Universities must play their role in nation building: Ex-Chief Secretary

Peshawar: Former Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and renowned scholar delivered an invited lecture title “the relevance of universities to the future of Pakistan” in the video conference hall, University of Peshawar.

He was invited by literati Prof.Dr. Yaseen Iqbal, as chairman  department of Physics.

 Senior faculty of the university and students of the department in large numbers attended the talk. In the welcome address, Prof. Yaseen Iqbal thanked the audience and specifically the veteran bureaucrat, Mr. Abdullah for his precious time sparing despite his old age and health issues. Referring to a couplet from Allama Iqbal poetry, he said, it is our duty to provide the cradle of knowledge to our new generation to transform these rain drops into real pearls, and the guest speaker has the capability and experience to educate and inspire our youth towards a bright future.

Beginning the story from the very first day of Pakistan, Mr. Abdullah mentioned that on August 15, 1947, the country didn’t even have the required artillery powder to present the 21 Guns salute on the first Independence Day and an engineer arranged some powders in bowls and a match box to do the job with. While today, we are the seventh nuclear power of the modern world. “But remember, we did not do it at our wish for belligerence and war-mongering, we were challenged time and again for our territorial integrity and we were left with no option but to equip ourselves”, he figured it.

 He emphasized that the basic and applied scientists have done their job to equip the country with the best possible apparatus to defend the country but the social scientists have not played their due role to give a viable governing system which could lead us to a prosperous and peaceful society. Mr. Abdullah said that this is nothing but a propaganda of the enemies that the state has failed, the failure of the state means the failure of the 220 million people, since, they have never failed. “Yes, you can say the government has failed and this is not unusual, governments fail everywhere, and wise nations keep an eye upon such developments and correct the direction when the train tends to derail”, he pointed out.

.”Yes, we have problems and there are two ways to address these; one is revolution via the use of force, and this can help but history tells that such developments have never been sustainable”. The other way is class-room revolution, to educate the youth, and the appropriate place for this is university. Remember, education is not divisible, yes, it can be elementary, it can be primary but the universities must integrate these”., he exclaimed.

He proposed Education Commission of Pakistan instead of the Higher Education Commission. “Knowledge is the key and educates the people into the right path”, he said. “Never give away with the faith as knowledge without a strong faith (or in other words ideology) can assure food but our aim is not food”, he quoted. “Our goal is a sovereign state which is impossible without ideology and only universities can lead the nation”, he thought. He said that European society are  the product of their universities. He explained that knowledge is the search for truth and referred to a book for students to read, and learn about the forms of the truth. After an extended Question-Answer session, Professor Yaseen Iqbal thanked the speaker and audience for their patience and interest in the uplift of education.