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Chitrali student awarded scholarship to study in UK

CHITRAL, July 10: Mr. Abdul Qayum, son of Zar Bahadar, a resident of Sherandoor Mulkhow, has got admission in MSc. Health Care Policy and Management at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. ukHe received Aga Khan Foundation International scholarship to pursue master studies at the University of Birmingham. The programme at the university will be commencing in September 2014, according to Shahzad Hussain, a friend of the student, in an email sent to ChitralToday on Thursday. It may be noted that the AKF scholarship programme is highly competitive and only candidates with exceptional skills and abilities are considered and sent to institutes of higher learning abroad.]]>

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  1. Zahiruddin says


  2. Salman Ali Nashad says

    This would be unjust with the soul of late Salahuddin, the genius, if we remained silent in identifying the black sheep within Imamat Institutions. His proud daughter (Bakhtawar Salik) must have been too young by then when her father was working in AKRSP. Without an iota of doubt, he was an asset for Chitral but it’s our bad luck he left us so soon. A very powerful mafia does exist with AKF institutions in Chitral, which was instrumental to oust him from AKRSP. They considered him as a potential threat to their own very survival. He deserved the AKF scholarship as he was an intellectual. But in majority of the cases, the scholarships have so far been given to the blue-eyed and favourits. The children of the mafia, occupying the honourary set up one by one for the last several years, have always been the beneficiaries of these scholarships. If we have a glimpse at the AKF scholarship history, you will find good looks, biradari, nepotism have always remained the top priority. A particular family still occupies the Imamat institutions. There are several examples when five real brothers are working with different Imamat institutions after the retirement of their father. If you are that qualified, how a single one of you failed to go somewhere else. The Imamat institutions are always open for them even if they have a masters degree in Islamiat or Urdu. The level of incompetence has made inroads to such an extent that even after availing the scholarships they have no capacity to go somewhere else. You can see two real sisters, five real brothers working in different Imamat institutions. This is the reason Chitralis lag far behind compared to people of Gilgit-Baltistan in every field because the latter follow the merit. They don’t discriminate between the Wakhi people and those living in the well-developed Hunza. Here in Chitral, a Wakhik cannot even think of making to to foreign country on an AKF scholarship no matter how competent he or she is. I would suggest the AKF should replace the word meritocracy with safarishocracy.

    1. Muhammad Jalaluddin Shamil says

      @slman nashad
      I can only say u have a narrow worldview and a prejudiced approach. Borrowing word from u (above),there is no one iota of truth, neither insight nor authenticity in ur allegations.
      Yes indeed the late Salahuddin Lal, an intimate friend of my elder brother, was an extremely nice and kind hearted human, a well-read individual and identity of Chitral.

  3. Adnan Zainul Abideen says

    Million of congratulation to the talented son of Chitral Mr Abdul Jamil Zar Bahadar, his family for his outstanding achievement. Wish him all the best in all his future endeavors.

  4. Bakhtawar Salik says

    I strongly disagree with the claims that AKF scholarships are only for the Ismaili sect. I belong to a Sunni family and my father M. Salahudddin Salik did his masters on an AKF scholarship at the University of Reading UK. He went on to serve AKRSP for 11 years without any sectarian bias. In face of a personal example like this, it would be a crime to make any such allegations. Furthermore, the AKDN has served Chitral for decades and stands unparalleled by any other NGO and the government administration. Its time we learn to call a spade a spade and move on such pity stuff!

  5. Riaz Ahmad says

    First of All, heartiest congratulations to Brother Abdul Qayum for his remarkable achievement!
    I have been reading the comments of colleagues for a couple a days. The respected fellows have ridiculous views about the merit system of AKF scholarship. Instead of congratulating a person who has competed globally and achieved something very important we are criticizing organizational policies without any logical and concrete evidence. I fail to understand why there is a debate of Suni and Ismaili when it comes to AKF scholarship. I have following up Chitrali Students who are going abroad for studies on different scholarships including AKF, commonwealth, Fulbright, AusAid etc. Interestingly majority of them are coming from Ismaili families who are representing our peaceful Chitral in global educational institutes. Pity state of affairs, I can only say “grapes are sour”.

