The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) held the inauguration of its Centre for Middle East & Africa (CMEA) today. Mr. Sohail Mahmood, Foreign Secretary of Pakistan was the Chief Guest on the occasion. H.E. Prof. Julius Kibet Bitok, High Commissioner of the Republic of Kenya & Dean of African Countries’ Ambassadors in Pakistan also made remarks on the occasion.
Ms. Amina Khan, Director CMEA, in her introductory remarks expressed gratitude to Ambassador Chaudhry for giving her the opportunity to head the newly established CMEA. She said that this is not only a privilege to head the Centre, but it gives her equal pride to be heading a Centre run by an all women team – which includes Fatima Raza, Arhama Siddiqa and Areeba Arif Khan. She said that in these rapidly changing times when novel challenges are emerging, it is imperative to study different regions and countries in order to better understand their respective challenges and responsibilities that call for shared and collective action – such as the global issues of climate change, large-scale migrations, political instability and conflicts and the most recent one of them all; the coronavirus pandemic. In the case of Pakistan, it is important that research becomes focused on regions that are significant for Pakistan’s foreign policy, and also on those that are ignored despite repeated slogans of their high potential, such as the ME&A region which is of immense importance for Pakistan.