KARACHI - I feel proud to be a student of Karachi University (KU), which is globally recognised for its academic and research credentials. Its graduates are serving on distinguished posts both in Pakistan and different parts of the world.

These views were expressed by renowned nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan here on Sunday.

Speaking at the certificate distribution ceremony of Presentation Skills and Poster Presentation Skills for M Phil students, organised by Dr A Q Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIBGE), University of Karachi (KU), he said that KU had produced great personalities who excelled in every walk of life. “It gives me great pleasure to come to Karachi University,” he said, and added KIBGE had proven its worth nationally as well as globally with its research output.

“Dr Abid Azhar has taken KIBGE to new heights and I must praise his dynamic and proactive leadership in this regard,” Dr Abdul Qadeer added.

“I advise my students to avoid food items on sale in markets,” he said, and added, “Unfortunately, Pakistan is the only country I have seen where food items as well as medicines being sold in markets are contaminated. The level is even higher than in poorest countries of the world.  I have visited Mali, Nigeria, Sudan and different African countries, but have never seen such level of food contamination there. We must eat things which are cooked at our homes. As Muslims, this must not be our character.”

Speaking on the occasion, KU Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan said that the creation of culture of dialogue and open debate was a major step towards the shaping up of a welfare society. “We can’t progress without promoting open dialogue and debate in society,” he opined.

“We deviated from our journey to prosperity and creation of a welfare society,” the VC said, and added, “Intolerance was promoted in our society, while open discussions and dialogues were abandoned. Universities always prosper in an open and conducive society which is open to dialogue but intolerance was promoted to such an extent that we even forgot to tolerate each other. The power of pen and book is greater than guns.”

Khan further said that societies which distanced themselves from education, never progressed. “Countries that got independence after us are far ahead of us in the field of science and technology,” he reminded.

KIBGE Director Professor Dr Abid Azhar, while welcoming the guests, said, “It has always been an honour to welcome Mohsin-e-Pakistan, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan. Such competitions are organised in order to hone the skills of students. We must promote the culture of open debate in our society in order to create a peaceful and tolerant society.”

Pakistan Academy of Sciences President Dr Anwar Nasim said that KIBGE had always provided ample opportunities of research to its students, which was worth appreciating. Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan also conducted Haj and Umrah lucky draws for the employees of KIBGE and announced their names.