ISLAMABAD, Jun 15, 2021: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad and University of Management & Technology (UMT), Lahore to foster joint efforts in the areas of research, dialogue and publications on policy related affairs; especially IPS’ hallmark Understanding Africa program.

The signing ceremony, which was held via video link, was attended by Ambassador (r) Tajammul Altaf, senior IPS associate, Naufil Shahrukh, GM Operations, IPS, Dr Mohammad Shoaib Pervaiz, HoD department of political science and IR, UMT Lahore, Dr Abeeda Qureshi, assistant professor, department of political science and IR, UMT Lahore, Shafaq Sarfraz, manager outreach IPS, and Kulsoom Belal, research officer at IPS.

Speaking on the occasion, Shahrukh said that having strong linkages with strategic institutions and policy circles, IPS can serve as a conduit facilitating researchers from UMT to carry out research in a bid to promote policy-oriented research through Pakistani lens on topics which have meaningful contribution in the policy arena.

Commenting on the collaboration, Dr Pervaiz stated that joining hands to bolster genuine research will be in the best interests of both institutions, as the activity will have great value for six HEC recognized programs offered by the University in the domains of political science, international relations, security and strategic studies, and especially PhD IR program, which is not offered by any other private sector university across the country.

Altaf rued that Africa has remained in oblivion in the policy circles of Pakistan despite the fact that the country enjoys substantial goodwill in the African continent owing to its role in peacekeeping missions there and the diplomatic support Pakistan provided to African countries to liberate them from colonial shackles. He stressed on the importance of addressing this deficiency through academic research by identifying new avenues to focus in bilateral relations with each African country and suggesting new ways to capitalize on already existing amity between the two regions in the process.=DNA