Islamia College Peshawar-a prestigious institution holding aloft torch of education

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By Fakhar Alam

PESHAWAR, Mar 24 (APP): Holding aloft the torch
of educating the denizens of Khyber Pakthunkhwa
and Fata for over a century, Islamia College
Peshawar (ICP), which saw the Independence
Movement, had played a momentous role in
completing the mission of Quaid e Azam Muhammad
Ali Jinnah for creation of Pakistan.

Established in 1913,one travelling through the historic Jamrud Road
can’t remain unimpressed while passing under the
shadows of its tall beautiful domes, lush-green
lawns and majestic edifice of the beautiful architecture.

It reminds the visitors of the glorious and
matchless role of its students played during the
Pakistan Movement led by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad
Ali Jinnah who created Pakistan in a short
period of seven years after the passage of the
historical Pakistan Resolution on March 23, 1940 at Lahore.

On December 11, 2015, Prime Minister, Mian Muhammad
Nawaz Sharif visited ICP on occasion of
completion of its centennial celebrations
reflecting his immense love for this great
educational institution and declared it his own college.

The Prime Minister had announced huge development
package of Rs1 billion for Islamia College Peshawar (ICP) and additional
Rs50 million grant for welfare of students and teachers.

“Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had an immense
love for people of Khyber Pakthunkhwa the then NWFP
and fondness for this great institution and
visited this college in 1936, 1945 and 1948 as
the first Governor General of Pakistan,” said
Professor Dr Naushad Khan, Pro Vice Chancellor, Islamia College University.
“The people of KP had an immense love for Quaid e
Azam which they reflected with their votes in
July 1947 Referendum where PML had clinched
landslide victory by securing over 200,000 votes
and announced to become part of Pakistan,” he explained.

The love of Quaid- e- Azam, who became an honorary
member of Khyber Union debating society of the
college set up in 1936, can be judged from his
`Will written on May 30, 1939 in Bombay in
which he declared ICP, Muslim University Aligarh
and Sindh Madrassatul Islam, Karachi as among the
inheritor of his property, Naushad said.

The Quaid Trust, later paid Rs10,811,600 in
different instalments to the college and the amount was spent on the
establishment of Quaid-e-Azam College of
Commerce, University of Peshawar, construction of
Jinnah residential quarters for the college
employees, Jinnah College for Women and the newly constructed Takbeer block.

The college, which is a beautiful combination of
the Aligarh and Deoband School of Thoughts, is a
mere testimony to the greatness of its Founder,
Nawab Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Khan.

The idea to establish a college clicked in the
minds of Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Khan, leader of
Muslim League, and Sir George Roos-Keppel, the
then Chief Commissioner NWFP in early 1909 when
they met the Pathan students during their visit
to the Muslim University Aligarh,” writes
ex-principal ICP, Prof G.D. Khilji in his memoirs.

The students requested them either to construct
Frontier hostel in Aligarh or a college may be built for them in
frontier province. As a token the students raised
around sixty rupees and gave them to Roos Keppel
to form a Frontier Hostel Fund or any other project, he added.

Keppel later passed the money on to Nawab Sahib.
It was April 12, 1911
when philanthropists Ghulam Haider Khan,
Habibullah Khan, Khushal Khan, Sethi Karim Bakhsh
and Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum gathered at the house
of Abdul Karim Khan Indrabai in Peshawar.

Responding warmly to the call, Haji Karim Bakhsh
Sethi offered to build a mosque while Rahim Shah
Kakakhel promised to construct a hostel known as
Rahim Shah Ward. Abdul Karim Khan donated Rs.10,000,
Sethi Karim Bakhsh Rs.50,000 and the Nawab of Dir promised Rs.100,000.
in establishment of ICP and offered towards the college fund.
Later, a 10-member ad-hoc college committee under
the chairmanship of Col.Muhammad Aslam Khan was
setup on May 29, 1911 to table proposals for
establishment of the college. Leading Khans and
Ulema were invited and seven resolutions
including one to title to college as
‘Darul-Ulum-i-Islamia Suba-i-Sarhad’ were unanimously passed, says Khilji.

A committee was also constituted to select
suitable site for the college. The proposal to
set up the college at Wazir Bagh was rejected by
Ross Keppel to spare the place of recreation.

Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum in consultation with Ross
Keppel selected the existing place for the college. It was a
rugged tract intercepted by ancient mounds and
cut by water courses. The land chosen for the
college was the property of Khalil tribe of Tehkal.

A total of 916 kanals and seventeen marlas were
bought at Rs.30 per kanal.

The Islamia College was opened on October
1, 1913 with 26 students on roll. Sahibzada Khurshid was the first
student who got admission and later become the Governor of NWFP.
L. Tipping (1913-17) was its first Principal.

Professor Dr Zahoor Jan, Director Planning and
Development and Chairman Computer Sciences
Department ICP told APP that Rs1.4billion
development projects under PM package for ICP
have been approved by Higher Education Commission
(HEC), Planning Commission of Pakistan and Centre
Working Development Party (CDWP) and practical work would shortly start on it.

Under the PM package, he said practical work on
eight gigantic projects including state of the
art “OMICS Centre, being the first of its kind in
Pakistan where biological related research works,
DNA studies would be conducted, establishment of
IT Innovation and Industrial Centre, Social
Sciences bloc, hostel for foreign faculty
members,, housing scheme for employees and
professors, state of the art Sports Gymnasium, MA
Jinnah Library and Community Welfare Centre etc would commence shortly at ICP.

Dr Zahoor Jan said Federal Government has already
released Rs50 million for construction of the
Community Centre, adding majority of these
projects would be completed in three years while
few would be completed in four years.

The college’s clock tower, which has now
become the pride symbol of Peshawar, has for long
figured on the back of Rs.1000 currency note.

The college which has completed 100 years of its
grandeur and academic excellence in 2013 has also
attained the status of a public sector university
for quenching the thirst of education from kindergarten to doctorate level.