  6. Fathul Baari Faateh says

    Brothers don’t politicize everything. Whatever the case may be there is competition for the said scholarship, among students either ismaili aor sunni. When i am not applying for the award how can i say it;’s only for other sects… I don’t know any sunni student applying for the award.

  7. salahuddin says

    Please stop spreading wrong information about other communities students getting AKF scholarships. 99% of these scholarships goes to one community as they takes it as granted. I don’t understand why you called AKDN institutions as Immamat Edarays as these are funded by international donor agencies nothing to do with Imam. I can even give you whole lists of undeserved people who got scholarships to foreign countries through these organizations. There was person who was even fired from Akesp teacher job due to politics and was adjusted in one of the AKDN projects and in short time he became a manager plus he got a scholarship to a foreign country.
    The reason you guys are making these as religious institutions is just to get maximum benefit from donors money as other communities are reluctant due to their ideological differences.
    Don’t get me wrong even within Ismaili community a few families have got hold on these institutions and they are utilizing the community development funds for their families development.

    1. Sher Afgan says

      I must appreciate Salahuddin the few lucky Ismaili families who just take prestigious AKF for granted. They try to accommodate their incompetent third divisioner daughters, sons and other relatives. The two sisters from upper Chitral are the glaring examples who were sent to London School of Economics and Institute of Islmail Studies depriving very competent boys and girls because their father was the member of the council. What happened then? Both the sisters were accommodated in AKHSP and FOCUS. Had they been that competent they could have gone to some other organization. Their only plea is that they want to serve the Imamat institutions. Their tall claim of serving AKDN will be known after they would have the desired experience and then they will not stay even for a single day and their lust for serving will die altogether. The Imam wants the whole community to progress but here his institutions are being misused by the black sheep. The AKRSP, AKHS, AKES, WASEP, FOCUS vehicles are being given to top govt officials, clerics, journalists and others to bribe them. Computers are being distributed among govt depts by CIADP instead of utilizing them for some other causes. A RPM who is not capable enough to deliver a written speech is being given third time extension. The NGOs in Chitral are corrupt to the core and we request the AKF and other NGO high ups to take notice of what is going on here.

    2. Muhammad Jalaluddin Shamil says

      Gentleman; I’m not spreading anything wrong, u r giving mis-information. In any civilized society ur comment will lead to libel followed by a sue in a court of law, i fear that.
      My sole objective is to provide the readers with factual information in response of the superficial and fanciful commentary in this page. I am not in any way defending AKF, but only presenting the truth. You should know that, rather accept the truth that AKF scholarship is NOT ONLY FOR ISMAILI STUDENTS,MANY SUNNI STUDENTS HAVE AVAILED THIS SCHOLARSHIP AS WELL. I myself know about a Sunni kai who passed out from the Oxford availing AKF scholarship.
      2ndly, let it be clear that AKF acquires donation from three sources not only from foreign donors, the contributors are (I)Imamat personal donation (II) Donation from global Ismaili Jamat and (III)from Int’l donor agencies.Therefore, it is only half the truth to say that WASEP, AKRSP, Health etc which function in ur area only attains fund from foreign donors, in fact these institutions pursue their activities through the donation of all the above three sources.
      There are two types of institution working under the umbrella of AKDN, one type is called Jamati Institution(s) having domain and jurisdiction specific to Ismailis and the second type is called Imamat Institution(s) which serves all the communities including Ismailis, Sunnis, Shias etcc. So in our context AKRSP, WASEP, Health, Education etc are the imamat institutions and their services are not limited to Ismailis. The WASEP pipeline is not for Ismailis alone, AKRSP does not only work for Ismailis, Aga Khan Maternity Home booni and AKU Karachi are not serving only Ismailis, rather all imamat institutions work for the welfare of humanity at large. It is due to the donation from the Hazir Imam himself and the donation from Ismaili people along with the foreign donors that these are named as Imamat institution. The donors are not going to pay any untrustworthy people, infact the donors have a trust on the Ismaili Imamat so they offer their donations.The Imam bring this money to Chitral but u r stll not happy….
      As u have mentioned that certain ismaili family have got hold on the institutions. AKRSP comes under the domain of Imamat institution, Who heads it? Is the GM an Ismaili? Which ismaili family holds the grip? Are all the employs of AKRSP are only Ismailis? Space here doesnt allow to go into th nitty-gritties.
      I can only suggest u to arm urself with facts and figures than come forth with ur valuable comments.U need to do 2 things.Firstly, dont come on the stage with hearsay information and guess work.2ndly, acquaint urself the modus operandi of AKDN/AKF if u consider it ur right to comment on its policies.

