To work as an institution, that provides authentic, credible, reliable, up to date, and efficient information and objective analysis related to defense and security, for policy development leading to peace and stability
Awareness of the vital role played by think tanks in understanding the host of challenges faced by nation states of the 21st century, as well as proposing possible solutions to those challenges, continues to grow among policy makers and observers all over the world, including Pakistan. Though, a significant number of think-tanks do exist in the country, the need for more such institutions, in light of the multi-faceted challenges faced by the state and society, cannot be over-emphasized.
Pakistan’s key geographical location in this part of the world has given it a special role, among many other responsibilities, of acting as a bridge between Southeast Asia and post-soviet Central Asian states. Both of these regions, Southeast Asia and Central Asia, currently face numerous political challenges which not only profoundly affect state to state relations of these regions, but also deeply affect the multi-ethnic populace of these regions.
Moreover, due to the keen interest of global powers in these regions, Southeast Asia and Central Asia has attracted particular interest of the rest of the world too. The booming population of Southeast Asian states and the natural resources of Central Asia make these regions a special focus of interest for global powers.
In light of these circumstances, there was an increasing need for a think-tank, which would study the effects of political squabbles, and issues related to defense and security, and generate workable propositions for those who have a keen interest in the developments in these regions, such as researchers and institutions responsible for formulating policies.
The establishment of ‘Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies’ (PICSS) is a very important step in the direction to fulfill the imperative need for just such a policy and strategy research organization. PICSS intends to organize its activities by focusing its attention on regional anti-state political struggles, political tensions between states of both the regions, disputes arising out of ethnic or religious differences, security and defense related issues, anti-state armed insurgencies, as well as monitoring activities of non-state actors in both these regions.
PICSS will also serve as a reliable databank where information and statistics related to disputes, conflicts, and issues related to security and defense shall be made available to those who have an interest in such data. We are certain that data collated by PICSS would be extremely useful for other think-tanks, educational institutions, researchers, and policy formulation institutions.
As a first step in this direction, PICSS has amalgamated an independent, reputable research organization, the ‘Conflict Monitoring Center’ (CMC) into itself. Prior to its amalgamation into PICSS, CMC had been collecting statistical data regarding Pakistan-specific anti-state violence, as well as collecting statistics pertaining to drone attacks on Pakistani soil, and data of victims of such drone strikes. CMC is now working as the statistical division of PICSS. CMC has prepared an excellent database of post-9/11 anti-state violence in Pakistan which includes specific responses by state security forces as well.
PICSS is organized around the following departments:
Statistics and Database Division
Security Reports Division
Event Management Division
Advocacy Programs Division
Online Information Dissemination Division
Printed Material Production Division
Both, rarely updated, invariable material, as well as vibrant and dynamic information, shall be made available at the PICSS Statistics and Database Division. Following is a brief overview of the types of data made available this division:
Country Profiles: A comprehensive country profile of each state within the South Asian and Central Asian regions which would include data regarding the geography, population, administrative structure, economic and monetary indices, ethnic and religious makeup, as well as other relevant information concerning the states of these regions.
Leadership Profiles: This section would include the religious, ethnic, and ideological mindset of each state leader of the South Asian and Central Asian states.
Conflict Profiles: This database would include comprehensive information regarding the past, present, as well as possible future conflicts and areas of strife among the two regions.
Militant Leadership Profiles: This information would present data regarding the overt and covert aims and objectives sought by the leadership of militant organizations and groups operating within the South Asian and Central Asian theaters including information related to their command structures and their information acquisition and dissemination systems.
Archives Section: This section would maintain a database consisting of bonafide copies of various state to state and state to non-state actor agreements, declarations, announcements, resolutions, and related documentation, so that researchers are able to access this information from a single, reliable, unified comprehensive source.
Counter-radicalization Program: Extremism, radicalism, and religious and non-religious fanaticism and associated militancy are an extremely critical factor in the mutual relations between many states of South Asia and Central Asia. Always striving to keep ground realities in focus, PICSS would like to offer a ‘counter narrative’ concerning such challenges.