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  • Dr Rabia Akhtar, Director at the Centre for Security, Strategy and Policy Research, University of Lahore 
  • Dr Adil Sultan, Acting Dean and Head of Department of Aerospace Sciences and Security Studies (DASSS), Air University Islamabad 
  • Dr Manpreet Sethi, Distinguished Fellow and head of the Nuclear Security Project at the Centre for Air Power Studies New Delhi 
  • Rukmani Gupta, Consultant with Janes Aerospace and Defence and a Senior Analyst for Asia-Pacific on the Janes Military Capabilities Desk 

Chairs: Dr Zenobia Homan and Karl Dewey, Research Associates and Project Coordinators at the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS), King's College London.

Both Indian and Pakistani strategic communities use a common language when discussing nuclear deterrence. However, key differences in perception and weighting remain. This workshop examines the interpretation of prevailing lexicon and concepts. In doing this, it will consider how areas of miscommunication can be clarified. In addition, this workshop is an opportunity for members of the audience to ask their own questions about the language of deterrence. They can submit any remarks to the chairs beforehand, as well as live during the event.

In parallel to this event, staff at the Centre of Science and Security Studies (CSSS) have been conducting semi-structured interviews and will distribute a survey throughout April. The result of this project will be a policy paper, to be circulated during the summer of 2021.


Dr Rabia Akhtar has written extensively on South Asian nuclear security and deterrence dynamics. She is the author of a book titled ‘The Blind Eye: U.S. Non-proliferation Policy Towards Pakistan from Ford to Clinton’. Dr. Akhtar is also the Editor of Pakistan Politico, Pakistan’s first strategic and foreign affairs magazine. Dr. Akhtar is a member of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs and she is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the South Asia Center, Atlantic Council, Washington DC.

Dr Adil Sultan is served at Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Division (SPD) for over 14 years, where he was Director Arms Control and Disarmament and later Director Research and Analysis at the Policy Doctrine and Strategy Branch. Dr Sultan was a Visiting Research Fellow at the War Studies Department, King’s College London (2017-2019) where he published a book titled: “Universalizing Nuclear Nonproliferation Norms: A Regional Framework for the South Asian Nuclear Weapon States”. Dr Sultan is the co-founder of a web portal ‘Strategic Foresight for Asia’, which is a London-based platform publishing policy relevant analysis on security related issues. 

Dr Manpreet Sethi is a senior fellow of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, affiliated with the Centre for Air Power Studies in New Delhi. Her work focusses on nuclear energy proliferation, export controls, and disarmament, and she is the author of “Nuclear Strategy: India’s March towards Credible Deterrence” and editor of “Nuclear Power: In the Wake of Fukushima”. She is a recipient of the K. Subrahmanyam award for excellence in strategic and security studies, and she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament 

Ms Rukmani Gupta is a New Delhi based defence and security analyst with over 15 years of experience in academia, think-tanks and industry. Her work is focused on geopolitics, defence strategy and military capabilities in Asia. She was previously the Associate Editor for the India Quarterly journal published by Sage on behalf of the Indian Council of World Affairs. Her professional experience includes research at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi as an Associate Fellow working on security issues related to China.

At this event

Zenobia Homan 540px format

Research Fellow and Project Coordinator