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SPEECH BY HIS HIGHNESS PRINCE KARIM AGA KHAN - Urdu University Inauguration - 1960-10-02

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Event - 1960-10-02
Date: 
Sunday, 1960, October 2
Location: 

On October 2, 1960, His Royal Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan inaugurated the Urdu University at Karachi.80 years old, Dr. Molvi Abdul Haq in his address of welcome recalled the historic occasion which happened 64 years ago at Aligarh when Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan who was as old as he himself, presented an address of welcome to His late Royal Highness Sir Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III, who was as young as the present Aga Khan.
In his address, His Royal Highness said:

May I thank you most sincerely for your kind invitation to attend this function and to launch the cause of the Urdu University. For many centuries my family has been connected with universities and I am fortunate that by my presence today here with you, I will be no less connected with these institutions than were my predecessors. May I add how deeply touched I am by your very kind references to my late grandfather, the Aligarh movement and my late father.

My second or third professor of Islamic history who was appointed to teach me by my late grandfather had the burdensome duty of instructing me in Urdu. After some time, I was in the fortunate position of being able to appreciate, if not fully understand, the beautiful language. Thus I hope to be connected with this university not only by having accompanied it on its first steps, but also by having had some earlier contact with the language which it teaches.

May I take this occasion to express my hope that this university will grow up within, rather than without, the national educational programme. A university is such a complex institution that it must be fully planned and conceived in every detail before its construction begins. If we wish to become a success in this framework, I feel that it will be necessary to study the present Pakistani university situation so that our project can take its right place amongst its sister institutions.

Pakistan cannot afford to allow overlapping in her educational system nor can she support numerous projects unless they fit into a well drawn up original and national plan. I hope that the correct place for this university will be found easily and look forward to seeing the definite proposals in the future.

When this fine project has become a reality, I hope it will play the same role as that of the Usmania University for the renaissance of the Urdu language and literature.

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