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September 22, 2016

Governor inaugurates new academic block at Wali Khan University


September 22, 2016

Praises university achievements, attends book-launching event

PESHAWAR: Praising the progress achieved by the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan (AWKUM) in its seven years existence, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra on Wednesday inaugurated the newly built academic block, chaired the university’s Senate meeting and attended a book launching ceremony.

Pointing out that it was his first visit to the university, the Governor remarked it was unfortunate that he hadn’t seen this seat of high learning until now despite the fact that it was competing with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s oldest University of Peshawar. “As an engineer, I understand the effort that must have been put to rapidly complete so many buildings in only three and a half years at this campus. It is all due to the leadership of the vice-chancellor Professor Dr Ihsan Ali,” he said.

He recalled seeing development projects being executed at a quick pace in Punjab due to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s drive and said his wish for similar results has been fulfilled by the pace of development at the AWKUM. “My focus is on education. The first event that I attended as the Governor a day after taking oath of office was at the Khyber Medical University. Also, I revived the Fata University project and inaugurated it in a college near Mattani area,” he added.

Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said he had decided that henceforth the meetings of the senate of the public sector universities would be held at their premises. “Today I have come to Mardan to attend the university senate meeting at the AWKUM. I will also go to other universities for senate meetings and such visits would enable me to learn about their achievements and problems,” he said.

He felt there was no lack of talent in Pakistan in general and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata in particular and this needed to be encouraged and utilized for the good of the country. He praised Qari Javed Iqbal for penning his book “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ki lisaniyat kay asli maakhiz” to highlight the origin of the languages of the province and wished him success in future.

The book-launching ceremony was held at the new academic block that the Governor inaugurated earlier. Author Qari Javed Iqbal, who is working at the Lok Virsa Islamabad and has written 27 books, in his speech said he had researched the 70 languages spoken in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 16 of them were spoken in Chitral district alone. He thanked the AWKUm vice-chancellor for getting this book published and said four manuscripts of his books were ready and awaiting publication due to lack of funds.

Shiraz Paracha, head of the journalism department at AWKUM, conducted the proceedings and highlighted the achievements made by the university in a record time under Dr Ihsan Ali’s leadership.

Dr Ihsan Ali said the new academic block can presently accommodate 2,500 students while the number would rise to 5,000 once the building is completed. He informed that AWKUM has a strength of 12,345 students, including 38 percent females, and a faculty of 501, among whom are 196 PhDs and 138 M Phils. “In seven years, our university set up six campuses in different parts of the provinces and some of them would soon become full-fledged universities. We have 35 departments, a women’s college and the Pakhtunkhwa College of Arts. We are the second best university in the province and the 12th in the country,” he added.

The vice-chancellor explained that the first phase costing Rs4.32 billion of the master plan totalling Rs12 billion of AWKUM had been almost completed but funds haven’t been provided yet for the second phase. “We may not even need the third phase as we have already built all the roads, most buildings and other facilities. He urged the Governor to help secure federal government funding for AWKUM apart from the funds that have already been provided by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). He hoped the provincial government would make available funds to complete the remaining projects at AWKUM.

Earlier, the Governor chaired the 8th meeting of the university senate in which the budget was approved and several agenda items were discussed and decided. The elected and nominated members of the senate and representative of the HEC attended the meeting.



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