BY: |Hamid Mir|
It was not a long time. Few weeks back I got the opportunity to participate in conference organized by Belgium University under the supervision of Asia Europe Peoples Forum. In the opening session of this conference, one intellectual Sombath Somphones wife hailing from Laos speech made me sad.
Sombath is missing from last six years. His wife Shoi Ming has been continuously raising voice against the abduction. However, the video is available which shows the arrest of Sombath Somphone as the government negated these claims. During the lunch session, I along with Shoi Ming and other delegates went to the pull which was above a beautiful Canal.
Jawaharlal Nehru Universitys professor Dr Shehla Rasheed began to capture pictures. During the course of time, Shoi Ming asked me about Amna Masood Janjua, whose husband Masood Janjua was missing for last 12 years in Pakistan. Amna Masood is raising her voice against the disappearance of husband and 1,000 others.
Shehla Rasheed was keenly listening in to the conversation because she belongs to SriNagar and her area too sees thousands of disappearances. A dignitary from SriLanka asked if she and I can go to a local university of Pakistan and arrange a talk and raise voices for the missing people of Pakistan. My head started shaking in disapproval, the dignitary from Srilanka saw this and said, that is why universities of American and Europe are ahead of us, due to freedom of speech and expression.
Our local host trying to change the topic of conversation pointed towards the canal running through the Gaint University asked, have we ever seen a more beautiful university? All of a sudden the topic changed and I started talking about the canal running through Punjab Universities New Campus.
I was telling the Ladies and Gentlemen surrounding me that I have seen a lot of universities and a canal runs through Harvard and Cambridge as well, but the beauty of Punjab University was unparalleled. Shoi asked if the canal was more beautiful than the University campus? I instantly answered “both are spectacular”, that is when my eye caught Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed at a distance…
He was slowly making his way towards me after exiting the conference hall, so sensing danger I had to say that the period when I was completing my MA from PU in Communications, at that time there were a lot of limitations in the campus but the varsity was still a sight to behold regardless.
Mushahid sir was rusticated from the university during the Zia regime. A dignitary from France had been to Pakistan a few times. After listening to my pledge in support of PU’s beauty he expressed willingness to accompany me to the university on his next visit to the country. I agreed instantly, but then I kept thinking that if this Frenchman does come to visit who will take him to at the university.
This problem has been resolved now. Past week Punjab University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Doctor Niaz Ahmed Akhtar invited me to the universities Alumni meet-up. A body formation amalgamating both the student from yesteryear and the present filled me with a pleasant feeling of surprise.
I spent two years in Lahore Government College but the management of the college remembers their passed out students after 2 and 3 years. I passed my Masters from Punjab University. There is one institution with the name of education and investigation in Punjab University where the teachers are trained and when General Ayub Khan with the help of US aid created a middle school.
This school is standing still where the trained teachers teach. I spent my eight years in this school and then my two years Masters in the department of Communication. A complete ten years of my life has been spent here but I was invited for the first time as an alumni of this institution. To make the Alumunui successful everyone from Vice Chancellor to the teachers put their effort to make the event successful. Now our institution is being renamed as Institute of Communication and has been transferred to a new building near lake. This institution is closer to graveyard where the former heads of Communication are laid to rest including Professor Waris Mir and Dr. Miskeen Ali Hijazi.
After a very long time I met DR Mariyam Elahi, the first female teacher of Punjab University in the session of Punjab University Alumni. Hafeez Khan has been made head of Punjab University Alumni, who was the president of students Union in 1971. In 1971 Military operation of East Pakistan Mr Hafeez and his secretary general decided to bring close east and West Pakistan, because Newspapers used to publish only positive news due to censorship.
The then vice chancellor of Punjab University told my father Waris Mir to take way the student delegation to Dhaka. When the delegation of students reached Dhaka and the things they witnessed, it would be better if MR Hafeez tell the whole story but, at least Punjab University has honor that at the time when Pakistan was splitting into two parts the students of Punjab university didnt left the Dhaka university alone and they reached Dhaka by crossing all obstacles and returned back with broken hearts.
In 1971 Hafeez Khan tried to create pull between East and West Pakistan but after becoming the president of Punjab University Alumni now he has to create pull between Naya Pakistan and Purana Pakistan, because he is among the founding members of PTI.
Many prominent personalities including, Fareed Paracha, Ghulam Abbas, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Ajmal Niazi, Mujeeb-ur Rehman Shami, Altaf Hussain Quershi, Nasira Jawed Iqbal, Mujahid Mansoori, Mehdi Hassan, Hafeezullah Niazi, Amjad Islam Amjad, Salman Ghani, Raja Mansoor and our elder but it would be better if they had invited former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani.
Its my request to Hafeez Khan to connect Punjab university with Karachi University, Balochistan University and other universities of Pakistan. For the promotion of Democratic culture he should restore Students organization but it should be kept away from political and ethnic organizations. These organizations are sign of prohibit instead of freedom and Universities become beautiful with Freedom not with limitations.