One student’s journey from small-town Balochistan to Harvard University

Published: September 8, 2011

Karrar Hussain Jaffar (left) at his commencement at Harvard University. PHOTO KARRAR HUSSAIN

KARACHI: 

Located on the outskirts of Quetta, is the barren valley of Mariabad where the Hazara lead slow-paced lives. These tribal people, living in narrow brick huts speckled along the rugged hillside, typically sell loose cloth, sweaters or tea for their livelihood.

Like most poor people, their aspirations rarely go beyond sustaining themselves in this underdeveloped nook of Balochistan. Many of them live and die in Mariabad — unaware of the complex concerns and tremendous pace of life in urban centres like Karachi and Lahore.

But one student — the son of a trader who sold Quaid-e-Azam style caps in Mariabad for a living — dared to tread a radically different path. Karrar Hussain Jaffar transcended the confines of an obscure town in Balochistan, where people rarely educate themselves beyond matriculation, to study at the prestigious Harvard University. His story — a narrative about the wondrous possibilities of equal educational opportunities — is truly inspirational.

“My childhood friends, with whom I spent my youth playing cricket, drive suzukis and rickshaws in Quetta for a living, while I am a PhD student in the US,” says Karrar in a humble tone. “I often wonder why God chose me, out of all the people in my community, to get ahead in life?”

Karrar attributes his educational achievement to his father’s passion for his children’s higher education. He vividly remembers the chilly morning when his father showed him the ad for Lahore University of Management Sciences’ national outreach programme (NOP), which aimed to sponsor education and living expenses for capable students who could not have afford to pay.

“I was doing my FSc at Cadet college and didn’t even know a single thing about LUMS at that point in time,” he fondly recollects. “I didn’t take the ad seriously because LUMS did not offer engineering, the field I was interested in.”

When he returned back to college from his winter break, he attended a presentation by a LUMS’ faculty member, who introduced students to the national outreach programme.

“At the end of the presentation we all took a pre-screening exam,” he explains. “A few weeks later, I got a letter from LUMS inviting me to attend sponsored classes for SAT preparation.”

During the four weeks he spent rigorously studying for the SATs, he fell in love with LUMS. To him the institution seemed otherworldly; its grand building, spacious classrooms and impressive teachers fascinated him.

“I never knew things could be so orderly and perfect; it was like I was in a foreign country,” he remarks.  “I felt very motivated to study hard and join the institution.”

But his herculean struggle with English often left him frustrated.

“I had always dismissed English as a colonial remnant in our country so I really struggled while preparing for the test.”

Yet with utmost dedication, Karrar managed to clear the screening exam at the end of the four-week training and was selected to take the SAT exams, sponsored by the university. After obtaining an impressive score in his SATs, Karrar got admitted in LUMS and was offered a full scholarship and a monthly stipend.

“I came to LUMS in very high spirits,” reminisces the bright student.

But Karrar, who had attended the NOP training program at LUMS during the quiet summer break, had never seen the institution in full semestral bloom. When he saw throngs of students, clad in western wear and fluent in English, emerging from every nook and cranny, his excitement gave way to culture shock.

“I was used to wearing shalwar kamiz, but at LUMS most people were wearing jeans. I would greet people by saying salaam, while the other students would ask ‘what’s up?’” he recollects in an amused tone.

Often feeling like a misfit during his first year at university, Karrar mostly spent his days with other NOP students. “But after a year I managed to befriend other students from Lyceum and Karachi Grammar school.”

He sheepishly adds, “After a year I figured out that ‘what’s up?’ is equivalent to saying salaam.”

Karrar graduated on the Dean’s honour list, with a cumulative grade point average of 3.7 and 3.68 in his majors, Maths and Economics, respectively.

“I got job offers in the banking industry after graduating but I turned them down because I wanted to tread an academic path,” he explains in a categorical tone.

A year after graduating, Karrar got a Fulbright scholarship to study in the US.

“I simply told the interview panel that I want to come back to Balochistan after completing my studies. That’s where my home is; that’s where I belong,” he explains passionately.

But perhaps the most memorable moment in his life — an incident he recalls quite animatedly — was when he found out that he made it to Harvard University.

“I had no internet at home in Mariabad so I walked 15 minutes or so to a nearby internet cafe to check my email for Harvard’s decision,” he explains. “When I saw the acceptance email, I just thought it was too good to be true.”

Yet after he raced back home to reveal the news to his parents, his moment of rapture soon transformed into a session of lengthy clarification.

“My mother asked me what Harvard was and my father asked me to wait for potential offers by other universities” he says with a laugh. “It took a while to convince them that I got into the world’s top university.”

But ironically for a student, who was left disconcerted by the ‘westernised’ student body at LUMS, adjusting to life at an American institution was smooth sailing.

“After LUMS, I was very used to being around different types of people so studying and living in the US was not such a problem.”

Karrar completed his Master’s last year and is currently pursuing a PhD in Economics from the University of Southern California.

What does he want to do with all the knowledge he is amassing?

“I want to increase educational awareness in Balochistan—particularly amongst people from my community,” he says.

