The Centre for Strategic and Contemporary Research (CSCR) is an Islamabad-based policy research institute that has been actively pursuing research and analysis on a broad spectrum of security and governance-related issues since 2014. One of its research portfolio themes is ‘defence and security’, including nuclear security with particular reference to South Asia. Pakistan Nuclear Society officials visited the offices of CSCR on 16th Sept. 2021 to learn more about the academic activities and operational model of the Centre. The delegation comprised: Dr. Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, President PNS; Dr. M. Tahir Khaleeq, Vice President; Mr. Waqar Ahmad Butt, Executive Member and; Ms. Shazia Fayyaz, Executive Member. The discussions were held with the CSCR’s team, which included: Mr. Anas Abdullah, Executive Director; Mr. Talha Ibrahim, Director Academics; and Ms. Syeda Ailiya Naqvi, Managing Editor.
After the mutual introduction of the two teams, Mr. Talha Ibrahim made a presentation about the achievements of the research centre, especially its earlier role in working with the disenfranchised youth for capacity building and enhancing national cohesion. The Centre is currently researching on artificial intelligence and cyber security, environmental sustainability and climate change, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, and South Asian regional security dynamics. With a young and dynamic team, the Centre has been producing well-researched articles for consumption of international and home audiences impinging on Pakistan’s national interests in defence, environment, economy, and social justice. The President PNS elaborated the role of PNS as a representative body of professionals
associated with nuclear science and technology and allied disciplines, which was established 30 years ago. Emphasising the importance of a huge intellectual reservoir in the form of over 1000 lifetime members of PNS, he advised the Centre to seek technical inputs where deemed necessary in matters falling within the expertise of PNS members. Dr. Qureshi explained that the regular PNS programmes are focused on projecting Pakistan’s achievements in peaceful uses of nuclear technology in the sectors of power production, health, agriculture and high-end technology. Concurrently, the Society endeavours to educate the public about the safe utilisation of ionisation radiation and dispelling any misconceptions about them. The PNS also has the capacity to inform public policy on nuclear safety and security. Its highly acclaimed webinar on ‘Science Diplomacy’ organised in association with the Virtual University of Pakistan has been instrumental in highlighting the concept of scientific cooperation as a means of building inter-state relations. Other group members took a keen interest in CSCR work in the national security domain, its various research programs, publication of a peer-reviewed research paper series ‘Stratagem’, organising of informative events, consultancy services for public and private entities and advocacy of national causes.
After a detailed exchange of views, it was agreed to maintain close contacts between two forums in connection with areas of common interest, seek each other’s support where needed, and complement the strengths of both sides through mutual cooperation.