Published Date: Jun 2, 2018
Agreement signed to conduct research on terrorism, extremism
The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) here at NACTA head office to conduct joint research on issues related to terrorism and extremism for informed policy decision-making, to create public awareness and build a counter narrative in the country.
Ihsan Ghani, national coordinator of NACTA, and Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, executive director of SDPI, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations.
Dr Vaqar Ahmed, joint executive director of SDPI, Ahmed Salim, senior advisor on Education and Religious Diversity of SDPI, and other officials from both sides also attended.
Speaking on the occasion, Ihsan Ghani said that NACTA is mandated to conduct primary research on issues related to terrorism and extremism and build a counter narrative in this regard. While acknowledging the limited research capacity of NACTA, he said that the memorandum will be utilized to build the research capacity of NACTA through capacity development training workshops facilitated by the SDPI. In the wake of growing emerging challenges like extremism and terrorism in the society, NACTA will seek evidence-based advice and technical support from the SDPI, he said, adding that this new collaboration will prove to be a great help for NACTA.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said though Pakistan has successfully fought terrorism and extremism, consolidation on counter-terrorism achievements remained a major challenge for the country mainly due to lack of informed policy decisions. He said NACTA has a crucial role to ensure a peaceful environment which is a pre-requisite to a sustainable and just society.
He said that the MoU aims at strengthening the informed decision-making regarding terrorism and extremism. Under the agreement, SDPI shall provide technical assistance to NACTA and develop the latter’s capacity to conduct research through trainings and workshops, he said. “SDPI would also work towards building consensus across the political spectrum, especially forging political consensus around issues related to sustainable development, including terrorism and extremism,” he concluded.