The young academic’s goal might seem like the reiteration of the clichéd promise of “development” that many educated Pakistan promise their country. However, Karrar is actually a first-hand witness of how education can revolutionize communities and places.

“Because of all that I achieved, my parents allowed my sister to get college education in Lahore and my brother got the motivation to get a scholarship to study in Australia,” he says with a hint of pride.

Karrar confesses that most of his family and friends cannot even comprehend what his life is like in the US. But he is fairly confident that after he returns, he can change that.

“I can make them realise the value of education,” he says.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (476)

  • Khawaja Faraz
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:49AM

    Proud of you Karar…..

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  • Bhutto
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:52AM

    Great dear… I appreciate your aim that you want to serve your Community May God Succeed you in getting your Aim…

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  • Saad
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:57AM

    Proud to be part of NOP team – an amazing effort by the then government!

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  • Faizan Ali
    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:03PM

    I am speechless after reading this article.well wriiten and a peak example of motivating others and this is true service of journalism .I wish i could also be too admit in te world’s top university .GOD bless .

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  • Karachit
    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:13PM

    MashahAllah

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  • Maher
    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:18PM

    Great work dude….

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  • sashayub
    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:18PM
  • Danish Tahir
    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:23PM

    May Allah bless you Mr. Karar and I pray that you achieve your dream and walk upon the path you have chosen.

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  • sunny
    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:29PM

    Well done Karrar. without education no nation can attain its goals. Problems of Pakistan particularly Baluchistan are also attributed to illiteracy. Together we should strive to eradicate illiteracy from Pakistan.

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  • Shahid
    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:30PM

    Great effort and really a lucky person…………… keep it on dear.

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  • Sajid Tungekar
    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:35PM

    Feel so proud of the achievement of Karar and want to help out if any way other students who are from poor families in Pakistan. I have lived outside Pakistan for the last 24 years and want to see my country blossom into a successful country. Our literacy level is one of the lowest in our country but still we can get a lot of student who are like Karar and help them to achieve what they always dreamt.

    I suggest that people like me who are outside the country should start a facebook page with the sole intent of helping our countrymen like Karar, if any one is interested please contact me and we than get help our countrymen become successful in their life and achieve their dreams.

    Regards,

    Sajid

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  • ARF
    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:38PM

    Awesome. Good luck to you in all your endeavours. May success follow you wherever you go.

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  • ASK
    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:44PM

    MashahAllah. Excellent work. We are proud of you brother. I hope the media shows that even a student from a small town in Balochistan can make it to Harvard University if he has the desire, ambition, will-power and courage to beat all odds. May Allah bless him and his family and give all other students from any background the inspiration to work hard towards a better future. We need people like him to take us towards a better Pakistan.

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  • Marziya
    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:47PM

    Truely Inspiring ! We take pride in you and wish you even greater achievements ~

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  • lightning
    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:52PM

    So proud of this man! It gives hope abt the future of pakistan. Dear neighbours, we might b corrupt, n r a failure, but our karar’s will keep on coming up and give that glimmer of hope we need.

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  • Sad Panda
    Sep 8, 2011 - 12:55PM

    Bravo!!! Impressive and uplifting. Hope news channels pick up this story and run it million times so that it reaches every Pakistani.

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  • Wajeeh
    Sep 8, 2011 - 1:00PM

    Saw this video a couple of days back.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib3uUJKDm8Q

    proud of you Mr Karar

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  • abc
    Sep 8, 2011 - 1:03PM

    I remember you at LUMS. You were my TA. I was shocked to discover you were an NOP. He was far more brilliant than the faculty member!

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  • H.A. Khan
    Sep 8, 2011 - 1:06PM

    Congratulations. ………Proud son of Baluchistan.

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  • Sarah
    Sep 8, 2011 - 1:06PM

    I almost teared up!! Well done.

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  • Sep 8, 2011 - 1:11PM

    this is simply fantastic! only and only free access to education is the answer to our present day problems facing the nation!
    The Hazara community consists of very hard working people and they should feel proud of Karrar and his achievements.
    His achievements should be a shining example for other youths to follow.

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  • Zara
    Sep 8, 2011 - 1:27PM

    An inspiring story, which is well written. I hope this student receives as many accolades from our media as others like Ali Moeen Nawazish do. Best of luck to Mr. Karrar.

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  • Yasir Thanvi
    Sep 8, 2011 - 1:32PM

    Truly inspirational indeed….!!!
    Way to go brother….

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  • SRK
    Sep 8, 2011 - 1:33PM

    So so proud of u Karar. My Husband is also one such example. He comes from a small n backward village near D.G.K Where all ppl knw was to work in factories. One person supporting 10 family members, very few ever got chance of any education due to the feudals there, the Khars n Jatois. My husband used to go to a village school to where he had tovwalk miles, a school under a tree n where the uneducated master beat the crap out of kids as young as 4 yrs.most kids dropped out due to this. His father a security guard at atomic energy requestd his sons to be admittef in their school. So brilliant were all his kids tht my hubby went on to earn gold medal in both matric n inter. Was admitted in King Edward , though he never had any govt support but his detrmination to be the best doctor got him double 99 scores in UsMLE, he took loans from ppl just to buy his ticket for U.S and now 4 yrs down the line he is MashAllah graduating from one of the most sought after residency programmes in U.S . And inshAllah by the end of this yr we both plan to open a small free clinic n dispensry in his home village which if God wills we’ll expand into a full functional hospital where no patient will be rejected be him/her of amy cast or creed.

