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January 14, 2020

Karachi varsity’s IR department to compile research papers of late Prof Shameem Akhtar


January 14, 2020

The conference room of the international relations (IR) department of the University of Karachi (KU) will be named after the late Prof Shameem Akhtar. The department has also decided to compile all the research papers of Prof Akhtar and publish them in the form of a book so that the future generations can benefit from his scholarly accomplishments.

KU IR Department Chairman Dr Naeem Ahmed said this on Monday as he addressed a condolence reference for Prof Akhtar, who died on January 8.

He informed the event that Prof Akhtar had served at the KU IR department as a permanent faculty member for over 27 years and later for around three decades as a visiting faculty member. He was one of the most respected teachers of the varsity who imparted knowledge to several generations, Dr Ahmed said.

The speaker added that it was in the early 1960s when Prof Akhtar acquired a master’s degree in international law from Texas in the United States and soon joined the KU IR department. He retired in 1991 and continued to teach at the varsity as part of its visiting faculty.

Prof Dr Moonis Ahmar, a former chairman of the KU IR department, said his association with Prof Akhtar stretched over a period of 36 years, starting in February 1984. “My relationship with him deepened with the passage of time. I was like his research assistant who used to help him in his academic work by maintaining his press clipping files,” said Dr Ahmar. He added that when Prof Akhtar became the chairman of the IR department in May 1986, he offered him to teach two courses from September 1986.

Dr Ahmar said, “He was a competent academic who introduced modern research techniques at the IR department. His services for the department will be long remembered.”

Dr Shakeel ur Rehman Farooqui from the KU genetics department said Prof Akhtar had taught thousands of students, many of whom were currently serving as teachers in various educational institutes of the country as well as abroad.

He said the late teacher wanted to transfer all the knowledge that he had learnt during his studies in the US to his students. Dr Farooqui remembered Prof Akhtar as a kind and honest person who spent his entire life in teaching.

Recalling his memories of Prof Akhtar, Prof Dr Taha of the KU history department said once in heavy rainfall, only three students, he being one of them, had been able to reach the varsity to attend the class. He said the three students thought that Prof Akhtar would not be able to deliver his lecture because of the rain but to their surprise, he reached the class and delivered his lecture in spite of low attendance. Prof Taha called Prof Akhtar a committed person and devoted teacher.

During her speech, Prof Dr Shaista Tabbasum shared that Prof Akhtar was a competent professor and an expert on foreign affairs especially on the issues of the Middle East and Iran. Today, we miss him and perhaps next generations would also miss him, she said, adding that it was now the responsibility of those present at the event to save his research works for the future generations.

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