Monmouth College political science professor Farhat Haq is currently in Pune, India, serving as the faculty coordinator for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest’s India studies program.
In addition to her ACM duties, Haq has given three public presentations at two educational institutions in Pune. Her first presentation was at an international seminar on “Contending Issues in World Affairs,” at the University of Pune’s department of defense and strategic studies. The presentation focused on America’s Pacific Century.
“Though the Obama administration is fully occupied in trying to stabilize Afghanistan and respond to the ‘Arab Spring,’ his foreign policy advisors are highlighting the need to pivot to Asia Pacific region because it is one of the most important strategic areas for the U.S.” explained Haq. “This pivot to the Asia Pacific region is viewed by China as the United States’ desire to project its military power in their backyard.”
Haq discussed the reasons for the United States’ desire to deploy a more active “forward diplomacy” in the Asian Pacific region and the response from China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Australia to U.S presence in their region.
Haq also visited the United World Colleges, which awards international baccalaureate degrees and is well known for its academic rigor and focus on recruiting students from around the world. At UWC’s Mahindra campus, she gave a lecture titled “Veiled Feminists” for the first meeting of the institution’s international affairs lecture series. Haq also talked to the students about the benefits of a world-class education at Monmouth College.
The next week, Haq was invited to speak to graduate students at University of Pune on “India-Pakistan Relations.” In the two-hour exchange, reasons for the ongoing animosity between these two nuclear powers, as well as the ways to reduce tension between the two, were debated and discussed.