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  • Rasul Bakhsh Rais
    Sep 8, 2011 - 1:36PM

    I am delighted to read the success story of Karrar Hussain. His success makes me feel very proud about LUMS the institution where I have taught for last nine years and continue to serve. There are many misgivings about LUMS outside its walls. LUMS stands as a testament to the vision of its founders–a centre of excellence in Pakistan, and with the National Outreach Program, provides an opportunity for students from underprivileged background to study at this great institutions. We have many stories like this of students who have come from such backgrounds but given the opportunity they have excelled and have gone to some of the best institutions around the world. There are two morals of this story. One, we can establish center of excellence in education that can be comparable to world class institutions. And in this case, it has happened as a result of private initiative of philanthropists like Syed Babar Ali and his friends and associate within Pakistan and outside. This great Pakistani is a true visionary who thinks, lives and works for the country in silent ways in many areas of national life. LUMS is his idea. He has set a great example in founding LUMS and bringing with so much love and effort to the stage where it is now. Second, we have so much talent in Pakistan among our youth that Karrar Hussain represents. Unfortunately our public education is failing and with it it is failing our youth. If LUMS can provide the quality education within the means it has why cannot public universities that have been taken over by ethnic and sectarian thugs, ruining the cause of genuine learning and governance of public universities. We have millions of Karrrar Hussain but they need good institutions, good learning environment and opportunities to shine. At a more personal level, I feel I have done the right thing to stay, work, teach, live and write in Pakistan.

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  • amjid
    Sep 8, 2011 - 1:39PM

    dude, currently i am doing my PhD from University of Cambridge and passed through same situation. My parents even donot know what Cambridge University is

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  • KolachiMom
    Sep 8, 2011 - 1:59PM

    What an incredible young man!! Such a heartwarming story.

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  • Proud Pakistani
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:03PM

    A role model for young generation , we are proud of you.

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  • KolachiMom
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:08PM

    @Sajid Tungekar:

    Very interested. How do I contact you?

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  • Lloyd George
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:08PM

    I had the experience of supervising a development project in Mariabad in Quetta. One aspect that I still recollect about the community in Mariabad was their keenness towards education. So it has not come as a surprise that a bright young person like Karrar is doing wonders in the domain of education in very competitive environments. I have no doubt to say that there will be many more Karrars waiting to be spotted by institutions such as LUMS, GIK, IBA and AKU.

    What is most disappointing is the kind of fear and stress in which the people in Mariabad reside. A number of terror attacks have have costed several precious lives at the hands of sectarian zealots. Balochistan government will do well for itself and the country by protecting lives and property of progressive and peaceful citizens of Mariabad. What is needed is more than lip service!

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  • Shoaib Saleem
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:08PM

    Karrar is the elder brother of Ejaz Hussain Jaffer. Ejaz is doing his Masters in Finance from the Australian National University. And he is my best friend!

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  • Bilal Afzal
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:16PM

    Bravo!!!!

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  • Hina
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:18PM

    Amazing!

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  • Zubair
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:19PM

    Proud of you boy.. Your motivation shows that nothing is impossible.. May ALLAH give you the strength to serve Pakistan.. :)

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  • Rizwan Takkhar
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:23PM

    This is so inspiring. I think Karrar is my newest hero. Someone should make a movie on his life, seriously.

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  • rahmatullah
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:27PM

    excellent, really motivational

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  • Noshi Asif
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:43PM

    Wonderful to see this! I hope others will learn a lot from this hard-working and optimistic young chap. And im not just talking about those in his village, but so many of the supposedly “educated” people in the cities who think they know everything but actually know very little and are so proud of themselves. ……This boy is an inspiration and I hope he keeps going up and up! May you have all the best luck in the world Karrar!

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  • W
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:46PM

    This story is absolutely inspirational.

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  • Sep 8, 2011 - 2:47PM

    Congratulations. You have made us proud.

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  • Misbah
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:48PM

    wonderful to know that :) May Allah give you success for all your plans.

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  • Akhter
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:51PM

    i appericate karrar effort and lit the hope of education in rural areas and very motivational for reader ,realy have proud on you carry on these effort until you dnt get your destination .May Allah fulfill your wishes ………..best of luCk

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  • Sep 8, 2011 - 2:54PM

    This is such a heart warming article.
    In times of complete and utter despair in our country, stories such as these are small beacons of light. Something to make us believe that there is ALWAYS hope.
    I wish Karrar the best of luck with everything.

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  • Mouzma
    Sep 8, 2011 - 2:57PM

    SubhanAllah! simply amazing! :) Congratulations to Mr. Karrar Hussain Jaffar and everyone who assisted him in this journey! A shining example!

