The Express Tribune
Published Date: Jun 6, 2018
Ideology of terror: Deal signed to build counter narrative
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) on Friday 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.
NACTA National Coordinator Ihsan Ghani, and SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organisations.
SDPI Joint Executive Director Dr Vaqar Ahmed, SDPI Senior Adviser on Education and Religious Diversity Ahmed Salim and other officials from both sides were also present.
US sees ‘positive indicators’ from Pakistan on fight against terrorism
Speaking on the occasion, Ghani said that NACTA is mandated to conduct primary research on issue 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 utilised to build the research capacity of NACTA through capacity development training workshops provided by SDPI. In the wake of challenges like extremism and terrorism in the society, NACTA will seek evidence-based advice and technical support from SDPI, he said, adding that this new collaboration will prove to be a great help for NACTA.
Dr 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 sustainable and just society.
Terrorism – a critical examination
He said that this MoU aims to strengthen the informed decision-making regarding terrorism and extremism and under the agreement, SDPI shall provide technical assistance to NACTA and develop the latter’s capacity to conduct research through trainings and workshops. “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.