Press Release – ISSI and ISAS conclude first MoU between think-tanks of Pakistan and Singapore

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Press Release
ISSI and ISAS conclude first MoU between think-tanks of Pakistan and Singapore
April 29, 2024

The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), represented by its Director General, Ambassador Sohail Mahmood and the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, represented by Director, Dr. Iqbal Singh Sevea, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a virtual ceremony today. This represented the beginning of a new chapter, being the first MoU signed between the think-tanks of Pakistan and Singapore.

In addition to Ambassador Sohail Mahmood and Dr. Iqbal Sevea, the MoU signing ceremony was joined by Ms Rukhsana Afzaal, High Commissioner of Pakistan to Singapore; Mr Muhammad Junaid, Director East Asia & Pacific Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan; Dr Talat Shabbir, Director China Pakistan Study Centre, ISSI; team India Study Centre, ISSI; and colleagues at ISAS.

In his remarks on the occasion, DG ISSI Ambassador Sohail Mahmood hailed the MoU as a crucial step towards instituting a formal relationship between the two Institutes. He expressed gratitude for the valuable support lent by High Commissioner Rukhsana Afzaal throughout this process. The DG ISSI highlighted the comprehensive scope of the MoU, envisaging mutually-agreed agendas of research, exchanges and dialogue on regional, global and strategic issues of common interest. He also underscored the significance that Pakistan attaches to its relations with Singapore, bilaterally and in the context of ASEAN. He termed the signing of the MoU as an important step towards strengthening soft connectivity and people-to-people links between the two sides.

High Commissioner Rukhsana Afzaal expressed gratification over the conclusion of the MoU. She mentioned ISAS as Singapore’s prominent think-tank and important in terms of connecting Pakistan with Singaporean researchers and academia. Underlining the High Commission’s efforts to foster linkages between research communities of the two countries, she noted seven joint webinars organized earlier in collaboration with ISAS. She said that the goal of these efforts was to generate opportunities for forging better understanding of each other’s perspectives.

Dr Iqbal Singh Sevea stated that the MoU between ISAS and ISSI signified an important step towards mutual collaboration. He highlighted the inter-disciplinary nature of research at ISAS in order to better understand the complexities surrounding South Asian security dynamics. In this regard, he underlined Pakistan as an important country, particularly in terms of its role in the Indian Ocean region and Central Asia.

In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Sohail Mahmood congratulated ISAS on their 20th anniversary. The two sides agreed to consult closely to decide on the next steps in this new partnership.