‘Patriotism, commitment to welfare intrinsically tied to devotion’

Our Correspondent
Sunday, Dec 03, 2023

“We must remind ourselves that our patriotism, our love for this nation and our commitment to its welfare are intrinsically tied to our discipline and devotion,” said Sindh caretaker chief minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar while speaking at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Convocation 2023 at the IBA Karachi on Saturday.

Baqar said the convocation symbolises the culmination of years of relentless dedication and unwavering commitment, adding that it signifies the transformative power of education, the beacon that has illuminated the path of students’ future.

He said that for over seven decades the IBA has been at the forefront of higher education. It all began in 1955, when the institute proudly collaborated with the renowned Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, he added.

“Fast forward to today, the IBA stands as a premier multidisciplinary institution offering a spectrum of educational programmes, and the three distinguished schools — the School of Business Studies, the School of Economics & Social Sciences and the School of Mathematics & Computer Science — provide a comprehensive educational experience.

“We are gathered here today not merely as witnesses to an academic milestone but as torch-bearers of the spirit of patriotism,” said Baqar, adding that Pakistan has always kindled a fervour for national pride in our hearts. “It’s not just a country. It’s an emotion, a legacy and a responsibility.”

He said the IBA has nurtured the minds destined to shape our nation’s future. Quoting Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, he added: “With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you can’t achieve.”

He also said that as we celebrate the academic achievements of our graduating batch, it is paramount that we remind ourselves that our patriotism, our love for this nation and our commitment to its welfare are intrinsically tied to our discipline and devotion.

Addressing the students, he said that as graduates of the IBA, “you are the future leaders of our nation. Your actions, decisions and ideals will influence the course of our nation. Your patriotism, hence, should be deeply rooted in your pursuit of justice, equality and progress”.

He told them that they have the keys to Pakistan’s future. “With your education, your passion and your unwavering patriotism, you have the potential to overcome the challenges that lie ahead and to transform them into opportunities.”

The interim CM said that this responsibility is the essence of being a responsible citizen, and it is intertwined with their respective roles as IBA graduates. He said Pakistan is a nation of various cultures, languages and traditions.

“As IBA graduates you’re equipped to appreciate and celebrate this diversity. Be advocates for inclusion and respect the differences that make our nation vibrant. Just as your journey exposed you to a diverse academic environment, remember to carry the same spirit of acceptance and respect into your interactions with the world.

“In the words of Nelson Mandela, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ Education has equipped the graduates with this powerful weapon. You are now well-prepared to become responsible citizens who will profoundly impact Pakistan and the world.

Baqar told the graduates that they have the knowledge, skills and values to make a difference. “As you stand on the cusp of a new chapter in your life, I want to encourage each of you to not just be followers in your chosen fields but to aspire to be leaders.”

He said leadership is not solely about holding a title; it is about taking on roles of responsibility, inspiring change and making a positive impact on your organisation and society. He added that leadership is not about being perfect; it is about striving for excellence and being willing to learn from both successes and failures. “Each of you has the potential to be a leader in your unique way.”

He also said the nation awaits the contributions the newly graduating students would make, the changes they will inspire and the legacy they will leave. Be responsible citizens who not only achieve personal success but also elevate the entire nation, he added.

The caretaker provincial chief executive congratulated the class of 2023 and wished them to embark on a remarkable journey towards a brighter and prosperous Pakistan.

The IBA Karachi held its convocation for the class of 2023 at the main campus, where more than a thousand students graduated from the university.

As many as 1,184 graduates were conferred degrees in several disciplines. The graduating batch included 776 graduates from six undergraduate programmes, 403 graduates from 10 postgraduate programmes and five graduates from three PhD programmes.

The chief guest of the ceremony was interim CM and IBA Patron Baqar, while the guests of honour were Dr Azra Raza and Chan Soon-Shiong, professor of medicine and clinical director, Edward P Evans Foundation, MDS Centre, Columbia University, New York.

IBA Karachi Executive Director Dr S Akbar Zaidi said he applauds each graduate for reaching this significant milestone in their educational journey, as their hard work has come to fruition. “Graduation is a time of celebration and reflection, and signifies the beginning of a new chapter in your life. I encourage you all to excel in your selected walks of life and continue the legacy of excellence that is the hallmark of the IBA.”

Almost 40 per cent of the IBA graduates are young women, and this year almost half the PhD graduates are females, “which is a proud moment for the institute, as the IBA takes immense pride in empowering our women in every field”, said Dr Zaidi.

He said they are more than a business school, as they have expanded their disciplines. He shared that their first cohort of MS Finance had also graduated.

He also highlighted the IBA’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity by enrolling students from all socio-economic backgrounds, with currently 30 per cent of the IBA students receiving some form of financial assistance. Often, he said, students forget that the IBA is a public sector university, and it is compared with private universities.

Speaking about the immense capabilities of a human brain, Dr Azra quoted renowned American poet Emily Dickinson, and likened the human brain to a sponge ready to soak up knowledge.

She urged the graduates to be consistent in the pursuit of their conquests and encouraged them to never give up on their dreams, even if it meant making sacrifices to reach their potential.

Narrating Jinnah’s exemplary characteristics of honesty and delivering results, she urged the young graduates to learn from his life of numerous phenomenal achievements and to emulate him in all walks of life.

She also quoted famous poets Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Mir Taqi Mir to reiterate that one must not merely go through life but make it meaningful by striving for maximum potential. She urged the graduates to be proactive in life’s journey, and to ask questions and make the most of every available opportunity.

For the valedictorian speech, Abdullah Mehta of the BS Social Science class said that at the IBA they love studying. He said Miss Fatima Sadiq encouraged him to explore his complex economics research. He added that for four years they were touted as leaders of tomorrow. “Tomorrow is already here.”

The convocation ceremony featured the position holders in various degree programmes who were awarded medals, shields and certificates of merit. Swimming champion Ali Raza Khan (class of 2024) was awarded the ‘Excellence in Sports’ award.