Dr. Zainab Akhter is a Research Analyst in the South Asia Centre at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi, India. She holds a PhD in International Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her research interests include soft power in international relations, cultural diplomacy, India-Pakistan relations, CBMs, people-to-people diplomacy, and Jammu and Kashmir (with a special focus on Ladakh). Previously, she worked as a Research Officer with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) as a Research Associate, and at India Institute as a researcher. She has interned with India's leading English daily Hindustan Times, and has been awarded the Ladakh Women Writers Award for the year 2008 by Charkha, a Delhi-based NGO.