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The Impact of the Pashtun Factor on International Relations in South Asia and the Middle East in 2001-2017

Student: Petr Makedontsev

Supervisor: Sergey I. Lunev

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: International Relations (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2018

The aim of the work is to forecast the development of the situation in South Asia and the Middle East as a center for the clash of geopolitical interests of the United States, China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. The following tasks were solved: 1. Study of Afghanistan and Pakistan as areas of resettlement of Pashtuns. 2. Analysis of the links between conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan and international relations in South Asia and the Middle East. 3. The development of the Pashtun conflict. The appearance of the Pashtun problem as a result of the creation of the Durand line in 1893 and the consequences for the Pashtun nation and the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan are considered. It is shown that Durand's line is controlled by Pashtun tribes on both sides, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Waziristan are de facto independent entities. Analysis of the civil war in Afghanistan, where the Pashtuns are opposed to other ethnic groups of the country, identified threats from Pakistan, patronizing the Taliban and ISIS, and the interventionist forces of the USA and NATO. The Afghan drug trafficking is considered as a global problem. The situation in the region and in Afghanistan as a center for the clash of geo-economic, geostrategic and other interests of the surrounding powers, as well as India, China, Russia and the United States was studied. The processes of creating transport, energy and other highways through the Pashtun territories of Afghanistan and Pakistan have been studied. The importance of these highways for China's access to the Indian Ocean, as well as the Dilaram-Zaranj-Chahbehar route, is shown to exclude the possible blockade of Afghanistan by Pakistan and establish a direct line of cargo transportation between India and Iran-Afghanistan. The role of the USA in the region is analyzed. The ways of solving the problem are outlined.

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