On June 12, 2021, Habib University hosted Anwar Maqsood, a renowned and highly respected scriptwriter, satirist, humorist and television presenter as the commencement speaker for the university’s second virtual and overall fourth convocation ceremony, celebrating the Pathfinders’ completion of their journey in the challenges and hardships of the global pandemic. Mr Maqsood, popularly known for his fearlessness, caustic wit and love for telling the bitter tales addressed the Habib students in his signature style, using rich metaphors and poetic references making his speech a treat for the listeners.
Mr. Maqsood congratulated the Class of 2021 on collectively reaching the significant milestone of graduation, and reminded Habib graduates that they are among the ‘lucky students’ who are graduating from a world-class institution and now it is their responsibility to serve Pakistan and give back to their communities.
“Today, Habib University’s fourth caravan has reached the destination of its journey. But you must not stop to rest at this juncture – there is much work to be done. The future of the country is in your hands, just like your degree,” he said. “And it is your duty to care for it and protect it.”
Speaking about the immense losses Pakistan has faced since its inception, Mr. Maqsood expressed his hope in the future of the country, believing that the young people with the benefit of a Habib education will safeguard the only thing that has remained, the ‘Azadi’ or freedom of making Pakistan a better place to live in.
Anwar Maqsood entrusted the responsibility of the country’s future to the Habib Pathfinders, advising them to continue seeking knowledge and realize the full potential of the education they have obtained.
Mourning the decline of the Urdu language, Mr. Maqsood reminded Habib students that our mother tongue encompasses a rich history amalgamating our vibrant culture and tradition, which gives it the power to bring together loved ones. He asked Habib students to never forget their roots and always remain grounded in Pakistan, no matter where life might take them.
“All of you have been educated in English, and it will remain with you,” Mr. Maqsood said. “But I request you, do not let go of Urdu. Whenever you write to your parents and your teachers, write to them in Urdu. Maybe when they read the ‘Adaab’, your parents will forget the distance between you.”
While fondly remembering the late Dr. Asif Farrukhi, a prolific writer in Urdu and English, and a recipient of the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, he said, “Your teacher, Dr. Asif Farrukhi, is no more among us. But his contributions to Urdu literature will forever remain with us.”
While writing personal letters to Muhammad Iqbal, the founding poet of the nation, Mr. Maqsood related an imaginary conversation Iqbal had with Quaid-e-Azam regarding the future of the youth in Pakistan.
“Iqbal told me: [I saw] the Quaid began to leave before prayer. I tried to stop him -He said, “I am tired of praying. I said, ‘Quaid, please pray for the young people in Pakistan who are studying. Quaid, I think they want a bright future for their country. I think they want to be truthful. Their eyes see the stars they want to reach.”
Mr. Maqsood expressed his hope that the Pathfinders will embark on a new journey succeeding and growing beyond the classroom. He requested the graduates to always remember their time at Habib, and embody the values of Yohsin, which are excellence, beauty, respect, passion and service. He reminded Habib students that after graduating, they now have the power to transform the world by using the knowledge and skills that they have been taught at Habib.
“I have to tell you just how much hope I have because of you. You are graduating from a great institution, and you may very well be moving to different countries,” Mr. Maqsood said. “But never forget Pakistan. Never forget your teachers, never forget your people. Always remember this place.”