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Professor at Columbia University South Asia Institute

September 28th, 2010

Area of Expertise: Religion, Terrorism, War and Conflict
Geographical Expertise - Region: Asia
Languages: English, Panjabi, Urdu


Hassan Abbas Hassan AbbasDr. Hassan Abbas is a former Pakistani government official who served in the administrations of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (1995-6) and President Pervez Musharraf (1999-2000). He is currently Quaid-i-Azam Chair and Professor at Columbia University’s South Asia Institute.

Dr. Abbas is also a Senior Advisor at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the Asia Society, New York. He was previously a Research Fellow at the Belfer Center from 2005 to August 2009. He is also a non-resident Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), Michigan, and an Associate of the Pakistan Security Research Unit (PSRU), University of Bradford, in the United Kingdom. He received his Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University and an LL.M. in International Law from Nottingham University, UK, where he was a Britannia Chevening Scholar (1999). Hassan also remained a visiting fellow at the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School (2002–2003) and as a visiting scholar at the Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation (2003–2004).

His research interests are nuclear proliferation, religious extremism in South and Central Asia, and relations between Muslims and the West.

Hassan’s latest book, Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism: Allah, the Army and America’s War on Terror (M.E. Sharpe) has been on bestseller lists in India and Pakistan and was widely reviewed internationally, including by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Far Eastern Economic Review, The Hindu, and Dawn. He has also appeared as an analyst on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, Al-Jazeera, and PBS, and as a political commentator on VOA and BBC. His forthcoming book is Letters to Young Muslims on Science, Sovereignty and Sufis. Another book manuscript he is working on deals with Pakistan’s nuclear program and its genesis. He runs WATANDOST, which is a blog on Pakistan and its neighbors’ related affairs.

At the Asia Society, his work focuses on US-Central and -South Asia relations, especially in the context of political dynamics in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His research and writings also look at India-Pakistan relations and the potential US role in facilitating peaceful and friendly relations between the two South Asian rivals.

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