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  • vasan
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:00PM

    Truly inspirational. Hope many youngsters follow your path

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  • Salman Hasan
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:01PM

    Truly Inspiring … GOD Bless you :-)

    I’m more excited that we give place & space in our media to such inspiring individuals. Its so refreshing to read this all in an era where we only read & hear news about bad Pakistan, bad Pakistani politician, everything is bad here, killing etc etc …I’m feeling proud here … Thanks Karrar!

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  • Usman
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:08PM

    The best part is that he wants to come back and do something for his area not like selfish ppl like us who always think about that but never tried that step ..:) Can i have his email

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  • likhkuchbhilikh
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:10PM

    But this person still needs to learn a bit of compassion. He still needs to remember that he was a small time kohatian once… And he has changed his roots.

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  • zahra
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:14PM

    This was truly inspirational! I am so proud of you Karrar.

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  • Salim
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:15PM

    What an inspiring story! It’s people like Karrar Hussain who give readers like me the hope and strength to believe in oneself. And Maria, excellent writing. And well done to the sub-editor who must’ve further polished it up.

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  • Karim Javed
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:16PM

    You Teared me up dude.

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  • Hamid
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:19PM

    Proud to have NOP scholarship

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  • Salim
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:20PM

    Oh, and bravo LUMS for initiating the National Outreach Program. Not sure how many but I’m sure a number of students must’ve benefited from it. Way to go LUMS!!

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  • Salman
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:21PM

    Very impressive

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  • Mirrel
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:25PM

    If I had to pick one institution to represent Pakistan on any forum globally, it would be LUMS. Well done, Karar! May there be many like you.

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  • Qudsia
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:30PM

    One of those moments in life where you read a success story and then you tell people hey I know him!! :) Well done, You’ve made so many people proud!

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  • Syed
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:42PM

    What an inspirational story full of emotions, courage, and motivation which brought tears in my eyes. Yes you should come back home and make the change and diffidence in people of your area, your city and Baluchistan. But please wait. Please don’t come back now. Knowing your background which tells that Sipah e Sahaba, Lashker e Jhangwi, Tehreek e Taliban and Taliban must be waiting for you to quench their sectarian thirst. Thats what they are doing these days in Quetta and thats what they have been doing in Karachi and rest of the country. Let this madness settle down. Soon it will end or subside at least. Soon Inshallah. Our prayers for your future.

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  • Afzaal Talib
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:54PM

    Excellent….we have many examples and talent like tht…really proud of him….

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  • rozzak
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:58PM

    Kudos to Karrar!
    But let Me remind to the writer that Its a national daily not LUMS student magazine.The scholarship on which karrar was in Harvard was funded by Fulbright(US deptt of State) and so 7 or 8 more student from Baluchistan to study in the same batch in top US Universities n most of them ve studied in Baluchistan.Please give credit to Fulbright and Pakistan is the biggest recipient of Fulbright in the whole world(150 Fulbright scholar from Pakistan to study in US every year)
    But how many student can get NOP and Fulbright?
    Lastly,i think if Marx was student in LUMS,he must ve written some book on the merits of LUMS n NOP and the first paragraph is very orientalist and ill informed about Hazara community in Quetta.

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  • ahsan
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:59PM

    he is inspiration for all youngsters…mashallah

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  • nasir
    Sep 8, 2011 - 3:59PM

    @Sajid Tungekar:

    i lives in uk bro, i have same feelings like you. is there any chance of contacting you?
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  • Adil
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:03PM

    Amazing and Inspiring. Masaha’Allah.

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  • Sep 8, 2011 - 4:05PM

    Assalam o Aliekum

    Karrar Bhai

    We are Proud of You.
    May Allah Bestows you whole life with His Blessings and Grace. Ameen.

    Hope to see you in Pakistan back.

    Uphold to give an Institution like LUMS and Harvard to peoples of Pakistan, especially your home town Balochistan, Pakistan.

    Ahmed Shakeeb Arslan.
    Okara, Punjab
    Pakistan
    +923216951060

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  • adnan
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:05PM

    it shows that v have so much talent in balochistan.i request from army and establishment to give due share of balochistan.i request army and establishment to move away from the policy of war with india and cut the defense budget and spend on education.

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  • Ali
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:15PM

    Respect!

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  • Nuzhat Altaf
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:22PM

    An inpiration for all !!!!

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  • Karachiite
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:22PM

    You poured a new spirit in me. You are a true hero Karrar.

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  • Hameedullah Khan
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:32PM

    Best of Luck Karar. I hope you will comeback to Pakistan soon to help other in Balochistan follow your footsteps. May ALLAH bless you and help you achieve more.

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  • Hareem
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:33PM

    SO proud to read this, Karrar. Welled up so many times through this article. I’m a crying, giggly mess.

