By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Rich tributes were paid to the late Dr A T Khan, the first Vice-Chancellor of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, at a memorial meeting organized by the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), at the SSUET campus.
He was particularly remembered for his contribution in the preparation of draft of Charter for the establishment of the SSUET and his role towards promotion of engineering education.
The speakers on the occasion talked with awe about the educational acumen of late A T Khan who dedicated 39 years of career in promoting the cause of education and recalled his services for SSUET as its first Vice-Chancellor following his retirement from the NED University of Engineering and Technology, at the same position.
The former Vice Chancellor of the University of Karachi, Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, a renowned educationist and scholar, was the chief guest in the ceremony which was presided over by the SSUET Chancellor, Jawaid Anwar.
The speakers included the SSUET Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawed H. Rizvi, Brig Dr Nasim A. Khan, Dr Prof Abdul Samad Khan, Engr Najib Haroon, Engr Asif Qasim Maisoorwala besides Mohammed Mohsin Khan, son of late A T Khan and Treasurer AMUOBA. The family members of late A T Khan were also present on the occasion.
In his presidential address, the SSUET Chancellor Jawaid Anwar paid glowing tributes to late A T Khan and said that he was a true educationist who understood the importance of knowledge.
He said that it’s for the first time that this function in memory of late Dr A T Khan has been organized because he’s fully convinced that only those nations progress which remember their legends and Dr A.T. Khan was also a legendary figure.
He recalled that it was with this vision that AMUOBA organized a similar memorial meeting earlier for the late Engr Z A Nizami, the first Chancellor of SSUE, and named one recently constructed new academic block after his name.
Similalry, the AMUOBA organized had memorial meeting for another legendary personality Zakir Ali Khan whose association with AMUOBA spanned over 50 years besides organizing a seminar on Shaheed-e-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan, adding that one building will also be named after Shaheed-e-Millat.
Chancellor Jawaid Anwar while highlighting the importance of knowledge quoted a Quranic Verse which first word is ‘Iqra’ and said this gives a reflection of the importance Islam gives to acquisition of knowledge.
He underlined the importance of teachers, stating that teaching is one such major responsibility which contributes to the building of nations and Dr A T Khan was one of those teachers who immensely contributed towards this cause.
Describing him as the most impressive personality for his students, he disclosed that the SSUET planned to establish a soil testing laboratory to be named after Dr A T Khan
Speaking as the chief guest, Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Riza Siddiqui, also paid tributes to late Dr AT Khan and regarded him a role a great model for teachers and students.
He said to be feeling honored having had very close relations with late Dr A T Khan and advised the students to follow his footsteps for the achievement of their career objective.
Dr Pirzada advised the professionals to join teaching by choice and not by chance for its being a noble profession. Dr A T Khan had a quality that with the minimum resources he made great result out of it, he added.
In his speech the SSUET Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawed H Rizvi, said that from now on Dr A T Khan will be remembered on regular basis for his contribution in teaching and in civil engineering in particular.
Engr Mohammad Mohsin Khan, son of late Dr A T Khan thanked the SSUET Chancellor and the AMUOBA President, Jawaid Anwar, the SSUET Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawed H Rizvi , and the AMUOBA for organizing the purposeful memorial meeting to pay homage and recall the immense educational contribution of his illustrious father.
He observed that it was for the first time in 20 years when Dr A T Khan is being paid tributes in such a befitting manner after having served for 39 years at the NED University, rising from Lecturer to Vice Chancellor.
He said it’s a source of great inspiration that as many as members of Dr A T Khan's family were civil engineers.
Engr Najeeb Haroon rated Dr A T Khan a great teacher and recalled his important role in civil engineering in Pakistan.
Engr Asif Qasim Maisoorwala recalled that Dr A T Khan also taught ethics and how education led us to spend life.
Prof Dr Abdul Samad reckoned that Dr A T Khan was the pioneer of soil mechanics in Pakistan, having introduced it in 1960s.
Brig Dr Naseem A. Khan, representing Usmani Associates suggested that such events should be held on regular basis for our past and present legends.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks by the AMUOBA General Secretary, Mohammed Arshad Khan, and the presentation of souvenirs to Pirzada Qasim and other dignitaries.