PM honours student who set O-level world record

Published: January 5, 2012
Zohaib Asad, a student of Beaconhouse, earned 28 As in the University of Cambridge International O-Level Examinations. PHOTO: APP

Zohaib Asad, a student of Beaconhouse, earned 28 As in the University of Cambridge International O-Level Examinations. PHOTO: APP

Zohaib Asad, a student of Beaconhouse, earned 28 As in the University of Cambridge International O-Level Examinations. PHOTO: APP Zohaib Asad, a student of Beaconhouse, earned 28 As in the University of Cambridge International O-Level Examinations.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has presented a cheque of Rs1 million as a token of appreciation to a student from Taxila who had set a world record in the O-level examinations.

Zohaib Asad, a student of Beaconhouse, earned 28 As in the University of Cambridge International O-Level Examinations in 2011. He overtook a record of 23 As, also set by a Pakistani student from Islamabad Ibrahim Shahid.

Gilani invited Asad to the Prime Minister House on Thursday and lauded him for making Pakistan’s youth proud. He said that Asad’s achievement will inspire other young students to excel in life through sheer hard work.

Asad is currently enrolled at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he is pursuing an undergraduate degree in economics and international development.

Speaking to the prime minister, he said that he was determined to return to Pakistan after completion of his education to serve the country that has given so much in life at an early age.

Gilani appreciated Asad’s sense of devotion to the country the country and said that young people like him were Pakistan’s hope for a brighter future.

Asad’s family members were also present in the meeting.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • ADEEL759
    Jan 5, 2012 - 8:05PM

    Smart Kid………………….


  • Umer
    Jan 5, 2012 - 9:25PM

    What’s the point? He’s at McGill which is an average univeristy compared to the many others around the world, and thats what matters not o levels.


  • Cautious
    Jan 5, 2012 - 9:57PM

    he said that he was determined to
    return to Pakistan after completion of
    his education to serve the country
    that has given so much in life at an
    early age.

    That’s an honorable statement — but the temptations of money and safety in the West may be difficult to overcome.


  • Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,IBA Karachi
    Jan 5, 2012 - 10:09PM

    rumour has it this guy started to take O levels while he was in grade8.


  • usman
    Jan 5, 2012 - 10:10PM

    Cautious, will you go worry about India? Why do you have comment negatively on EVERYTHING?


  • Ali
    Jan 5, 2012 - 10:20PM

    Awesome. Congrats man. You make us proud.


  • Jan 5, 2012 - 10:22PM

    I got 2 As and I got in to mcgill …


  • Kiqbal
    Jan 5, 2012 - 10:24PM

    congrats dear, you made us proud :)


    Jan 5, 2012 - 10:28PM

    No matter he stay abroad or came back to Pakistan his motherland, he would be Pakistani at every inch of this Universe. CONGRATS, Many more ahead.


  • My two cents
    Jan 5, 2012 - 11:04PM

    McGill is not an average University as per 21st Annual University Ranking (2011), McGill was ranked 1st in Canada among all institutions offering medical and doctoral degrees, maintaining this ranking for the seventh year in a row. Also as of 2011, McGill ranked 1st in Canada and 17th in the world. I think his decision most probably be based on affordability, scholarship offered, tuition (it is 100% more for international students) and close proximity of any relative (since he must be in his teen). Note that Government just offered him the money, not when he was applying for the admission. In addition the last institution from where he will do his last degree (most probably PhD) will matter the most and most probably it will not be McGill. I also want to draw your attention to the fact that if you see undergraduate ranking in US / World you will never find Harvard, MIT, Yale etc on top.


  • Dali
    Jan 5, 2012 - 11:33PM

    Happy for the kid, but I fail to understand since when was education a formula?


  • Hu Jintao
    Jan 6, 2012 - 12:13AM

    Here is the truth.. he doesn’t have a job
    probably living on some charity funds and old rusty laptop


  • wowzers
    Jan 6, 2012 - 12:46AM

    um. this piece would be impressive if 28 A’s in the O’ level exams actually meant something.. somewhere… anywhere. Not only is the system near extinction, it promotes rote learning and regurgitation of factual knowledge – which has no place in the professional world. Hate to burst this kid’s bubble but he could have been just as successful (if not more), with an average O level result.


  • Rao Amjad Ali
    Jan 6, 2012 - 12:47AM

    I think he made the right decision by chosing McGill as it is a highly respected university worldwide, especially for postgraduate programs in business, law, medicine, economics, physics and international relations. And it has a powerful alumini association because many of its graduates hold leadership positions globally.


