On January, 22, 2021, the Center for Security, Strategy and Policy Research(CSSPR) signed a Memorandum of Understand(MoU) with the Knowledge Caravan, a non-governmental, non-profit research institution based in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The MoU-signing was part of CSSPR’s outreach and collaborative initiatives with Central Asian think tanks, with a view to conducting research on a host of issues that are critical for Pakistan, South Asia, and Central Asia. Earlier, CSSPR signed a MoU with a Kyrgyz think tank, RICA.
The MoU was signed by Director, CSSPR, Dr. Rabia Akhtar and Founder, Knowledge Caravan, Dr. Farkhod Tolipov. Both centers agreed to work together on a variety of topics that are not only important for Pak-Uzbek relations, but also significant at a time when the region is undergoing changes in terms of drivers of conflicts , sources of connectivity, and external influences. Both committed to working on areas like security, economic connectivity, counterterrorism, and diplomacy. As per the terms of the MoU, both centers will jointly-publish research products, organize conferences, and launch exchange programs going forward. Highlighting the importance of this engagement, Dr. Akhtar and Dr. Tolipov stressed that regional integration sans the establishment of conduits of learning and research will not deliver the goods. She argued that, cooperation between the think tanks will complement the two governments’ efforts to improve Pak-Uzbek relations, as it will provide policymakers from both sides with research-laden, actionable policy recommendations.
Established in February 2017, the Knowledge Caravan works on and deals with a wide range of issues, to include research in the fields of law, international relations, and Central Asian politics, amongst others. It is led by Dr. Farkhod Tolipov. With a doctorate in Political Science, Dr. Tolipov has been associated with the world of academia and the government of Uzbekistan since the past two decades. Other than formerly being a Chief Consultant for the Presidential Apparatus of Uzbekistan, Dr. Tolipov has taught at various prestigious universities, to include the University of Georgia. Also, Dr. Tolipov has remained a Visit Fellow at institutions like the NATO Defense College and the Harvard University. His areas of interest range from geopolitics to international security.