On June 16, 2013, at least 25 people were killed when a bomb ripped through a bus full of the students, followed by a suicide attack and a gun-battle in the Bolan Medical College Hospital, where the injured students were taken for treatment. The martyrs included the deputy commissioner of Quetta, 14 students of the women’s university and four nurses.

However, despite the terrorist attack, it is a fact that number of students has risen from 1500 to 9000 within four-year time. And the credit for this phenomenal success goes not only to the brave people of Balochistan and their valiant daughters, but the unsung hero is the vice chancellor of the university – Prof Dr Rukhsana Jabeen.

In an exclusive interview, Dr. Rukhsana, who has been presented an award by the International Awards’ Magazine for her services for the womenfolk of Balochistan, said that the cowardly attack could not defeat the courage of the parents and students of the province.

While many know Balochistan as an ‘underdeveloped and backward’ area, only few know that Balochistan is home to one of the two women-only universities Pakistan has today. “The people not only decided to wage a war against extremism and terrorism, we were glad to welcome the brave mothers of the martyrs who admitted their other daughters to the university soon after the attack,” the vice chancellor said.

Dr. Rukhsana, who is perhaps the only local women of Balochistan serving on Grade 22 post, did her Ph.D in plant pathology from the Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) and has published 40 papers so far. “The government has sent 63 students for Ph.D on scholarship to various universities aboard during the last three years. Out of them, 12 students have already returned and joined the university’s faculty,” she said.

The Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University (BKU) is Balochistan’s first and Pakistan’s second women university for which Sardar Bahadur Khan has gifted the land. She said that the university has introduced One Campus Solution where a child may start education and get out after completing PhD.

“The sub campuses of the university are functional in remote areas of Naushki, Khuzdar and Pishin under the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and assistance from the provincial government. The Naushki campus was started with 170 students and PC1 of the Khuzdar University has been approved and soon it would be functioning too,” she added. The Khuzdar Campus is located alongside the CPEC route.

She said the Pishin campus would be constructed at 200 acres of land for which 100 acres of land has been volunteered by the Mullakhel tribe free of cost. She said that the Naushki campus was located the bordering areas of Iran and Afghanistan which are already functional. She said that the chief minister of Balochistan was taking special interest and expressed optimism that it would be completed soon.

“The higher education vision is that if a mother is educated, it will result in educating the next generations. So women education is paramount,” she added. She said that out of total 9,000 of the university, 75 percent of the students come from far-flung areas. About CPEC, Dr. Rukhsana said that it would not only help change the fate of the country, but also of the province.

In order to take the maximum mileage of the game-changer project, Chinese language classes have been started for the students so as they could learn Chinese language for which private teachers have been hired. She said that 42 students have been sent abroad for doctorate degree and one student has gone to China as well.

The vice chancellor said that Rs 410 million has been allocated for building six faculties including faculty of arts and design, textile and fashion designing. She explained that for lab strengthening, Rs 610 million has been earmarked, besides incentives for lab researchers. She said that Rs 180 million has been spent on the new building of the university, where 11 departments have already been shifted.

Balochistan Assembly Speaker Rahila Hameed Durrani provided funds for hostel, library and fine arts departments. Moreover, the gymnasium for girls is also being constructed and efforts are afoot to locate funds for sports complex as well.

Dr Rukhsana said that youths of Balochistan could not only excel in education but in sports as well if proper facilities and resources provided to them. Highlighting the success in sports, she said seven gold medals were won by the university students out of nine in the National Games 2015.

 Source: Pakistan Today

Four years since deadliest terrorist attack on a university bus which left 14 students martyred and over 50 wounded, the life in the Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University, Quetta, is in full swing and over 9000 students have joined hands to defeat fear of extremism and terrorism.


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