Prime Minister Imran Khan broke ground for the Al-Qadir University in which he said would create future leaders to counter Islamophobia and protect ideology of Pakistan.
Addressing the ground-breaking ceremony, the prime minister said the university would teach the students the principles of State of Madina and Pakistan’s ideology as envisioned by Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The concept of establishing a university at Sohawa is to provide equal quality education to the youth across the country.
To be built over 200 kanals of land, the institution will consist of a Sufi Academic Block with capacity of 800 students, Science Block for 700 students, a hostel for 200 boys and girls, an auditorium and a library.
Since no university exists between Gujrat and Rawalpindi, therefore, Sohawa has been selected to offer the youth of the area a quality seat of learning.
The prime minister said it was a private university that would be run on donations by philanthropists contributing to the national cause of broadening the educational base.
He said 35 percent of students would get free education through scholarships while the rest 65 percent would fund their studies themselves.
The prime minister said besides teaching contemporary sciences like artificial intelligence and technology, the main focus of the university would be on research on Sufism and its connection with Islam.
“We have to groom our youth as leaders…We will create scholars, who will respond to the anti-Islam tirade started after 9/11,” the prime minister remarked.
The Chinese assistance would also be sought for teaching and research on technology-related subjects.
The university had been named after Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, the great Sufi, who had also established link between Islam and spirituality.
Sufism was a great science but contrary to the Western world, no university in Pakistan was holding research on the subject.
PM said the previous leaders had buried the ideology of Pakistan which was meant to make the country an Islamic welfare state. The nations ignoring their ideology could not exist. The nations faced ups and downs but they should not give up their ideology, he added.
PM said Naya Pakistan would feature meritocracy, justice and education, and minorities’ rights on the pattern of Madina state.
PM said what had been happening in Pakistan was not in accordance with the Islamic welfare state as envisioned by the forefathers.
Citing the backwardness in Sindh and Balochistan, he said after Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the political leaders had delivered nothing but established their properties abroad.
He recalled that besides Indian role, the injustice to the people had also reasoned the disintegration of the country.
The prime minister said the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) had highly stressed the importance of education as no society could progress without education.
He said unfortunately, the Western culture had been influencing the young generation who needed to be taught basic Islamic principles, Islamic history and Pakistan’s ideology.
Addressing the ceremony, Religious Affairs Minister Pir Nurul Haq Qadri said the establishment of Al-Qadir University was a step towards the accomplishment of the objectives of Pakistan’s creation.
He said it was also a unique idea to teach the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Sufism, science and technology at a single institute.
Qadri said the university would also help rectify the notion that Islam had been spread by use of force contrary to the fact that education and intellect were the factors behind it.
He said the incumbent government wanted to take the country back to the real concept of Pakistan.
He said it was for the first time that the government was establishing s Seerat Chair at universities to conduct research on the life and teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the prime minister had great compassion towards the poor segments of society.
He said after Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, it was Imran Khan who enjoyed respect not only in the country but also across the Muslim world.
He also drew the prime minister’s attention to a few road projects in Jhelum region to enhance the connectivity.