  8. Fida Hussain says

    Let me share that, to my information, it is not true to say that ismaili’s have always been the beneficiaries of AKF scholarship. Rather, the situation is quite opposite, the scholarship has been awarded to successful and competent students from other sects in islam.
    I would suggest to all the learned writers to first get “facts” before you claim on such an important issue.
    The gentleman from mulkhow, let me say, has made all of us (whether sunni or ismali or kalash) proud by winning this scholarship which is openly announced and openly competed. I really dont know if he is an ismaili but i know he is a chitrali, which is really making me satisfied.

  9. Ali Safdar Khan says

    Gentlemen, you all seem to be very educated and skillful. I would suggest we rather not indulge in bad mouthing and naming people on this forum and take the oppurtunity to congratulate this above gentleman on his success. I have witnessed some of the commentators take it their right to name people on this forum and criticize them for no reasons. The AKDN institutions are playing role in the changing the life of the marginalized communities in this region there is no denying the fact but it is also true that some elements within the Imamat institutions use their connections as a leverage to support their kith and kin. Well than this sort of issues are found everywhere AKDN is no exception, these are the symptoms of sickness of this society.

  10. Muhammad Jalaluddin Shamil says

    @husain wali
    A grade-18 govt official is eligible to occupy a slot of DC of a district, why cant occupy a slot in honorary setup in any Jamati institution or Imamat Institution?
    Your accusation is totally baseless, absurd and based on your personal concerns. No one has ever been to any leisure trip or what so ever, don’t misguide people and malign the dignified institutions. ur caliber is such that u can’t differentiate between a Jamati institution and an Imamat Institution, with such understanding u r not entitled to raise any objection.
    If u have any grievances against any institution, an individual or any group or what so ever, you have got a platform by the name “The Shia Imami Ismaili Conciliation and Arbitration Board “, you can approach this institution to voice ur concern and redress the same.Raising such false allegation against any institution, in a social media, while hiding in your underground shell will only help in creating misunderstanding.
    I dont want to argue further, u need not to malign any institution based on ur personal worldview and baseless accusations.if you have the guts to raise voice against any mishandling, do it through proper channel.

    1. Sher Afgan says

      @Jalaluddin Shamilat
      I do not expect anything else from you except saying hats off to incompetent people within AKF as you might also be one of the beneficiaries who enjoyed perks and privileges for the last several years. Now your turn is over and your fellows are busy enjoying their turn like PPP and PML-N striving for their turns by sidelining Imran Khan.
      The way PTI has made inroads in the mainstream politics, these incompetent lots of opportunists will also be wiped out one day in a very shameful manner. The person who will do harm and violate the farman of Imam will certainly pay the price and majority of them have come on the road. The future of these people who are busy in adjusting the incompetent generations in Imamat institutions is quite bleak, so better cat quite carefully as AKDN is not deputy commissioner office or the corrupt C&W Department Department. If you will do bad you will ultimately pay the price, so just wait and see.

