Islamabad, June 30, 2020: A special online condolence reference was held for late Prof. Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui, a renowned educationist and founder Vice Chancellor of Sukkur Institute of Business Administration (IBA) who passed away on June 22, 2020. He was a former senior civil servant with Master’s from Boston USA.
Dr. Fateh Marri, Executive Director HEC, conducted the session. Among many other scholars, it was also attended by Dr. Ishrat Husain, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity, Tariq Banuri, Chairman HEC, Ms. Naheed Durrani, Federal Secretary Climate Change, Mr. Fazalullah Qureshi, former Federal Secretary, Dr. A. Q. Mughal, former Chairman UGC, ED HEC and others.
Prof. Nisar Siddiqui, who was also a Member of the HEC’s governing body as representative of the Government of Sindh, became the Director of Sukkur Institute of Business Administration in 2004, after gaining wide experience in management, administration and academia at national and international levels. Later he became, founder VC of Sukkur IBA University which is now considered among leading institutions of higher learning in Pakistan.
In his remarks, Dr. Ishrat Husain said that the best way to remember Prof. Siddiqui is to sustain and improve his institution. “His personality was all about leadership, integrity, compassion and commitment, so his successor will have to keep these things in mind and to be strictly followed if the institution has to move forward as Prof. Siddiqui envisioned.” Dr. Ishrat said that if the team at Sukkur IBA is not motivated, it will disperse. He emphasized that this is not a 9 to 5 job, it needs commitment and real leadership. He said that now employers, while hiring, do not differentiate between IBA Karachi and Sukkur
Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri said that Mr. Siddiqui was one of the most respected academic leaders in the country who had developed and introduced new approaches into education, enhanced the standard of service to society, and transformed a nascent institute to a leading national university. He assured that every possible effort will be made to continue Prof. Siddiqui’s legacy.
Ms. Naheed Shah Durrani, Federal Secretary, Climate Change Division said that filling the void created by departure of Prof. Siddiqui was a big challenge. While praying for his family, faculty, staff and students, she said that Prof. Siddiqui was Sir Syed of his time. “He was an amazing human being, a teacher, an effective team manager, a doer and a visionary leader. He has left priceless contributions,” she said.
Mr. Nazar Mehar, former Federal Secretary said that Prof. Nisar Siddiqui proved how milestones are achieved through commitment and hard work. “He literally started from zero and took Sukkur IBA to such great heights. He had the perfect vision for every aspect of the institution. His thinking was that any student with talent should be able to continue his studies, funds should not be an issue.” Mr. Mehar said that now the biggest challenge is how to sustain his efforts and this institution.
Dr. A. Q. Mughal, former Chairman, University Grants Commission and former ED HEC shared an old memory with Prof. Siddiqui when during a visit to US institutions, the latter was focusing on the functioning of community colleges in US. “He not only observed their system keenly but, through his commitment, implemented the same in his area. Nobody could believe that such an institution can be built and run in Sukkur.”
Mr. Zahid Hussain Khand, Registrar, Sukkur IBA said that Prof. Siddiqui was their spiritual father. He gave a brief history of how a small institute affiliated with IBA Karachi became an independent and leading institution. “It was his dream to uplift the students who were not good in studies or could not afford education. His dedicated efforts led to transformation of families. He has created a team, including faculty and staff who are not only highly qualified but highly motivated to serve their community. Now his replacement is of utmost importance for future of this institution.”
Dr. Raza Bhatti, Vice Chancellor, Shaikh Ayaz University, Shikarpur and former Member (Operations) HEC said that Sukkur IBA has three big distinction from other universities in Pakistan. These are community colleges, a joint programme with OGDCL to bring poor students from all over Pakistan and the energy conservation at Sukkur IBA.
Dr. Madad Ali Shah, a senior faculty member from Sukkur IBA and VC Skills University Khairpur, said that Prof. Siddiqui urged him to come back from UK and serve his own people. Dr. Shah said that Sukkur is famous in the world due to IBA, which speaks volumes of the effort done by Prof. Siddiqui. Mr. Mumtaz Bukhari, a Sukkur based journalist, said that the work done by Prof. Siddiqui has a long-lasting impact. He wanted to bring a silent revolution through education. He had a clear vision and that was “no compromise on merit”.
Dr. Manzoor Soomro, former Chairman, Pakistan Science Foundation, said that Prof. Nisar Siddiqui was a man with a vision and strategy. “In addition to university education, he gave due importance to school education as well as university-industry linkages.”
Mr. Fayyaz Siddiqui, son of Prof. Siddiqui, shared various incidents from his father’s life as a bureaucrat proving that he never compromised on merit and always thought for welfare of the people. He said that Prof. Siddiqui was buried in the premises of Sukkur IBA, only after several requests from his team through his father wanted to get buried in their ancestral village. He hoped that the legacy of his father will continue and Sukkur IBA will prosper.
Dr. Fateh Marri thanked all participants for taking out time on Sunday, discussing upcoming challenges of Sukkur IBA and how these can be collectively addressed. He said that Prof. Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui’s commitment, foresight and leadership led Sukkur IBA to deliver high quality teaching, applied research, and focused training and capacity development. Imtiaz Solangi, Commissioner, Income Tax, Ehsan Laghari, former MD SIDA, Naseer Memon, MD, Thar Foundation, Dr. Juanid Alam Memon, PIDE, Islamabad and others spoke on the occasion.