By Sher Wali Khan Aseer
It was March 1983. I was in Karachi – then a peaceful and friendly city of our beloved country. I and my spouse had the lucky chance to participate in the charter presentation ceremony of the Aga Khan University, Karachi. It was an awe-inspiring function honored by His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and the late President, Gen: Mohammad Ziaul Haq. In his address, HH Prince Karim elaborated the aims and objectives of the university. The gist of his address was that the university shall provide quality education in medical field to the meritorious medical students of the country as well as to foreigners the entire world over without discrimination of faith, race and other man-made differences.
Late Ziaul Haq termed the establishment of the university as a minaret of light for the whole regions of South East and West Asia and the Middle East. The whole proceeding of the memorable function was highly inspiring and a desire or wish of parents watching live highly valued educational function is quite natural. And when a person from an area, the most far-flung, partly detached from the rest of the country, financially poor, under privileged like Yarkhoon valley of Chitral, develops a sudden wish to see one of his children in such an international University, headed by the most warm hearted and generous educationist of the world as its Chancellor, then such a wish is considered to be just a ‘dream’. But, everyone has the right to dream irrespective of the fact whether it’s going to come true or not.
That innocent dream remained dormant in some corner of my heart till my daughter Zubaida Sirang passed her intermediate exam with distinction and resolved to study medicine. She was fortunate enough to get into medical college of the AKU. While attending parents, teachers and students briefing session of the University in 2006, I found myself to be the luckiest father whose innocent dream had come true.
But, a fear also remained in my mind whether my little daughter whose basic education had been in institutions of average educational standard of Pakistan would make it till the end. Getting admission in AKU is a hard thing to do but passing its prescribed syllabus within the scheduled time span is the hardest one. There are examples of dropouts and truancy just because of the tough course of studies and strict academic discipline of the AKU. But, Zubaida proved her competency and passed the required course in first division. When Allah Paak blessed me and my spouse to attend the AKU Convocation 2011 and watched our daughter, little Dr. Sirang, honouring with the Degree of MBBS, I could not keep back my tears of thankfulness to my Allah, the Almighty, for fulfilling my wish and making the dream of 1983 come true. This blessing of God has further strengthened my faith that when a dream is pursued with sincere cause, dedication and strong belief in the blessings of God, it comes true according to the desire of the ‘dreamer’. Recently Almighty Alllah gave us another chance to participate in the AKU Graduation Ceremony of December 2012 in which Dr.Sirang received her Certificate of Postgraduate Medical Education from this prestigious medical institution.
I still find no words to thank my Beneficent and Merciful Allah except tears which flow and shall continue to flow till the last breath. My second wish is that my children may serve the under-privileged segment of the human societies and I pray for their long life and devoted services to the mankind irrespective of faith, race or color. Aameen.