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  • Naveed
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:36PM

    whats the big deal …degree tu degree hoti hai ….chahey Harvard ki ho k Punjab University ki…:P

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  • Ishrat Salim
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:39PM

    Well done Karar….you make us all so proud….wish if our politicians & feudal leaders could just think ” how important education is “…? hope you make bring radiance in the life of our Baluchi brothers….who arte so backward in education etc; compared to the rest of the people of other province….but may Allah swt give you courage & confidence for the difference that you may bring into the lives of your people…A`ameen.May you become the beacon of light for others to follow….may you become a leader – someday…insha Allah.Recommend

  • Mudassir Sheikh
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:39PM

    I still remember the 1st Quarter when me and Karrar were attending Composition and Writing with Ms Sara Zubair, and he hated a few of us for grabbing on to Class Participation points, he was allowed to speak in Urdu to voice his opinion on a topic to earn his share of the points, and i also remember the 16th Quarter where people including me used to ask for his help in economic courses , he was one of the demanded Teaching Assistants.

    One of the best things about LUMS was cultural tolerance and acceptance which helped shoo away the shyness of NOP candidates and made them outshine others.

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  • Anonymous
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:41PM

    You are pride of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:42PM

    I appreciate your effort Maria and acknowledge the efforts of Karrar… he got the talent and luckily utilizes… We, the son of this holy soil aren’t behind anyone in terms of intelligence and ability and he proves it! But there are so many Karrars who could not be able to make their journey, we have to dig out the impediments and then solve those bottlenecks, indeed education has no alternative!

    Less than 5 percent people have access and ability to understand these English newspaper, particularly in urban areas where the facilities and the standard of education is far much better than the outreach areas. The rest 95 percent people also include literates among them but they used to read the Urdu newspaper and some hasn’t got enough time to read those. These kind of motivations should be marketed so that the other karrars whom we don’t want to be a waste come up with their talent and raise the honor of this country.

    State must also bring some mechanism for the remaining Karrars of this country.

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  • Yasser Hashmi
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:45PM

    I should like to mention that Karrar also went out in the earthquake affect northern areas in 2005 and 2006 to distribute relief and help survey and do damage assessment as a part of the LUMS team. He and fellow students worked hard and selflessly in extremely trying circumstances. I remember him and his batch in the the LUMS Adventure Society with great respect and affection.

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  • Sep 8, 2011 - 4:52PM

    Well done young man.
    Just want to mention here that NOP is sole effort of LUMS. Faculty, alumini and people from related walks of life contribute to the NOP sponsorships. Government has nothing to do with it and they dont even spend a single penny in it.

    Long Live LUMS
    Long Live PakistanRecommend

  • Tony Montana
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:57PM

    A very uplifting story. May there be more Karrars to come out of the backward and underdeveloped areas of Pakistan. Great work on part of LUMS to take this initaitive.

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  • Sane
    Sep 8, 2011 - 4:58PM

    Karrar Hussain belongs to a community (Hazara-Shia) which is facing the worst persecution in the history of Pakistan. I hope when he comes back in Quetta, he has something reassuring to see, not blood and devastation.

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  • LUMS07
    Sep 8, 2011 - 5:01PM

    We’re really proud of you Karrar! Your were always great at LUMS and you have far exceeded many of your peers. Congratulations on all the successes and good luck for the future.

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  • babe
    Sep 8, 2011 - 5:06PM

    Reminds me of my father, who rose from a poor peasants background, to a Brigadier in Pakistan army. He still lives a very simple life, while his army friends enjoy the luxury of conditioned Honda and Civic, he still cycles to his destination in the scorching heat of Lahore. My father realizes the importance of education and is pushing my brother to do a phD too.

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  • nasir tajik
    Sep 8, 2011 - 5:09PM

    It seems a miracle. In our student life we used to call an equation: i.e, Hard work = to success, remaining the mercy of Allah as constant. This seems true in dear Karar’s case. Howover I dont understand how he ended in Southern California University (and Harvard is missing in between ?) Moreover storie4s of SRK and Mr Amjad are also fascinating. Allah bless
    Pakistan and its hardwor-king-s.

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  • Sep 8, 2011 - 5:10PM

    Well done! :)

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  • Adnan
    Sep 8, 2011 - 5:11PM

    Great work ! Proud of LUMS & to be a Luminite !

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  • Saman
    Sep 8, 2011 - 5:12PM

    vow; way to go karar

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  • Rozina Somani
    Sep 8, 2011 - 5:27PM

    congratulations Karrar,Sky is the limit.
    Only education can give us future!

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  • Sohaib Ikram
    Sep 8, 2011 - 5:31PM

    This is something worth sharing as compared to non-sense blogs being written and published.

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  • SAM
    Sep 8, 2011 - 5:39PM

    @Saad: NOP has got nothing to do with any government, its an initiative by LUMS itself started by the visionary Dr. Zahoor Hassan

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  • SAM
    Sep 8, 2011 - 5:41PM

    kudos to the LUMS NOP program !!!

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  • Adeel Syed
    Sep 8, 2011 - 5:41PM

    Masha-ALLAH

    I am proud of you my brothers. May ALLAH S.W. Bless you with more knowledge and wisdom.

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  • Saima
    Sep 8, 2011 - 5:45PM

    Mashallah, I m soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo proud of you..

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  • Khansa Rizwan
    Sep 8, 2011 - 5:47PM

    Congratulations. ………Proud son of Baluchistan….

