University, Dr Imtiaz Ahmed, University of Dhaka, Dr Sarmila Bose, George Washington University and FS Aijazuddin from Pakistan.
On its second day, the conference will examine US policy toward South Asia during the Kennedy administration under the chairmanship of Dr Robert M Hathaway, Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars. The speakers will be Dr BM Jain, University of Rajasthan, Dr David R Devereux, Canisius College, Paul Michael McGarr, Royal Holloway College, University of London and Dr Mansoor Akbar Kundi, University of Balochistan.
The final session will discuss ‘South Asia in Crisis during the Johnson administration’ and is to be chaired by Dr James G Hershberg, George Washington University. Ambassador Howard B Schaffer, Institute for the Study of Democracy, Georgetown University, will speak on the Kashmir crisis and the Johnson administration, to be followed by Dr Nicholas B Cullather, Indiana University, whose paper is entitled ‘Lyndon Johnson, Indira Gandhi, and the political dramatics of famine.’
The session will also hear from Dr Kristin L Ahlberg from the State Department’s Office of the Historian and Dr W Howard Wriggins, Columbia University. khalid hasan