Day Two: Naat & English declamation contests held

On the second day of week-long celebrations currently underway at COSIS (Minhaj University, Lahore) in connection with the 59th birthday of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, Naat & English declamation contests were held on February 9, 2010. The topic of speech competition was "Strategic challenges confronting Pakistan." COSIS principal Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi presided over the programme, whereas Mian Imran Masood, former provincial minister, was the guest of honour on the occasion. Brig. (r ) Farooq Hameed Khan, defence analyst, Pir Syed Asghar Ali Shah Gilani, patron of MQI Khushaab chapter, Pir Syed Habibullah Shah Chishti ( naib Amir-e-Jamat Ahle Sunnet, and Zahoor Ahmad were also present among the distinguished guests.

Sheikh Zahid Fayyaz, Senior Deputy Secretary General, Col. (r ) Muhammad Ahmad, Mufti Abdul Qayyum Khan Hazarvi, Prof Muhammad Nawaz Zafar, G. M. Malik, Sohail Ahmad Raza, Syed Farhat Hussain Shah, Qazi Faiz-ul-Islam, Dr Zahoorullah Qadri, Dr Muhammad Asghar Javed, Muhammad Ilyas Azami, Prof Abdul Qaddus Durrani, Mumtaz-ul-Hassan Barvi, Ateeq Ahmad Haider, Mian Muhammad Abbas Naqishbandi, Shabbir Ahmad Jami, Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, Rana Muhammad Akram Qadri, Ghulam Mujtaba Qadri, Sabir Hussain Naqishbandi, Murad Ali Danish and Muhammad Kashif Bhatti were also present on the occasion.

The formal proceedings of the programme got underway with the recitation from the Holy Quran by Qari Muhammad Usman, while Syed Abdur Raoof Shah recited Naat. More than one hundred students, both male and female, from different colleges and universities participated in the competition. The jury for English speech contest consisted of Dr Salim Ahmad Saddiqi, Prof Ali Irfan and Prof Waheed Ahmad. The Naat jury included Irshad Azam Chishti, Qari Anser Ali Qadri and Shafique Hussain Nizami.

According to the results, Saba Shafqat (Islamia College for Women Lahore Cantt.), Khazir Zeeshan (Naeemia Qirat Academy Islamabad) and Muhammad Ishfaq (College of Shariah and Islamic Sciences) won first, second and third positions respectively. Yamina Bibi (Allama Iqbal Medical College Lahore), Shoaib Khan (COSIS) and Lubna bibi (Government College for Women Samanabad) bagged first, second and third positions in English declamation contest.

In his address on the occasion, Mian Imran Masood, former provincial minister of Punjab, said that the Pakistani students possessed talent and extraordinary capabilities and what they needed to demonstrate their qualities were the right occasions and quality education. He said that MQI and Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri always gave a purpose to the nation. Minhaj University is also such an institution which combined the modern and ancient sciences. He suggested to Shaykh-ul-Islam that one branch of Minhaj University should be opened in the far-flung area of Balochistan so that the poor students of the area should also benefit from this blend of education.

Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi, COSIS principal, thanked the guests for their participation in the programme. He said that Pakistan, no doubt, was confronted with numerous crises but we as a nation were authors of these. No one has risen up against anti-people policies. Unless we learn to stand up to injustice, our leaders would continue to behave as they are presently doing. There is no other way to hold the ruling elite accountable and reform the system than this.

Brig. (r ) Farooq Hameed Khan, Pir Syed Asghar Ali Shah Gilani, Syed Habibullah Shah Chishti, Col.. (r ) Muhammad Ahmad, Mufti Abdul Qayyum Khan Hazarvi, Prof Muhammad Nawaz Zafar and Sohail Ahmad Raza also addressed on the occasion.

Hafiz Shakeel Akram, president of Bazm-e-Minhaj, thanked all the students who took part in the competition. Prof Mujeeb-ur-Rehman conducted the proceedings of the programme.