Ministers and academicians pay tributes to Sir Ziauddin Ahmed

Senior Sindh Education and Literacy Minister Pir Mazharul Haq speaks at a session organised at the Ziauddin University on Saturday to observe Dr Ziauddin Ahmed’s 64th death anniversary. staff photo

Glowing tributes were paid to Dr Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Ziauddin Ahmed – an Indian academician, mathematician, logician, natural philosopher, politician, political theorist, versatile educationist, visionary and eminent scholar who was the rector of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in India – for his contribution to the cause of education and socioeconomic empowerment of Muslims in the Indo-Pak subcontinent.
Speakers at a session organised by the Sir Ziauddin Ahmed Memorial Society at the Abul Hasan Jafarey Auditorium, Ziauddin University, on Saturday to observe Ahmed’s 64th death anniversary also highlighted the confidence of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that Ahmed enjoyed.
“It was this confidence that led to his active involvement in formulation of policies envisaged for a separate Muslim state to be carved out of India once the British left it,” said Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) Chancellor/Aligarh Old Boys Association President ZA Nizami. “His papers reveal that he had suggested massive industrialisation in the North Western Frontier Province and establishment of the State Bank of Pakistan in the country’s eastern wing,” said Ahmed’s daughter Dr Aijaz Fatima.
Fatima said her father, who had also been the member of the Indian Legislative Assembly, was a strong proponent of socioeconomic empowerment of the Indian Muslims.
Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Dr Asim Hussain said being a logician, Ahmed could perhaps better realise the relevance of close and congenial relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Senior Sindh Education and Literacy Minister Pir Mazharul Haq said Ahmed, who continued to serve as the vice chancellor of the AMU until his death in December 1947, strongly supported the establishment of the Sindh University in April 1947.
Haq said, “My grandfather Pir Ilahi Bakhsh (Alig) was quite disillusioned to realise that the Congress Party, claiming to be a secular party, was little interested in the establishment of a university in Sindh, a province with Muslim majority.”
He said under the guidance of his teacher, Bakhsh not only got the charter adopted by the Sindh Constituent Assembly for the university in the province, but also managed to convince Prof AB Haleem, another of his teachers from the AMU, to become its first vice chancellor.
“This very vision was also shared by the Pakistan People’s Party government under the leadership of Benazir Bhutto, who supported the establishment of private universities in Sindh,” he added. The minister said, “The SSUET was the first of these universities that was granted the charter by the Sindh Assembly.”
Former Ziauddin University vice chancellor Shahid Aziz Siddiqui said, “Though Ahmed never migrated to Pakistan, but his death in the UK had occurred during his efforts to raise funds for the establishment of a technical institute at Chittagong in former East Pakistan.”
Speakers highlighted Ahmed’s achievements as the first Indian Muslim to secure a master’s degree in mathematics from the Trinity College, Cambridge, and also to win the Sir Isaac Newton Scholarship. Tributes were also paid to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Nawab Mohsinul Mulk and Nawab Waqarul Mulk for their contributions to promoting the Aligarh School of Thought among the Muslims.

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