Peshawar – Like other educational institutions, students at Islamia College Peshawar (ICP) played a key role in mobilizing the people of KP during the independence movement that led to the establishment of Pakistan on 14 August 1947.
The college was established in 1913 on the knees of the Koh-e-Sufaid mountains of Khyber. A visitor traveling on Jamrud Road cannot remain indifferent after gazing at the majestic Mughal-Islamic architecture of the ICP, its magnificent domes and its green lawns.
ICP has seen the Pakistani movement and dynamism of the founder of Pakistan, who has visited here three times to recognize the services of his students.
Carrying the torch of education for 109 years, the ICP has also provided a unique platform for the people of KP to compete with other communities in the fields of education, public service, economy and politics in the colonial era.
“The history of the Pakistan movement cannot be complete without mentioning the historical role of the students of Islamia College Peshawar in mobilizing the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to complete the mission of Quaid-i-Azam for Pakistan,” Muhammad said. Yousaf Khan, Chairman of the Department of Pakistani Studies, ICP. .
Being a fine combination of the Aligarh movement of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and the Deoband school of thought, ICP is a simple testament to the greatness of its founder, Nawab Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Khan.
“The idea of establishing a college came to the mind of Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Khan, leader of the Muslim League, and Sir George Roos-Keppel, then chief commissioner of the NWFP (now KP) at the start of 1909 when they met the Pathan students during their visit to Aligarh Muslim University,” writes former ICP director Prof. GD Khilji in his memoirs.
The students asked them either to build Frontier Hostel in Aligarh or to build a college for them in the NWFP (now KP) era. As a token, the students raised around 60 rupees and donated them to Roos Keppel to build a Frontier Hostel fund or any other project.
“Later Keppel passed the money to Nawab Sahib. It was April 12, 1911 when philanthropists Ghulam Haider Khan, Habibullah Khan, Khushal Khan, Sethi Karim Bakhsh and Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum gathered at Abdul Qayyum’s residence Karim Khan Indrabai in Peshawar Haji Karim Bakhsh Sethi offered to build a mosque, Rahim Shah Kakakhel promised to build a hostel known as Rahim Shah Quarter and Abdul Karim Khan donated Rs 10,000, Sethi Karim Bakhsh 50 Rs 100,000 and Nawab from Dir pledged Rs 100,000 for the university fund.”
Later, a 10-member ad hoc committee under the chairmanship of Colonel Muhammad Aslam Khan was established on May 29, 1911 to table proposals for the establishment of the college. The leading khans and ulama were invited and seven resolutions, including one for the university title as “Darul-Ulum-i-Islamia Suba-i-Sarhad”, were passed unanimously.
A committee was formed to select a suitable site for the college. The college proposal at Wazir Bagh was turned down by Ross Keppel as he wanted to spare the place of recreation. Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum in consultation with Ross Keppel had chosen the existing venue for the ICP.
The land chosen for the college was owned by the Khalil tribe of Tehkal and 916 kanal and seventeen marlas were purchased at Rs30 per kanal.
On October 1, 1913, ICP was opened with 26 students enrolled and Sahibzada Khurshid was the first student to be admitted and later became the Governor of the NWFP and Tipping (1913-17) served as its first Director.
“Like the students of the Aligarh movement who were at the forefront of the independence movement in India, so were the students of Islamia College, Peshawar for the creation of Pakistan,” said Younas Khan.
He said Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had immense love for the people of KP, ICP and visited this college in 1936, 1945 and 1948 as the first Governor General of Pakistan.
The love of Quaid-i-Azam, who became an honorary member of the Khyber Union Debating Society of the college established in 1936, can be judged from his “testament” written on May 30, 1939 in Mombay in which he declared ICP, Muslim University Aligarh and Sindh Madrassatul Islam Karachi among the heirs to his property.
Later, Quaid Trust paid Rs 10,811,600 in different installments to ICP which was spent on construction of Quaid-i-Azam College of Commerce, University of Peshawar, construction of Jinnah Residential Quarters for employees, Jinnah College for Women and Takbeer Block at ICP.
In 1945, the great Quaid had received an enthusiastic reception at the ICP where the students and the Federation of Muslim Students (MSF) had offered him 8,000 rupees as a fund for the Pakistani movement.
They assured him of presenting 8,000 educated and committed workers when he returned to this great alma-mater.
“The KP people had shown immense love for Quaid-i-Azam and that is why the Muslim League got the maximum seats in the 1946 elections and after this historic victory, no one could stop the movement of independence of this province,” recalled Younas.
“In the referendum of July 1947, the Muslim League won a landslide victory over the KP with more than 200,000 votes and its people announced that they would become part of Pakistan,” he said.
“The spirit and enthusiasm of the people was historic when Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah came to Peshawar as the first Governor General of Pakistan on April 12, 1948. The Peshawarites had decorated their homes, markets, vehicles and bazaars with festive looking national flags. ,” he said.
The great Quaid presented glowing tributes to the services of his students in making Pakistan in these words. “I am indeed very happy to be here today and to have the privilege of addressing the students of this great Darul Uloom, who are the future builders of Pakistan.
He reminded the students, “We have achieved the national goal of Pakistan and it is now our collective responsibility to work hard in our respective professions with a high level of dedication, commitment and sincerity to make it one of the largest countries in the world. .”
He advised students to develop a strong sense of discipline, character, a strong academic background, and to devote themselves to studies.
“Remember that your government is like your own garden. Your garden thrives by the way you take care of it and the effort you put into improving it. Likewise, your government can only prosper through your patriotic, honest, and constructive efforts to improve it,” he told the students.
After a one-year hiatus, the government established the University of Peshawar near the ICP in 1949 in line with Quaid’s vision and later two other universities, UET and the University of Agriculture, were established. been established in addition to the Pakistan Forest Institute.
Quaid also addressed a Grand Tribal Jirga at Governor House, Peshawar on 17 April 1948 and highly praised the tribesmen’s strong commitment, patriotism and support for Pakistan.
He attached great importance to the education and socio-economic development of the tribesmen and considered quality education, especially technical education, science and technology, as a prerequisite for achieving the goals development and economic prosperity.
The college clock tower, which now becomes the symbol of Peshawar pride, has long featured on the back of Rs1000 notes.
ICP has now attained the status of a public sector university where students from kindergarten to PhD, in addition to girls, quench their thirst for education.
The flag hoisting ceremony was scheduled at the main lawns of the ICP as part of Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day. His building was beautifully illuminated.
Besides teachers, students and veterans were invited to honor the occasion. The national anthem and songs would be played.