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 January 17, 2012


In The Name of ALLAH The Almighty

Serving Higher Education-A University For Chitral

Education is a companion which no future can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate it and no nepotism can enslave (Ropo Oguntimehin). Education has become one of the basic needs of human being. Seeking knowledge and education is not a contemporary notion for Muslims as a great emphasis has been laid on this in the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). In spite of this Muslim countries around the world have given low priority to education thus lagging behind in the race of development. We have been living the glory of our ancestor rather than making any real contribution towards building knowledge centers, for ourselves and future generations. Even countries having abundant resources have turned deaf towards educating their nation, let alone those who lack them. Pakistan is one such example which has ample resources but so far they have not been properly matched to accrue greater benefits. The exponential growth in population is creating problems day by day yet the government seems unmoved to heeding to such grave issues. Chitral is district having great strategic importance. It is rated one of the highest in terms of literacy, both male and female, in Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw. Thousands of Chitrali students go to various places, in Pakistan and overseas, for the purpose of higher education and a large number of students who could not afford the costs give up education at university level. It is a high time when some strategic and visionary thinking should be done to rescue the future. And keeping in view the same vision a full fledged university should be established in Chitral.

A university today will help the future generation easy access to higher education. It will take sometime for the university to mature and by then the number of feeding colleges and institutions would grow either. Even today the number of students enrolled in Shaheed Benazir Buttho University, Shiringarh, from Chitral alone is higher than the actual strength of students studying on campus. Interestingly there are 10 departments and on average there are 4 teachers in each department. Another university established in the name of a politician Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, has a sub campus in Chitral. This university has 12 departments and there are 127 teaching staff including teaching assistants. These statistics are taken from the official websites of the respective universities, which could be accessed by any one who wants clarification. Now instead of the leadership fighting for the cause of quality education in Chitral, they are seen accompanying politicians on the openings of sub campuses. Hats off to them who have done such a wonderful job for Chitral! Though Chitral has intellectuals of high cliber this issue has remained untouched as the education bombs (sub campuses) have been droped on Chitral. This will push the quality of education into bleaker corners if proper action is not taken.

Chitral is well linked with Northern Afghanistan and hopefully will be linked with Central Asia in the coming years. Establishing a university in Chitral is the wisest thing to be done in the wake of current situation and needs that will depict a visionary foresight. It is urged from the educated lot of Chitral, the slumbering political leadership, civil society, student bodies, professionals and NGOs to join hands for the purpose of creating greener vistas for the future generations, not only for Chitral but the region as a whole.

The people of Chitral should gauge the importance of having an independent full fledged university and voice their demands from those who will be elected in the next elections. At the same time mushroom growth of sub campuses of inutile and ineffectual universities should be halted lest they would lead to grave repercussions. A compromise made on quality education today will be detrimental not only for education in Chitral but also impair holistic development of a healthier society.

Syed Gohar Ali Shah



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