What is it about the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and their constituent colleges that have nurtured so many men and women who have gone on to make such immeasurable contributions to Pakistan?
As Professor Haroon Ahmed points out, before the country was even founded or named, it seems that Oxbridge produced people who played eminently significant roles in its development: the poet and philosopher Allama Iqbal, who was at Trinity College, Cambridge, is often referred to as ‘the spiritual father of Pakistan’, and Choudhary Rahmat Ali, who is credited with creating the name Pakistan, was at Emmanuel College. Liaquat Ali Khan, Pakistan’s first Prime Minister, was at Exeter College, and the legendary ‘father of Pakistan’s cricket’, Abdul Hafeez Kardar, was at University College, Oxford. Many of the country’s leading educationists, literary figures and diplomats, as well as cricketers – and indeed its two Nobel Laureates, Abdus Salam and Malala Yousafzai — have Oxbridge backgrounds. Today’s Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi, are both Oxbridge graduates, as were Benazir Bhutto and her father Zulfikar.
Professor Ahmed, who has spent all his working life at Cambridge University, will look at the lives of some eminent Oxbridge alumni, and explore the histories of their colleges and the characteristics of an education that have led to outstanding achievements in Pakistan and across the world. Haroon Ahmed is Professor Emeritus of Microelectronics at the University of Cambridge and Honorary Fellow of Corpus Christi College, where he was Master for six years. Since retirement he has published historical books on Cambridge University, Cambridge Computing, Cambridge Depicted and Cambridge Engineering.
Date: Thursday, 28th March, 2019
Time: 6 for 6.30pm
Venue: High Commission for Pakistan, 36 Lowndes Square, London SW1X 8JN. Admission: This event is open to members of The Pakistan Society and their guests. RSVP For Security and Catering purposes please ensure that you register your attendance on our website www.thepakistansociety.org.uk.