LAHORE - Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar Saturday said the West should learn from Pakistan how to fight against terrorism as it had defeated terrorists with the valour and unprecedented sacrifices of Pakistan Army, law-enforcement agencies.

He was addressing the 129th Convocation of Punjab University (PU) here at Faisal Auditorium where European Union Parliament’s Vice President Fabio Massimo Castaldo was also awarded Honorary PhD degree in the subject of Law by the varsity.

PU Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad, Pro VC Prof Dr Muhammad Saleem Mazhar, Registrar Dr Muhammad Khalid Khan, Controller of Examinations Rauf Nawaz, Additional Controller of Examinations Raja Shahid Javed, deans, faculty members and a large number of outshining graduates and their parents participated in the event.

The governor said that no nation had offered more sacrifices than Pakistani nation in the war on terror.

He said Narendra Modi’s Indian Citizenship Act had turned the whole India into occupied Kashmir where minorities were being deprived of their rights.

He said that no human rights believer could accept Indian Citizenship Act. He said that India had imposed curfew in Occupied Kashmir since 140 days and changed its status in violation of resolutions of the United Nations.

He said that India was also denying access to international observers to the occupied valley.

On the contrary, he said, Pakistan had provided all the rights to minorities as per the vision of the father of nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He said, “We are thankful to Mr Massimo for supporting Kashmiri people and condemning Indian Citizenship Act.”

Sarwar said the government had ended the culture of ad hoc appointments from universities and added around 20 vice chancellors had been appointed so far on merit for making institutions of higher learning fully functional.

The incumbent government never allowed political interference in the universities.

He said that the PU VC Prof Niaz Ahmad deserved appreciation because three disciplines of the PU had been ranked among 250 to 300 top academic institutions of the world and PU’s QS, Times Higher Education and Nature group rankings had improved manifold.

He said that it was also a historic achievement that the PU had produced 243 PhDs in one year, asserting that the Punjab government was trying to bring universities in Punjab among top 500 institutions of the world and the government would extend maximum support in this regard. He encouraged entrepreneurship culture at universities so that young students could resolve economic issues being faced by the society. He said that Pakistani students were not less than European students in talent. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team understood that young people were our prime assets. He congratulated the graduating students, their parents and teachers and urged them to come forward for development of the country.

Addressing the ceremony, Massimo condemned human rights violations in occupied Kashmir and India over the Citizenship Act. He said that the world community should stand with the people of Kashmir and Palestine who were facing atrocities. He said that the future of the world was associated with education. He said that education could prevent wars and produce tolerant people.

He also paid tribute to Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and cited their sayings. He urged the youngsters not to allow any person to say that they were too young to achieve a goal as he himself was elected as the youngest vice president of European Parliament. He thanked PU administration for awarding honorary PhD degree and said that he would always remember the love of Pakistani people that he received.

Addressing the ceremony, PU VC Prof Niaz Ahmad said that PU administration had implemented policy of merit, transparency and accountability in all the operations of the university. He said that the administration had activated all statutory bodies and their meetings were being held regularly to run PU affairs in a transparent manner.

He said that production of 243 PhDs in one year was a silent revolution. He said that the university had promoted and appointed a large number of teachers and employees purely on merit, addressing their grievances who were awaiting their rights since many years. He said that the university administration was bringing academic revolution by taking several initiatives due to which PU’s international ranking had improved.

He said that PU was also establishing relations with foreign universities for collaboration in research and exchange of teachers and students. He said that the university administration had organized for the first time reunion of its alumni association. He said that the university also exclusively established Baba Guru Nanak and Human Rights chairs. He said that minority quota in jobs was strictly being implemented in PU. He said that to achieve sustainable development goals, produce citizens with high moral values and for socio-economic development of the country, the university has established three new teaching and research centres.

He said that PU administration was also making efforts to establish state-of-the-art medical college. Later, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar presented Honorary PhD degree to Mr Massimo and souvenirs to distinguished guests.