    2. Hussain Wali says

      I would rather say the gentleman from Laspur has turned out to be quite talkative. We all should appreciate it. The DC could be important for you. But he is not important for the council. He is bound because he is a governments servant. The platform (arbitration board) which you are referring to is occupied by subidars, hawaldars and shopkeepers so it lacks the basic requirement. Secondly, we strongly oppose the jiga system, and believe to drag the opponents in a court of law. As far your bid to please some DCs, council officials will definitely be instrumental to make a space for yourself as majority of the people enter by flattering these people.

  11. Hussain Wali says

    The rhetoric of meritocracy in AKF is quite common. You can see greedy people occupying Ismail Councils and then ruthlessly misusing the name of the Imamat institution for their own benefits. A grade 18 government official could be seen holding an important honorary slot in the council. Giving the government officers important slots within the honorary set-up of the Ismaili councils is solely meant to please and bribe them. They enjoy full benefits in the name of honourary service. They are sent on leisure trips to Muree, Islamabad, Karachi etc., and in some cases even abroad. But their contribution is zero. The irony of the fact is that when there comes a time to speak for these institutions these government officers just go in hibernation pretending they could not speak due to sensitivity of their jobs making it clear their stay in the AKF institutions is to avail leisure trips. Besides, they also enjoy scholarships to their incompetent sons, daughters and kith and kin. The time has come that the AKF ensured merit or else we will be left with no option but to drag the authorities concerned to the court of law if undeserving people keep on occupying these opportunities in the name of so-called meritocracy. We have become fed up with these incompetent people who have blackmailed the prestigious Imamat institutions in connivance with a particular tribe.

  12. Muhammad Jalaluddin Shamil says

    My heartiest congrates may plz be conveyed to the winner of the scholarship.
    @Sher Afgan
    You have presented a very shallow, narrow and superficial approach towards the said initiative.It takes long to prove ones credibility and AKF and its subsidiary organs have already been successful in this respect.Only by dint of ones ability one gets favour from AKDN’s initiatives.However, humanly shortcoming may sometime creeps in while pursuing organizational endeavors, but it is not justified to generalize such shortcomings.Giving few liner unjustified comment will neither harm the credibility of AKF nor will obstruct the entitled to get his/her due share.
    u ironically has preferred NTS to AKDN fair practices. Do u know what is the credibility of NTS? as an eye opener go through the initiative of NTS in chitral some months back and its credibility will be evident. Furthermore, nts test for the recruitment in ministry of defence is also a proof of its credibility.

  13. Sher Afgan says

    The AKF scholarships are not merit-based rather these are for the favavourits and blue eyed. The track record shows that AKF scholarships were always given to those whose fathers and relatives occupied key posts in the AKDN. A couple of females from upper Chitral have already availed the scholarships after using their connections in Karachi and the issue was criticized by people of Chitral through the platform of ChitralToday some years back. The AKF high ups must stop this malpratice and award the scholarships through NTS test or it will lose its credibility.

  14. Yasir Khan says

    It may be noted that the AKF scholarship programme is highly competitive and only candidates with exceptional skills and abilities are considered and sent to institutes of higher learning abroad, NOT FOR SUNNI COMMUNITY STUDENTS. (I think the author forgot to add the full details).

    1. Muhammad Jalaluddin Shamil says

      @Yasir Khan
      Why u people post comments which hold no ground? Ur comment is more than intellectual dishonesty.Giving mis-information to the readers is a shameful act. Do u know anything about the AKF scholarship? there is no discrimination between Sunni or Ismaili while offering AKF scholarship. The deserving gets the scholarship irrespective of religious persuasion, race or any other consideration.
      For the information of general readers i would like to share that more Sunni students have attained the AKF scholarship than Ismailis, similar is the situation while getting admission in AKU, one can do research in this regard.AKF knows no discrimination in this regard.I suggest u Mr. yaseer, do research before giving ur learned comments.Dont mislead general public. Opinion formation based on false statement can create disappointment and even anarchy in the society.I hope ur next comment will come after knowing the reality.

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