On 27 February 2023, the Center for International Strategic Studies Sindh (CISSS) had an introductory seminar with Salim Habib University (SHU). Director Research CISSS Dr Mohid Iftikhar introduced CISSS to students and faculty of SHU. He informed that CISSS aims to connect with people around the province of Sindh with a focus on research in areas of strategic studies, foreign policy, climate change and nuclear energy etc. In his talk on the International Political Economy of Nuclear Energy, Dr Mohid Iftikhar explained to the audience “why are countries at this time investing in new Nuclear power (NPP) investments?” He noted that structural changes due to climatic threats and geopolitical conflicts intersect with domestic markets which have led to new NPP investments.
Therefore, minimizing dependence upon fossil fuels is vital. He informed the audience that it is important to understand global trends in nuclear energy to unravel why it is a reliable, cost-effective and secure choice for instance, France’s nuclear energy share in power generation is around 70%. Furthermore, Dr Mohid Iftikhar mentioned that Pakistan’s energy market has long faced structural problems such as low investments, reliance on imported energy commodities, and distribution issues due to old infrastructure. Importantly, Pakistan’s energy policies advocate clean, affordable and reliable energy.
Dr Mohid Iftikhar also suggested exploring Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in the energy sector to address fiscal restraint. Moreover, it was stressed that nuclear fuel supply does not depend on the market situation. He also stated that increasing the share of nuclear energy in the national energy mix will lead to increased savings in Pakistan’s import bill. Dr Mohid Iftikhar also argued that for Pakistan to implement its Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy 2030, nuclear energy is a promising choice. Research Officer Iraj Abid explained to the audience about safety regulations regarding nuclear energy and underscored Pakistan’s commendable record.
She further underscored that policymakers must view the technological advancements in nuclear energy. Dean Faculty of Management Sciences Professor Mohammad Nishat welcomed Team CISSS and appreciated their efforts for connecting. He acknowledged that energy was an important issue, and it must be explored to achieve economic growth. Prof Nishat concluded by saying in the future SHU would explore mutual research opportunities for collaboration.