Abstract

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 brought about the liberation of five Central Asian Republics (CARs), which have attracted widespread attention because of their geo-strategic location and rich natural resources. Historically, Central Asia has always been the focus of Great Powers due to its geographical extent, strategic location, ethnic diversity and resultant conflict potential. Russian and British Empires played their ‘Great Game’ on this vast chessboard throughout the nineteenth century, in which the Soviet Russia had an ultimate upper hand. The demise of the USSR, the emergence of CARs and discovery of huge quantity of energy resources in the region has resulted in a new ‘Great Game’ between competing regional and extra regional players. The US intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq is indicative of her future designs and interests in the region, and will have far reaching implications for the regional countries and is likely to evoke sharp reactions and response from them. Strategic location and influence of Central Asia on neighboring region, especially on the Indian Sub-continent, has always made it the focus of extra regional powers.