Professor Garrett, the first historian of Government College Lahore, inscribed on the title of his book on the history of Government College written in 1914, “Ask now of the days that are passed.” This essentially captures the essence of the conventional thrust of the traditionalists who inadvertently look back into the past and glorify it gratuitously. I sincerely believe that while there is no harm in being retrospective occasionally, it is extremely important to adopt a progressive outlook. If modernity teaches us anything it is that we must always be ready to challenge it to the utmost. Thus it is that I feel confident in stating that most of us have by now rid ourselves of the regressive notion that a university plays a marginal role in the nourishment of a nation. If nothing else then the education sector alone must shoulder the responsibility of propelling our nation safely out of this patch of inertial socio-economic despondency.In order to revive the dwindling spirit of struggle and progress, our educational institutions have to be remodelled such that they are well equipped to perform the task of social reparation that our people greatly require. While I am not one to preach the virtues of blind adherence to an unseen future, I am nevertheless confident that we must not let the vision of it escape us entirely. It must always be in our sight, just as palpable as the present and just as undeniable as the past. Vigilant and realistic thinkers may question the validity of this perspective and on what grounds do I appear to promise so much. And then I shall be asked what the ultimate goal of university education is, and of the liberal or philosophical knowledge which I believe it must impart: I retort that what I have already said has been sufficient to show that it has a very tangible, real, and sufficient end, though the end cannot be divided from that knowledge itself. Knowledge is capable of being its own end. Such is the constitution of the human mind, that any kind of knowledge, if it be really such, is its own reward. But we are just as much in the business of nation building as we are in the business of imparting knowledge, for in the nation that the Quaid envisioned, the two are not distinct.
Prof. (Meritorious) Dr. Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman, Izaz-i-Kamal
Vice Chancellor GCU