BAHAWALPUR-The 48th death anniversary of Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi V, the last of 12 rulers of former Bahawalpur state, was observed here on Saturday.

It was the second largest Islamic state in Indo-Pak Subcontinent. It lasted for 230 years from 1725 AD to 1955. He was declared as the head of the state on May 15, 1907. In March 1924, a ceremony of coronation was held at Noor Mahal where he was crowned by then Viceroy of India Lord Reading. On the occasion, the foundation stone of Sadiq Reading Library was also laid. Now, it is called Central Library and has become the second largest library of Punjab.

He established Abbasia University in 1925 on the pattern of Al-Azhar University for religious education to meet the modern demand by promoting Madrasa Sadar Dinyat, the main religious school of that time. In addition, a sub-institute of Abbasia University named Tibiya College was established in 1926 for Greek medical education. In 1925, Middle School of Ahmadpur East was upgraded to High School, and in 1929, boarding houses were built in the high schools of Ahmadpur, Khanpur and Chishtian.

Besides, many other educational institutions were set up across the Bahawalpur state including Sadiq Dean School, Sadiq Egerton College, Khawaja Fareed College, girls’ colleges in Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan, teachers training colleges in Bahawalpur, Khanpur and Chishtian, Poly Technique Institute, Abbasia High School and Sadiq Commercial Training Institute.

He also set up the Senate Hall of Punjab University (now University of Information Technology). Anjuman Hamayat-e-Islam Lahore, Muslim University Aligarh, Nadwat-ul-Ulema Lukhnow, Darul Uloom Deobnad, Mazharul Uloom Saharanpur, Jamia Usmania Haiderabad Deccan, Jamia Millia Islamia Dehli, Engineering College Lahore and King Edward Medical College are some of those remarkable educational and social service institutions which were permanently patronised by him. Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan V also gave his financial patronage to the reputable academic institutions of India, Punjab University, Lahore, Muslim University, Aligarh, Nidvat-ul-Ulema, Lucknow and Jamia-e-Millia Delhi

On February 27, 1934, then Punjab University Registrar Dr Wools awarded an honorary degree of LLD to Nawab Sir Sadiq as recognition of his services in the field of education. In 1952, the classes of Paramedical School, Nursing School and LSM (which is equivalent to MBBS) were started. In 1952, under the supervision of Shabir Ahmed Usmani, a commission was formed to introduce reforms in education and curriculum of the state on the modern trends.

The greatest achievement of Nawab Sadiq was to establish a boarding school, Sadiq Public School, on the pattern of Aitcheson College Lahore. He not only provided financial support but also donated a wide and large agricultural land for it. This is the only institution of its kind where the focus is laid on imparting education along with training and character building. His services for the promotion of academic activities are a beacon for other rulers as he promoted education at a time when the facility was not available in the most of areas of Indian during British rule.