Tribute to Dr. Irshad Ali: First Registrar of University of Baltistan

(Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them)

By Mr. Abdul Rehman Mir

Death is the reality that we as Muslim accept for Allah’s will but the sudden demise of our loving and inspiring personalities cannot easily be endured and forgotten. The sudden demise of the Registrar Late Dr. Irshad Ali is one of the great and tragic incidences of GB and nation as a whole. His two years journey with the university is full of his dedication, devotion, sincerity, honesty, punctuality and hardship made him the epitome of excellence in the academia that it would be very difficult to find a person like him with all these versatile qualities with Great Spirit. His efforts and determination ultimately gave us University of Baltistan, Skardu going through enormous challenges from the public as well as from the relevant institutions. Our mind and heart do not accept it that we have lost a great man of principles, optimism and determination.

University of Baltistan, Skardu was established on the demand of the locals especially the friends of Baltistan. When the former government announced the establishment of the university in Baltistan region of Pakistan that encompassed a tiring routinely tough task on the pioneering team workers especially the Minister for Education Mr. Ibrahim Sanai and Late Dr. Irshad Ali the then Campus Director who burned midnight oil in his struggle for documenting and approving the PC-1 of the university. Dr. Irshad Ali who served the university as the first Registrar had offered exceptional contribution in the establishment of the university meeting the concerned authorities in Skardu and Islamabad. His exceptional dedication and devotion lays in the foundation of the university in terms of the time and energy he invested earlier arriving the university very early in the morning and very late going home due to hectic routine work.  He gave preference to the university than to his personal life that caused to be loss of his health. He would sit on his seat at the same time would engage himself on his laptop encountering the chorus to tackle with smoothly till its accomplishment. He would always welcome every staff and faculty to his office. He would prefer to be among the company of the faculty and staff when he gets free from his office work. His simplicity always inspired and impressed every individual whenever they met him. Although, he was the owner of a big position in the varsity but he never let anybody feel that he had certain positions. His concern would always be the best duty and the best performance. Once we were talking about investment and business in the contemporary market, he said that he can make millions dollars in month but his preference was not wealth rather it would be respect and dignity. I have spent much time with him in his office working on various files and documents. When I joined this university in 2016 I was confused about my jobs and responsibilities. I wanted to invest my full energy for the wellbeing of the varsity that has always been part of my professional career. When I met him for the first time at his office, he open heartedly welcomed me and I accepted him as a role model and ideal officer. Whenever, he needed my services for official purpose, I would immediately go to his office and he would give me new ideas and knowledge each time. I feel that I cannot forget the beautiful moments spent with him. I still feel that he is standing very near to me as he was very friendly and funny with me. Sometimes, he would pass funny remarks on me and in return I would pass funnier comment in response. He even would sympathetically console us when we go through difficulty and bad times. Most of the time we used to work on important tasks at university after the campus the closed for the students and faculty. We stayed at his office until the task was accomplished. At that time of the late night, there used to be Asghar and Javed obediently following his instructions. Once he left the campus earlier and we were given a task and it took much time due to slow internet. Late Dr. Irshad could not sleep at home and called us many times. At last when the task was done he went to sleep late night at 3 am. Dr. Irshad was the only officer I ever met who would never availed any leave in his whole service.

As for as the establishment of the university is concerned, various prestigious personalities played key role in its foundation but the extraordinary efforts put forth by Dr. Irshad Ali cannot be counted in words. He had brought everything on streamline before its establishment when it used to be the campus of KIU in Skardu. His professional services had already demonstrated and delivered effectively investing his expertise of IT which is the route map for paperless campus where every official, academic and classroom activities are being carried on digitally. Late Dr. Irsahd Ali having PhD degree in Computer Science from Russia proved himself as a great change in higher education cultivating innovative culture in university education. Currently, SIS and LMS system at University of Baltistan, Skardu and KIU Gilgit play vital roles minimizing the burden of faculty, staff and students which is really a remarkable work that he contributed without any cost. University of Baltistan, Skardu having par excellence in higher education in Pakistan has been enriched and equipped with fully digital  system where malpractices and misuse of official and academic activities have gone away from human life which is a milestone in the development of higher education in Pakistan. Late Dr. Irshad Ali had truly handed over a ready-made digital campus to the first Vice Chancellor of University of Baltistan, Skardu Prof. Dr. Muhammad Naeem Khan who at once appreciated and acknowledged the munificent services and expertise of Late Dr. Irshad Ali.

On the sudden demise of our respected Registrar Late Irshad Ali, University of Baltistan went to a state of lamentation. I saw sorrow and grief on the faces of the faculty, students and staff when the sad news spread in the university. I saw our Vice Chancellor strolling here and there in a state of dejection that showed he was much closed to the deceased by heart. Indeed, we have lost a great visionary man who was leading us to the peak of success and excellence. But we can affirm on pledge that we will try our best to follow his vision and mission till the accomplishment. At last I would say that our respected Registrar Late Dr. Irshad Ali sacrificed his life for the sake the university. Today, he is not with us but the services, the accomplishments and the complete work that he made possible, he has left here for University of Baltistan, Skardu. I swear by Allah, if he had preferred comfort and luxury, University of Baltistan would not have been established. Dr. Irshad Ali will be remembered as our hero and an ideal man of inspiration, principles, discipline and determination. May Allah bestow his soul eternal rest and peace in the Heaven. Ameen.

The contributor is lecturer of Language and Cultural Studies at the University of Baltistan, Skardu. 

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