Islamabad - Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) needs to expand its network at international level to project the thoughts of Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal in the true perspective and to motivate the Muslims to follow Iqbal in their practical life for their unity and addressing the socio-economic challenges.

This was stated Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, chairman of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), while addressing the Iqbal Day function held at the AIOU on Friday. He suggested that the AIOU should be renamed as Allama Iqbal International Open University, empowering it to establish its campus abroad to promote Iqbal’s philosophy and religious thoughts.

While eulogising the leading role of AIOU in the educational sector, he said it has emerged as a most strong and effective institution for promoting national interest as well as projecting the life of national heroes at the international level.

He noted it made outstanding contribution in projecting Iqbal’s work and it is the only University in the world which published more than 300 research publications on him, covering all aspects of his work.

Senator Zafarul Haq urged the youth to take guidance from the thoughts of Iqbal and reform themselves for building Pakistan. In the light of the concept of self-respect of Allama Iqbal. The nation should master modern science and technology and endeavour for upholding of human values and as it is the only way to achieve the objectives of the creation of Pakistan.

He also underlined the need of understanding Iqbals philosophy and thoughts about the Unity of Muslim Ummah.  He said that Allama Iqbal was a precious asset of the nation and his philosophy was still a beacon for the people. Allama Iqbal in his poetry gave the message of love and welfare of the people and by following his philosophy, Pakistan could be made an ideal state.

Earlier, the AIOU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui in his address of welcome highlighted the role and achievements of the University’s in propagating Iqbal’s message of love and brotherhood. It is their great pride that this mega national University introduced itself with his name. It has also been the University’s unique distinction that it has presented highest number of research publications on Iqbal. He said iqbal’s message was for the entire humanity, particularly for the well-being of the Ummah. He said Iqbal wanted to see Pakistan as a sovereign, self-respected and economic self-reliant state.

Dr. Siddiqui also explained his vision for giving further boost to the University, particularly in the field of research. Various research-incentive progammes were being undertaken to acknowledge and reward the research work.

The University’s curriculum and test books are also being revised to incorporate latest knowledge and developments in different fields. Focus will also be laid on professional development of their academic and non-academic staff.  Besides this, support system will also be strengthened to facilitate the students.

Prof Dr Moeen-ud-Nizami, chairman department of Zaban-o-Adbiat, University of Punjab, lauded the university’s contribution in projecting Iqbal’s work. He appreciated the VC’s chancellor vision to upgrade the University’s status and academic deliberation at domestic and international level. He emphasised for the bringing the Iqbal’s teaching into practice to address the today’s problems, particularly those facing by the Ummah.

Renewed writer and columnist Khurshid Nadeem also spoke on the possibilities of the Unity of ‘Miliat-e-Islamia according to Iqbal. He was the view the Ummah and the people of Pakistan revive their past glory truly practicing the teachings of Quran and Sunnah as was conceived by Dr Iqbal.

The function was organised by the department of Iqbal Studies, AIOU. Chairman of the Department Dr. Karman Iqbal spoke on the extensive research work, they have done so far. The AIOU, he added has emerged as Iqbal Centree of excellence. It has produced 38 PhDs on Iqbaliyat, which are the highest number as compared to others at the national level.  The AIOU, he said is committed to do the best to translate Iqbal’s thoughts and message into reality.