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  • Hassan
    Sep 8, 2011 - 5:49PM

    SubhanALLAH. being a year junior to Karar at LUMS, i was most impressed by this amazing person’s sense of pride in himself and his culture. he was a prime example of how you need not to change only because people around you are different. that shows the character of a person not to mention his self assurance. well done KARAR you’ve always been a great inspiration for everyone around you and that you have not only made LUMS but the whole country proud.

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  • Muhammad Ali
    Sep 8, 2011 - 5:55PM

    @Sajid Tungekar:
    We are working for this with a small school at home for poor children. How can you help us?

    Regards

    Muhammad Ali
    92 300-418-6061

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  • Omair Shakil
    Sep 8, 2011 - 6:13PM

    THIS is Pakistan’s future!

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  • kiran ahmad
    Sep 8, 2011 - 6:28PM

    Inspiring, i must share with my kids, may Allah give u more honour and keep you on right path,my Aerz-e-pak is needed such intelligence.

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  • me
    Sep 8, 2011 - 6:31PM

    what was this article about………………oh right, a small town humble and modest boy making it to harvard. Recommend

  • Sep 8, 2011 - 6:41PM

    As a student at MAJU, Karachi main campus, I have known many Hazara students. And some of them went on to become the best of our university. Quite a few of them are now in Australia, Germany and USA for higher education. And I can tell you that these Hazara people are not only very hard working but also very dedicated. Unfortunately, they are widely hated by the Pashtuns of Quetta due to relgious as well as ethnic differences. Hazaras can contribute much more to the society of Pakistan, if they are given further chance. Their ancestors created Bamiyan caves in more than 100 years, the largest of its kind anywhere in the world (now sadly gone due to Talibans). So you can imagine their dedication.

    Well done, Mr. Karrar.

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  • Salman Jaffery
    Sep 8, 2011 - 6:51PM

    Karrar, you have made all Pakistanis in general and LUMINITES in particular very proud of your achievements. Being from the first batch of LUMS (class of 88), I feel really proud of your achievements and would like to congratulate your parents for giving this nation a son like you.

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  • Adnan
    Sep 8, 2011 - 6:52PM

    Awesome… Amazing story of a self-made high achiever… Yes, the Credit does go to his great Father as well as to his own hardwork and committment.. Hats Off to him! God Bless You My Brother!

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  • Moiz Akhlaq
    Sep 8, 2011 - 6:55PM

    Excellent job we all are really proud of you ..

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  • Nefer Jooma
    Sep 8, 2011 - 6:55PM

    karar. if you do read this i urge you to reconsider. you are an intelligent person with a facility for maths and engineering. with your PhD and your intellect, you can contribute more by working with the best, in the best. Baluchistan/Quetta is not presently a suitable environment for you to fulfill your potential. you should know that prof abdus salam tried to contribute to pakistan but had to relocate to europe. but much more important, baluchistan is not a welcoming place for a high profile hazara. the loonys that abound in our sad country will harm you to score propaganda points in the terror campaign being waged against those of your sect/ethnicity. i wish you well. nefer

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  • aisha
    Sep 8, 2011 - 7:01PM

    we are simply proud of you and the best part is that you want to take measures to educate your community. I hope and pray that you actually do it.

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  • aisha
    Sep 8, 2011 - 7:03PM

    pakistan is proud of you. The best part is that you want to take measures to educate your community. May Allah help you in this endeavour of yours.

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  • NAVEED HAZARA
    Sep 8, 2011 - 7:06PM

    Karar Hussain Hazara belong to Hazara community living in Balochistan particularly Quetta. Hazaras are being massacred by religious / nationalist extremist in Quetta Balochistan since last 10 years but in recent months it becomes the order of day to daily massacre members of Hazara community by suicide attacks / target attacks. Karar Hussain Hazara’s achievement is a slap on the face of terrorists / extremist. It is a real response against the extremist forces. Karar, u r proud of Hazara, Balochistan and Pakistan.

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  • Sep 8, 2011 - 7:08PM

    @Karim Javed:
    May Allah bless you Mr. Karar and I pray that you achieve your dream and walk upon the path you have chosen.

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  • Usman Sheikh
    Sep 8, 2011 - 7:09PM

    Hats off to you Karrar….You have made us all proud and I wish we get to see more examples like this one…Even if not Harvard….local boys from small towns going to the universities and making their mark is something Pakistan needs right now….

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  • Sep 8, 2011 - 7:10PM

    May Allah bless you Mr. Karar and I pray that you achieve your dream and walk upon the path you have chosen.

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  • Nadya
    Sep 8, 2011 - 7:16PM

    This a beautiful true story. I have tears in my eyes . Living amidst corruption , cynicism , indifference , arrogance and God knows all the other things that are wrong with our people and country , this is an inspiring story of hope for our generation , and our children – and a reminder to me , that there is hope and light. And those of us who sometimes lose hope in our daily interaction with the ugly – should still have faith. So proud of you Karrar and wish you all the best in your future endeavors. I pray that your efforts are successful in raising awareness in your locality and transforming the lives of your community.

