D I KHAN, K-P: At the time of Pakistan’s creation on August 14th 1947, there existed only three colleges in NWFP, namely Islamia College Peshawar, Edwards College Peshawar and Vedic Bharatari College Dera Ismail Khan. In 1956, Engineering College Peshawar was established under the umbrella of Peshawar University, later given the status of a university in 1982-83. Only a few diploma-awarding polytechnic institutes were established during 1960s in Peshawar and one at D I Khan in 1968-69.
Until 1972, Peshawar University was the only university in NWFP. Later then prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto approved the establishment of Swat University in the province. The locals of D I Khan demanded a university in their region with the plea that literacy rate of the city was much higher as compared to the other divisions of NWFP such as Peshawar and Hazara.
Over time, University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar (UET) campuses at Mardan, Abbottabad, Jalozai, Kohat and Bannu were established to provide opportunities of technical education to other districts of K-P as the UET Peshawar could not cater to more than 4,000 students coming from all over the province.
It is worth mentioning that vice-chancellors of the UET Peshawar from Mardan, Nowshera, Kohat and Bannu contributed to their home districts by opening UET campuses there. But unfortunately the same wasn’t done in D I Khan and that is unfair to thousands of students of D I Khan, Tank and South Waziristan Agency who could not continue their engineering studies due to unavailability of UET campus at D I Khan.
It is very unfortunate for the NA-24 and 25 constituencies (D I Khan and Tank district) that two MNAs and six MPAs have never raised their voice for establishing an engineering university at D I Khan to facilitate the youth of the region.
After a long time, however, the city has elected a dynamic, well-informed and educated MPA, Sardar Ali Amin Khan Gandapur, the minister for revenue of K-P. He has addressed issues of beautification of the city, construction of parks, lighting, improvement of district headquarters, hospitals and schools, among other things.
We earnestly request PTI chief Imran Khan, Chief Minister of K-P Pervaiz Khan Khattak and Sardar Ali Amin Khan Gandapur of D I Khan to establish an engineering school at Gomal University D I Khan that offers civil, electrical and mechanical engineering classes.
Sher Zaman Khan
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2017.