–Premier lays foundation stone, says varsity will provide scholarship to 35pc students
–PM Imran says modern sciences will be taught alongside training in spirituality
–Bukhari says varsity will help realise PM’s dream of providing equal educational opportunities
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday laid the foundation stone of Al-Qadir University in Sohawa near Jhelum while expressing hope that the university would impart modern education to the youth in line with the ideology of Pakistan.
Addressing the groundbreaking ceremony, he said that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had emphasised attaining education in order to excel in life. He added that no society can progress without education.
The prime minister said that it is time to help the people of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), adding that Balochistan has been lagging behind in terms of progress. “If an ideology becomes dead then the nation also meets a similar fate,” he added.
The prime minister said that the Muslim world had produced eminent scientists and researchers in history because they followed the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in letter and spirit. “When I stepped into politics 23 years ago, my was to translate into reality the vision of our founding fathers,” he said.
He said that Pakistan will be transformed into an Islamic welfare state on the pattern of Medina. “We will uphold law and justice and take responsibility for the welfare of the poor, elderly and women,” he said, adding that justice and welfare are perquisites of stability and security in a country.
Outlining the vision of Al-Qadir University, he said that it would not only impart education in science and technology but will also train students in matters of spirituality. “The university will produce scholars who will emerge as leaders of tomorrow and will counter the western influence and negative propaganda against Islam,” he said.
“I had been thinking about creating this university for the past 23 years,” the premier said. “It has been named after Abdul Qadir Jilani, who had linked science and spirituality. We consider spirituality a super science; it needs research, which will be conducted here.
“Al-Qadir University will focus on science and technology and contemporary studies of religion with an emphasis on Sufism in order to revive Islamic research to educate our youth in meeting future challenges,” he said.
“We will research and learn how the Muslims rose from Madinah. We will also develop the latest technologies here, for which we will ask China for help,” he added.
He also said that the university would provide scholarships to 35 per cent students and they will be given free accommodation besides free education.
“35 per cent students will be given scholarships at Al-Qadir University. We will run it on Namal University’s model. This varsity is not being established through government funds but through private fundraising,” he said, adding that it will function like other universities of the private sector and will contribute in the national cause of broadening the educational base.
The launch ceremony was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan, Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, federal minister Fawad Chaudhry and other officials.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari visited Sohawa to review arrangements for the foundation laying ceremony of the university.
Speaking to the media Bukhari said, the Al-Qadir University would provide both Islamic and scientific education to the students and help them become morally, intellectually and spiritually accomplished persons.
He added the concept of setting up the Al-Qadir University was to realise the prime minister’s dream of providing equal opportunities of education to the youth.
“PM Imran has the vision to transform Pakistan into a welfare state on the pattern of state of Medina and establishing such institutions to impart Islamic teachings to the youth showed his commitment in that regard,” Bukhari said.
He added, besides contemporary studies of religions with an emphasis on Sufism in order to revive the Islamic research culture among the youth, the university would also have a focus on science and technology.
“No university existed between Gujrat and Rawalpindi and therefore, Sohawa has been selected to establish Al-Qadir University to cater to the educational needs of youth in the area” Bukhari added.