  • Paki-Australian
    Jan 6, 2012 - 1:08AM

    Let’s be happy for this smart lad. Excellent & Outstanding!

    Seeing so many negative comments on such a positive situations makes one wonder, what do these persistent negative bloggers ‘take’ before they write on here! For once just say something good! It’s not this lady’s fault you never made it abroad based on your skills. Get a life!


  • Bilal
    Jan 6, 2012 - 1:18AM

    Happy for the kid but My question is why would you appear in 28 papers to begin with.


  • Pakistani First
    Jan 6, 2012 - 1:22AM

    I got into McGill with 9 A’s LOL..


  • Ahmed Khan
    Jan 6, 2012 - 1:47AM

    It was ibrahim shahid who started giving o level papers since 8th. This guy never planned to make a record he just changed his subjects to add economics to his interests and pushed it to a world record. Btw if he’s at mcgill with a world record, distinctions, and an international recognition then he surely is much better than someone who just got admission in mcgill.


  • Tahir
    Jan 6, 2012 - 1:56AM

    What a shameful discussion among the commentors. An achievement remains an achievement regardless of where some one ends up. Getting into a famous institution may matter but it is not the only thing which matters. Being a successful person doesn’t necessarily require to study from a world no 1 institution.


    Jan 6, 2012 - 2:01AM

    Being an INDIAN why do you have to comment on such purely harmless / internal matters of Pakistan? Seems like you have absolutely nothing better to do. Go get a job man.


  • Bling Bling
    Jan 6, 2012 - 2:10AM

    McGill is one of the best in the world and i am waiting for PM Gillani to give out an award to that Ahmedi girl too to recognize her hard work and brilliance. Please, sir!


  • khalifaofkipling
    Jan 6, 2012 - 4:37AM

    okay umer firstly canadian universities are underrated. The ranking system is inherently flawed. And even then Mcgill is ranked pretty well. I have seen pakistani kids come to canadian universities and struggle. The truth of the matter is Canada has better education than the US, everyone in canada knows it; just unfortunate the unis arent as publicized as much as US. Of course I cant take anything away from ivey league schools.


  • Ex-Mil
    Jan 6, 2012 - 6:01AM

    @wowzers: The O Level Examinations are usually taken before age 16 and, as I understand it, have been replaced in Britain by the GCSE. They are most certainly not learning by rote and are akin to the level of academic achievement of the average US kid graduating from HS.


  • Singh
    Jan 6, 2012 - 6:06AM

    n 1988, O-level qualifications in the UK were replaced by a new system, the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). This meant that the final O-level examinations were taken in 1987.


  • Singh
    Jan 6, 2012 - 6:11AM

    Please check Wikipedia for “O” level.
    My son is straight “A+” with 4.0 GPA in medicine. I am the one who footing the bills after all those academic grant he earn in UIC Chicago.


  • Jan 6, 2012 - 3:37PM

    Errr… Just wondering … No honors/rewards for a smarter kid Sitara Akbar Burooj … the girl who did her O levels at the age of 10. Oops…Recommend

  • Laura
    Jan 12, 2012 - 1:27AM

    McGill is not really average. Its ranked 12th on the world. Its medical school is amongst the first 10 in the world, and has a very prestigious reputation specially in the USA and Europe.


  • Ahmed Khan
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:35AM

    @Sana Iqbal: Sitara Akbar got C’z, D’z, probably that’s the reason why.


  • Ahmed Khan
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:47AM

    The O level/GCSE/IGCSE remain at the same level and test the same skills regardless of what they are called around the world.


  • Prof
    Jan 15, 2012 - 9:43PM

    @Umer: McGill University is actually a university of great international repute which has ranked in the top 20 universities in the world for over a decade (currently 17th as per QS). It has also been ranked the best university in Canada for the last seven years (Macleans). People ranging from the actor William Shatner to the recently deceased Canadian Leader of Opposition Jack Layton to the youngest prime minister of Egypt, Admed Nazif, all attended the school. And no less than eleven nobel laureates have studied or taught at the university.

    Get your facts straight. McGill is hardly an ‘average’ university.


  • Akram Abdullah
    Jan 18, 2012 - 3:47AM

    @Prof: True

    Not just this but ernst rutherford the grandfather of physics was a mcgillian, thomas chang invented the artificial red blood cell at mcgill, jennifer hunt phd harvard taught mcgill economics for 6 years, harvard’s deans have had mcgill involvement, plz get a life people. McGill know’s it is canada’s number 1 and it runs by that fact, international ranking are just another piece of old age, money thats all.


  • Shabbir
    Jan 22, 2012 - 3:50AM

    And where might you be studying?


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