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  • Eesha
    Sep 8, 2011 - 7:40PM

    MashAllah, this story is heartwarming and inspiring. May God bless you and all others who dare to dream but live with humility – coming from the ‘whatsup’ crowd this story personally reminds me not to ostracize the simpler pakistanis amongst us as they may be far more intelligent and talented than we would judge by their clothes or English skills

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  • Dr. Zahid Hafeez
    Sep 8, 2011 - 7:43PM

    Dear Karrar Asslam-o-Alakum I am very happy to see your story. Zara num hou to bari Zarkaz ha mete. I wish you will get your terget.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Sep 8, 2011 - 7:43PM

    Kudo’s to Karrar Hussain Jaffar for his hard work and making the most of his talent. The USA’s should be given credit also – they are the ones that are funding his Harvard Education (ie: Fulbright scholarship) and Harvard should also be given credit because there are plenty of American’s who have equal or better qualifications yet they reserved spots for worth international students.

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  • Nazia Hanjrah
    Sep 8, 2011 - 7:58PM

    Well done boy! I am extremely proud of you and it gave me immense happiness to read this post! Extremely inspirational as well! :D SHINE ON!!! IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING! You are an epic example of this statement.

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  • Ali
    Sep 8, 2011 - 8:01PM

    Thank you HEC and LUMS. And man all the best to you for your degree and life ahead. This makes me proud of HEC and LUMS.

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  • Jk
    Sep 8, 2011 - 8:05PM

    why is one poor guy from Baluchistan making it to Harvard a big deal? it just reflects sad state of education system in that province. if there were hunderds of them then may be it was..

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  • Sep 8, 2011 - 8:08PM

    @Sajid Tungekar:
    Please write to me as I am working toward the basic right to education in Pakistan and Human Rights for All. Very keen for all to work towards improving the lives of many deserving students.

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  • Mohammed Khan
    Sep 8, 2011 - 8:15PM

    Hi Karrar:

    really proud of everything that you have achieved. I remember when we interviewed you for the NOP and I have been hearing from Ali about your remarkable progress. Pakistan is blessed to have young people with your spirit and you are the future of our troubled land. All the best. MAK

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  • yousuf
    Sep 8, 2011 - 8:30PM

    i am pleased to hear that a person from my own community comes up with shining attributes to the society by creation of educational awareness and inspiring achievements. i hope one day we get use to listen the same stories and crest climbing. Hazara nation is really brilliant and intelligent in nature if they realize. if we have been let back is the cause that

    we were put in dark world with our dark believes and
    we were kept far from the lights of civilization and education by the extremists and the fascists .
    i am in view that the new era has come and we are moving forward and its much faster than what it was observed before in the history….
    i hope so. . .

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  • hasnat babar
    Sep 8, 2011 - 8:31PM

    dear u remind me my old days been through the same pain almost.

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  • Nehan
    Sep 8, 2011 - 8:34PM

    You make us very proud!!

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  • Ghulam Hussain Hazara
    Sep 8, 2011 - 8:45PM

    Karrar Jan Wow wonderful ! its surprised for every one well done brother, but especially for Hazara community its really good news you wana to serve for your people. I salute you for your great cause bcoz great parents as great son. I m proud of you. Mashallah Dear. I m very happy.

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  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)
    Sep 8, 2011 - 8:49PM

    Well, you did it. Your People need u now to educate them & stand up for their rights.

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  • Hinterland
    Sep 8, 2011 - 8:57PM

    God chose you n now its your turn to be good n choose other people from Balochistan n show them whats in the outside world..Hats off to u man..:)Recommend

  • hamza khan
    Sep 8, 2011 - 9:04PM

    a real and living testament to the will and dedication this nation can exhibit even in the harshest of conditions. makes one wonder what we could do if our environment was actually encouraging.

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  • obaid
    Sep 8, 2011 - 9:20PM

    passion , hard working plus suport and secrifice of parrents made him to achieve his goal.the best thing is that he wanted to spread education in baluchistan.Allaha may bless him and give him His power to do so.

    obaid

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  • shahbaz Khan
    Sep 8, 2011 - 9:25PM

    How touching! U inspire me to start studying again.

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  • Sep 8, 2011 - 9:26PM

    God Bless you Karar and i really hope and wish that you could bring change in Balochistan. Best of luck Dude.

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  • asrar
    Sep 8, 2011 - 9:27PM

    nice brother my best wishes is with u

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  • Syed Abbas
    Sep 8, 2011 - 9:32PM

    Great work..First time i really like something on tribue.. well covered story..

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  • SF
    Sep 8, 2011 - 9:39PM

    All the best to Karrar.. I hope you really return home!!! Very few have been able to do so. they usually lost their way in bright lights of west

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  • Naseem Rasmalai
    Sep 8, 2011 - 9:55PM

    Role model. Respect!

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  • Salma
    Sep 8, 2011 - 9:57PM

    i know hazara community to be immensely geared towards education for the past couple of decades i know them as greatly civilized and nice. my heart reaches out to them on the spree of innocent killings leveled against this beautiful community. I wish Karrar and his community all the best, peace and progress in Quetta which has always been a city of brotherhood…but now the evil hands have somehow jeopardized it all. I hope and pary it will be the same beautiful embracing-all Quetta again ….soon.

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  • AJ
    Sep 8, 2011 - 10:15PM

    Goosebumps! This is incredible!!!

