On his first visit to the Islamia College Peshawar, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif earlier yesterday announced Rs1 billion for the educational institution celebrating 100 years of existence.
The centenary celebrations began on the lush green lawns of the college (1913-2013) yesterday.
The college, which was upgraded in 2008 to a university, was abuzz with activity on the first day of the celebrations, which didn’t happen with zeal in 2013 as the college’s first and sitting vice chancellor, Ajmal Khan, was in the captivity of the local Taliban militants at that time.
The entire city appeared to be under siege due to the strict security checked put in place for the prime minister’s visit. The prime minister inaugurated the college’s centenary celebrations.
He told participants, including Islamians as the Islamia College students are known, and their teachers, said the event reminded him of his student life.
Nawaz Sharif said as a student, he had participated in the centenary celebrations of the Government College Lahore in 1964.
He said he didn’t want to miss the event.
After listening to Vice Chancellor Ajmal Khan, who complained about the shortage of funds for the construction of new academic block, hostels and residential facility for teachers, the prime minister said the federal government would resolve the historical educational institution’s funding problems.
He announced a grant of Rs1 billion for the college and additional Rs50 million for the welfare of students and teachers.
The prime minister said the federal government would do all it could to strengthen the historic educational institution.
He directed HEC PM announces Rs1bn for Islamia College chairman Professor Mukhtar Ahmad to help the college complete projects by using the grant.
Nawaz Sharif said the Islamia College was a special place as in April 1948, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had also addressed students and teachers here as the governor general of Pakistan.
He said terrorism in Peshawar was the biggest problem few years ago but the situation was much better now due to the efforts of security forces and the government as well as the sacrifices made by the people.
Former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor and Islamia College Alumni president Ali Mohammad Jan Orakzai, who was also in attendance, highlighted how the prestigious college has been providing quality education to students from the entire province and adjoining tribal areas for the last 100 years.
He said it was heartening to see that not only boys but girls too were enrolled in the college.
“As students, we won’t even imagine the girls studying here,” he said, adding that it was his initiative as a governor to start classes for girls in the college Peshawar a couple of years ago.
Professor Abdul Kabir, another old student of Islamia College, said strict discipline and highly-qualified teachers had made Islamic College one of the best educational institution of his times.
The centenary celebrations will continue until Sunday with students and teachers participating in debates, festivals and many activities.