The 18th century brought a multitude of changes in the fabric of sub continent. The major change highly detrimental to Muslims was their downfall as rulers. In these circumstances appeared Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. With his natural aptitude for rational thinking, he proposed the solution and proceeded to lay the foundation for the intellectual base on which the structure of Pakistan was later built. Syed Ahmed was born in 1817 in a highly respected family of Delhi. A young man of great diligence and commitment, he entered in the service of East India Company as Sheristedar (Reader) and rose to become a Munsif (sub-judge) in Manipur. In the war of independence, he saved lives of a number of officials of the East India Company at the risk of his own life. After retirement, Sir Syed took up the mission of educating the Muslims of India in western education. In the beginning he opened schools like the Victoria School at Muradabad and Ghazipur in 1859 and 1864 He also opened a translation society at Ghazipur in 1863. Its major responsibility was to translate the literature of English, Arabic and Persian into Urdu. In 1866, it published a weekly magazine Aligarh Institute Gazette. In 1870, Sir Syed established the Society for Educational Progress of Indian Muslims. He also established Mohammadan Anglo Oriental Collage (M.A.O Collage) in 1877, which eventually became the Aligarh Muslim University. -SHEERAZ HUSSAIN WAGGAN, Larkana, via e-mail, May 26.