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  • Sadia
    Sep 8, 2011 - 10:36PM

    Amazing! So inspirational! Stories like this give us hope.. Kudos to LUMS NOP. We need more programs in the country similar to NOP.
    LUMS is on its way to becoming an Asian Ivy League!

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  • wajeeh ud din Ahmad
    Sep 8, 2011 - 10:37PM

    karrar you are rock Pakistan need People like you and need a spirit as you have.

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  • kamil yar kasi
    Sep 8, 2011 - 10:50PM

    no doubt that the story is quite inspirational and hats off to such Karrars but one thing which concerns me now is that most of these stars originate from institutes like LUMS,AKU,IBA,GIK and of course most of government institutes out of balochistan but i would like to request the express tribune news network to kindly prepare a report on BOLAN MEDICAL COLLEGE where i am currently enrolled and believe me you people will cry more than the inspiration of this article.

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  • Azeem Abbas
    Sep 8, 2011 - 10:52PM

    Move over Ali Moein Nawazish! Hello Karar Hussain Jaffar!Recommend

  • Abdullah Noorani
    Sep 8, 2011 - 10:53PM

    MashAllah….

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  • Azeem Abbas
    Sep 8, 2011 - 10:55PM

    Move over Ali Moin Nawazish! Hello Karar Husain Jaffar!

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  • maleeha khwaja
    Sep 8, 2011 - 10:55PM

    my father used to say “diamond will shine any where you put it”, thats how i see karrar as a diamond….where ever he goes, he shines….he works hard for it and got to the top with his:
    – determination
    – enthusiasme
    – hard work
    – honesty

    I am so proud of Karrar and pray other students of our country, think like him and work like him.

    Maleeha Khwaja
    Head of french department
    Aitchison College, Lahore

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  • Kia
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:02PM

    True Inspirational Story, My advise to this Mr. Karrar to stay in USA and get some experience here, Do some research or work in US Companies so that he can use his talent in full potential. Any how its quite an achievement and not every one got a chance like that. Hats off to you Mr…!!!

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  • B Zia
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:03PM

    HUMBLE REQUEST TO ALL FELLOW READERS

    This amazing and inspiring story is maybe the only heart warming and good news we have all heard from Pakistan in a while. Please do not introduce the ethnic ingredient here by commenting how he is from Hazara or really from Kohat or whatsoever. Lets just enjoy this and cherish it and lets just be proud of this boy. Kudos to LUIMS and his parents.

    I wish him all the success in life, and this story still gives me hope, that one day despite our illeterate and self serving leaders, we shall turn around one day.

    God bless Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • nadia zafar
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:06PM

    I know its an inspirational story and yes I was moved by it too. but I want to point out one thing here,something that has left me feeling a bit dissatisfied with the newspaper. I have noticed a few grammatical mistakes in this article and would like the editors of this newspaper to take note. This is one of the best newspapers in Pakistan and I would not want to see standards going down. Kindly, make sure that proper proof-reading is done before any article is published because it gives the impression of carelessness, something that is unacceptable in print media as this is a source of information for the masses.Carelessness in news coverage leads to bad reporting and mishaps. Other than that, this article was a good read.

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  • umair zaheer
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:14PM

    u r Our National Hero not the singers n actors who r getting Presidential Awards

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  • Mr. T
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:15PM

    Truly an epic journey but the real deal starts when or if he returns back to Pakistan and do something here….

    What if he receives an offer in US which he cant even regret and contributes to our staggering brain drain!!!???

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  • Muhammad Tariq Habib
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:21PM

    Oyay Timo Jin, Congrats you are now a national hero, best of luck for your future endeavours.

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  • Alina
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:38PM

    This is such an inspiring article. We need more people like him

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  • Manzoor Ali
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:44PM

    @Lloyd George:
    George i appreciate ur concern regarding the touch of education in Hazara community, being a Hazara i m also proud of Karrar Hussain, who is such limited resources he manage to achieve which i guess every member of my tribe are willing for… And u r also right about the incidents happened in the past 5 to 6 years have really changed the course of the thought which was about education, still we are not lacking brains which is as capable as Karrar but the scenario regarding the security and prosperity has pretty much changed due to which confidence level and moral of our students has been decreased, i m not asking for any favor m just thanking you for understanding how much we people are dedicated towards education. Thank You…

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  • Grace
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:52PM

    Shows you the calibre of Pakistani people- no matter where they come from, they can do anything if given the opportunity. As for this so called notion of backward areas or rural areas, these people are probably more hard working than many of the city dwellers.

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  • Naseer Ahmad
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:54PM

    Masha Allah
    you really did a great work …. I have no words to admire u … i m just teared up … and ….

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  • hussain1809
    Sep 8, 2011 - 11:58PM

    Well done Karrar and excellent work Ms Waqar. We need journalism like this more often.
    Let’s hear more positives than negatives and take inspiration from these miracles of hardwork.

    Recommend

  • Kohatian
    Sep 9, 2011 - 12:04AM

    no doubt u r pride of CCK, LUMS nd PAKISTAN…….
    once a kohatian always a kohatian !

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