Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan expressed determination to turn the public sector universities of the liberated territory into hubs of modern knowledge.
"It is our passion to make AJK universities centres of excellence. Our students should be prepared to serve not only AJK and Pakistan but all over the world,” he expressed these views while addressing participants at an inauguration ceremony of the Administration Block and Central Library at the Jarikas Campus of Mirpur University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Muzaffarabad on Thursday
The event was attended among others by Executive Director Higher Education Commission Dr Fateh Mohammad Marri, AJK Minister for Power Development Organisation Chaudhry Rukhsar Ahmed, former minister Chaudhry Mohammad Saeed, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Maqsood Ahmed, and ex-vice chancellor Prof Dr Habibur Rehman.
The president said that the AJK has the most literate population of all of Pakistan and now this human resource is stepping into the realms of advanced technological and cutting edge disciplines like the Internet of Things, cloud computing, blockchain and nano technology. “We can easily become a growth engine and economic hub of Pakistan if our students are imparted with such disciplines.”
Appreciating the university administration for establishing a business incubator centre and holding job fairs, President Masood expressed hope that the AJK universities will prepare the students to compete with their peers on the regional and global levels to tackle the ever-changing job market.
“Academic excellence is not confined to one region and we should strive to compete with institutions in the region and international level.”
He directed the management and faculty to impart quality education of science and technology, business and research to the young generation so that they not only demonstrate their skills in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir but also raise the image of their motherland on a global level.
Touching upon the situation of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the AJK president said that we are living a free and prosperous life here but our brethren in the other parts of the state are being subjected to unimaginable human rights violations by the Indian occupation forces on a daily basis. "Besides focusing on our education and struggle for a prosperous life, we will have to play our role for the freedom of our brethren on the other side of the Line of Control."
“When George Floyd was killed in the US, the world was in an uproar but unfortunately no one spoke up when the images of a three-year old Kashmiri wailing atop his grandfather's lifeless body who was killed by Indian CRPF forces. You must not stay silent in the face of the egregious human rights violations taking place in IOJ&K”, said Masood Khan.
The AJK president also interacted with the volunteers of UK-based BTM Global and appreciated their social services during Covid-19 pandemic. He paid tributes to the head of the organisation Ms Sumaira Farrukh for establishing an effective social network of volunteers in a short span of time.
Earlier, he unveiled the plaque of the Admin Block of the City campus and inaugurated central library, student services centre and the mosques built at a cost of Rs158 million.
The state president, who is also the chancellor of the university, commended the University administration for establishing a modern central library, mosque and the cafeteria within the shortest possible time, and directed to reserve a portion of the facility for an e-library to provide online facility of the library to the non-resident students.
He also launched the electronic prospectus prepared by the MUST, and hoped that this facility will play an important role in providing online information about the university to the prospective students of remote areas of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.
Earlier in his address, Vice Chancellor MUST Prof Dr Maqsood Ahmed thanked the AJK president, Executive Director HEC and other guests, and told them that besides the facilitating book reading for 3,000 students, two big multimedia sections, workshop rooms and study rooms have been provided in this complex.
Dr Maqsood also said that International Relations, Physics and History have been initiated at Palandri Campus; while faculty of Health and Medical Sciences including the department of Pharmacy, Physiotherapy and Medical Lab Technology have also been introduced at the City Campus of MUST.