ISLAMABAD ( PRESS RELEASE )
The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan organised a ceremony to celebrate the 200th birthday of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in order to pay him a glowing tribute here at the Commission Secretariat on Tuesday.
Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman, Minister for Federal Education was chief guest on the occasion, while Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Ali Khan, Vice Chancellor Sindh Madrasatul Islam, Syed Ahmed Masood and Syed Muhammad Asadullah, great grandsons of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, academicians and a large number of students were also present.
Addressing the audience, Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman said Sir Syed Ahmed Khan not only created awareness among the Muslims of Sub-continent about the significance of modern, scientific education, but he also advocated their case in front of the British Empire in a strong manner. He said Sir Syed Ahmed Khan laid the foundation of academic pursuits, adding that Pakistan now has 188 universities with a remarkably increased funding for higher education sector. Quoting Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, he said poverty results in increased crime rate. “We have a solution to poverty and crimes in development of knowledge economy,” he underlined.
The Minister revealed that the Government has developed a value-intensive national curriculum which focuses character building of Pakistan youth. He maintained that acquiring the knowledge of Quran is imperative side-by-side with pursuance of modern education. The new curriculum has been developed while keeping in view this basic necessity, he added.
In his welcome address, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said the Pakistani nation is indebted to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, who was a visionary and laid the foundation of educational institutions like Government Muhammad Anglo Oriental College in the Sub-continent. He maintained that Sir Syed was a visionary leader who pulled the downtrodden Muslims out of the darkness of ignorance. “Sir Syed Ahmed Khan awakened the Muslims and rectified their direction in difficult times by guiding them towards acquiring education,” he stated. He stressed the need for following Sir Syed Ahmed Khan teachings in order to make Pakistan a prosperous country. He emphasised that the nation is duty bound to remember its heroes who contributed to the well-being of Muslims.
In his remarks, Syed Ahmed Masood shed light on different dimensions of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s life. He also highlighted the role of Sir Syed’s mother in his upbringing. He said Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was a great reformer, educator, jurist and politician of the 19th century, but he may rightly be called the chief architect and inspired the thought process and philosophy that ultimately led to the creation of Pakistan. He was the unique force that pushed the discouraged Muslims of the post-1857 India to empower themselves by acquiring education.
Syed Asadullah Masood said Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, in his teachings, has stressed significantly upon the training of youth in the light of Islam. “Sir Syed Ahmed Khan did preach acquiring modern education, but he never allowed any compromise on commandments of Quran and sunnah,” he underscored. He emphasised that Pakistan has to pay attention to training of its youth if it has to make progress.
Sheikh Muhammad Ali appreciated HEC for organising an august ceremony to commemorate Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. He said the Muslims of Sub-continent were a deprived nation, as the Hindus outnumbered them and the British rulers were technologically advanced, however Sir Syed Ahmed Khan redirected the Muslims towards education.
The purpose of organising the bicentennial birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was to celebrate his legacy and commemorate his services to the Muslims of Sub-continent.
The ceremony also contained a live performance and a tableau on ‘Pakistan’ by students of the Aligarh Anthem Sir Syed Education Institution, Rawalpindi as well as a mime performance by students of National College of Arts, Rawalpindi. On the sidelines, HEC organised a Poster Competition among students of NCA Rawalpindi.