The Center for Security, Strategy and Policy Research (CSSPR), University of Lahore, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Regional Institute of Central Asia (RICA), Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
The MoU was signed by Chairman BoG, University of Lahore, Mr. Awais Raoof, Director, CSSPR, Dr. Rabia Akhtar, and Director, RICA, Dr. Bedelbai Mamadeiv.
Under the terms of the MoU, both centers will join hands to conduct research on a host of important issues facing not only Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan, but those confronting the two regions.
The main focus of research will be on geopolitics of Central and South Asia, geo-economics and regional connectivity, Pak-Kyrgyz bilateral relations, and Central and South Asian security dynamics.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman BoG, University of Lahore, Mr. Awais Raoof, said: “Joint-ventures like this are important and will ultimately open windows of cooperation in other fields, for we would provide an intellectual, research-based policy inputs to our respective decision makers that will help steer Pak-Kyrgyz ties forward.”
Director, CSSPR, Dr. Rabia Akhtar, remarked: “The value of Central Asia has increased precipitously owing to the ascendancy of the phenomena of economic connectivity, regional integration, and energy security. Thus, opportunities abound for research; Central Asia is a researcher’s delight.
“Our working together can just provide an ideal fillip to efforts aimed at enriching our understanding of each other’s regional dynamics. Remember, connectivity sans understanding is a non-starter; thus, we look forward to playing a role in that regard.”
The MoU mandates the organisation of conferences in Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan, joint-publication, and research fellowship. This is the first of its kind collaboration between a Pakistani and a Kyrgyz think tank.
The ceremony took place on the sidelines of a two-day conference entitled “Reimagining the Silk Road: Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan in the Age of Connectivity”. Director, CSSPR, Dr. Rabia Akhtar, was one of the panelists in the conference, and spoke on how increasing research output through think tank partnerships can help strengthen Pakistan’s relations with Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian States.
A version of this story was published in Business Recorder.