ISLAMABAD, APR 13 (DNA) – A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) on Tuesday to strengthen collaboration between the two organization in maritime domain.

The signing ceremony was held simultaneously at PMSA Headquarters in Karachi and IPS in Islamabad via video link. Director Training PMSA Commander Farooq accompanied by other fellow officials represented PMSA whereas former ambassador and Vice Chairman IPS Syed Abrar Hussain along with Shafaq Sarfaraz, manager outreach, Hafiz Inam, deputy manager outreach and publications, and Kulsoom Belal, research officer at IPS, attended the ceremony on IPS’ behalf.

Both organizations agreed to foster cooperation in maritime domain to counter prevailing maritime blindness in the country and to bring into academic discourse the mechanisms and challenges with regards to law enforcement at seas. The scope of cooperation, as per MoU, entails facilitation in conducting research, co-organizing of seminars, and capacity building activities in the maritime interests of Pakistan.

Commander Farooq said on the occasion that PMSA is the only maritime law enforcement agency at sea having extended roles and tasks for effectively policing and ensuring national and international laws in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Pakistan. He hoped the MoU will pave way for more collaborative efforts to bolster joint maritime research initiatives and also invited IPS team to visit PMSA headquarter in Karachi.

Director Training PMSA also wished to collaborate and share academic research resources with IPS and offered support to facilitate IPS researchers carrying out research in the maritime sector as part of PMSA endeavors to promote maritime learning.

Highlighting the role of the PMSA, Vice Chairman IPS Syed Abrar Hussain acknowledged the efforts of the PMSA in taking down miscreants at sea to protect national interests. He was of the view that linkages between academia and practitioners would allow researchers to conduct effective research.

The IPS’ Vice Chairman thanked PMSA leadership for extending cooperation to promote policy-oriented research in maritime. He viewed that joining hands with PMSA in times when maritime affairs are considered an integral part of international relations augurs well for both organizations.=DNA