KARACHI - Around 57 years ago, when the Karachi University (KU) shifted from its makeshift campus at Princess Road to the current premises, the then Vice Chancellor Basheer Ahmed Hashmi had invited 30 Huffaz-e-Karam.

Led by Maulana Ehteshamul Haq Thanvi, they made their way into the university through main entrance and walked up to the historical Convocation Ground where now stands new administration building.

KU Teachers’ Society on Wednesday took out a procession at the campus to relive the historical inauguration of the largest public sector university.

Several alumni associations, including Unikarians, OSAKU, Alumni Reunion and others also participated in the event. While Thanvi’s son Maulana Ehteram ul Haq Thanvi led the procession.

KU VC Professor Dr Muhammad Qaiser, deans of various faculties, former VCs Professor Dr Zafar Saeed Saify and Professor Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, along with few of the alumni, who were the part of the 1960 procession, also showed up on the occasion.

KU VC Professor Dr Muhammad Qaiser said that 18th January held a special place in the history since on this day, in 1960, the University of Karachi was shifted to the current campus.

“The university is unique because students from every ethnicity, nationality and area studied here, with a great sense of unity, which is not seen in any other varsity of the country,” the VC noted.

He stressed the need for making collective efforts for the betterment of the varsity. “Varsity teachers are working very hard despite limited resources, which is highly appreciating,” he added.

“I was admitted to KU in 1965, and now I have a 52-year long affiliation with this institution. I also stayed in its hostel during student days for two years and saw its all ups and downs,” Qaiser said while sharing his student life’s experiences.

KU former VC Professor Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui said that at the time of independence there were only three universities in the country, namely Punjab University, Dhaka University and Sindh University.  “KU was the fourth university of the country. KU’s rank in natural sciences research is quite high and its teachers are serving tirelessly despite meager resources,” he said, and added, “Accessibility to higher education in Pakistan is merely 8 percent. We need to use modern technology and tools to deal with contemporary challenges.”

Another former VC Professor Dr Zafar Saeed Saifi also recalled his student days at KU, saying that nations which forgot their history became history themselves. “We all are indebted to the University of Karachi,” he added.

Religious Scholar Maulana Ehteram-ul-Haq said that the KU was recognised not just in Pakistan but worldwide due to its academic stature and because its alumni are present in the whole world. “Pen is more powerful then sword,” he observed. Renowned poet Prof Manzur Ayubi sang the university’s anthem which he had composed in 1958, while Ejaz Rahmani recited his poem on the varsity which was published in the university’s magazine ‘Al Jamia’ in late 1960’s.