November 8, 2013
In an impressive ceremony early Friday, the Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Defense University (NDU), a prestigious higher educational institute of Pakistan. The ceremony was conducted at the outset of a Joint Roundtable between CPGS and Institute for Strategic Studies Research and Analysis (ISSRA – NDU), titled ‘Innovating Means To Resolve Violent Extremism’, in which research teams from CPGS and ISSRA participated and discussed various non-kinetic tools and means to curb the menace of violent extremism from Pakistan.
CPGS is only the tenth institute in the world to sign a MoU with NDU, which highlights the prowess of the Centre and the quality of research being conducted. ‘The signing of this MoU is a positive development, and will enable mutual growth and excellence in the two institutions. NDU is looking forward to a more intimate and evolved relationship with CPGS’, stated President NDU, Lt Gen Javed Iqbal, HI (M). In her opening remarks to the assemblage, Senator Sehar Kamran (TI) stated ‘Working together for shared goals of peace and security through collusion of intellectual resources would help enrich the national narrative for promoting and securing the national interests of Pakistan’. ‘This is the fastest MoU ever signed by NDU, and let us hope that it is a good indication of the beginning of a strong relationship’, stated Director-General ISSRA, Maj. Gen. Zaiuddin Najam, HI(M).
The MoU Signing Ceremony was followed by short presentations on the ‘Non-Violent means for Resolving Violent Extremism’ by ISSRA and the CPGS proposed National Policy for Peace and Harmony by the Centre. The presentations were tailored to initiate an in-depth discussion on various aspects of the menace of radical extremism and deliberations on a way forward. Opening the roundtable session, DG ISSRA, Maj. Gen. Zaiuddin Najam, HI(M) also stated that ‘While there are many models for de-radicalization efforts to learn from available globally, none of them can be replicated exactly in our country. A roundtable of this nature is therefore of the highest importance in developing a strategy that caters to the ground realities of Pakistan’. ‘Pakistan urgently needs a cohesive, holistic and pro-active approach based on agreed principles to effectively exterminate the menace of violent extremism’, stated Senator Sehar Kamran (TI) in her final remarks to the roundtable participants.