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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

SDPI, NACTA sign MoU for joint research on terrorism, extremism-related issues

News Analysis |

On Friday, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) at the NACTA Head office. The SDPI will and NACTA will conduct joint research on issues related to terrorism and extremism for informed policy decision-making, to create public awareness and to build a counter-narrative in the country.

The National Coordinator of NACTA Ihsan Ghani and the Executive Director of SDPI Dr. Abid Qaiym Suleri signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations, with the Joint Executive Director of SDPI Dr. Vaqar Ahmed, the Advisor on Education & Religious Diversity of SDPI Mr. Ahmed Salim along with other officials, from both sides, present at the time.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ihsan Ghani said that NACTA is mandated to conduct primary research on issues related to terrorism and extremism and to build a counter narrative in this regard.

He further went on to acknowledge the limited research capacity of NACTA and said that the memorandum will be utilized to build the research capacity of NACTA through capacity development training workshops provided by SDPI. Therefore, he made it clear that in the wake of the growing emerging challenges like extremism and terrorism in the society, NACTA will seek evidence-based advice and technical support from SDPI. He added that this new collaboration will prove to be of great help for NACTA.

Read more: Pakistan continues to defeat terrorism

Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri said that NACTA has a curial role to play to ensure a peaceful environment which is a pre-requisite to a sustainable and just society. He stated that even 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 further clarified that the MoU aims to strengthen the informed decision-making regarding terrorism and extremism and under the agreement, the SDPI shall provide technical assistance to NACTA and develop the latter’s capacity to conduct research through trainings and workshops.

“The SDPI will 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.

With this in mind, unemployment is the biggest problem of the present time with the public eager to vote for the party whose aim is to manage this issue by creating job opportunities, said a survey report on Friday.

The survey was done by the Institute for Public Opinion Research (IPOR) established in 2013. IPOR is famous for its surveys all over the world.

Further to this, IPOR revealed, in one of its reports, that electricity was the biggest problem of the Pakistani public in 2013 as, at that time, 40 percent of the survey participants declared electricity as a big problem of Pakistan, while 22 percent of the people pointed out that unemployment was the second biggest problem of the country.

Read more: Pakistanis must learn the limits of the military led counter-terrorism

In regard to this, the latest survey has revealed that during 2013-17, unemployment increased and survey participants declared corruption as the second biggest problem of Pakistan instead of load shedding or terrorism. This has given the Sustainable Development Policy Institute a lot to work towards, working on tackling issues that have caused unemployment, the ability of the elite to exploit the poor and promote corruption, inefficient electricity and lastly, the role of terrorism in the country’s security and it’s international standing.