During the academic years from 1959 to 1961, Jahanzeb College received great set-back by the departure of some devoted teachers and the disciplinarian Principal Lt. Col. Faizullah Khan Khattak. Senior academicians like Professors Abdul Salam, Aleem Siddiqi, Ashraf Altaf, Sardar Nawazesh Ali Pasha, Aurangzeb Khan and Sultan Khan were replaced by fresh Masters in these subjects and had yet to gain experience.
The Principal, Khwaja M. Ashraf was an aged retired professor with less experience in Administering an esteemed institution like Jahanzeb College, which was famous for quality education throughout Pakistan. We had students from as far as Lahore and Sialkot. Besides, we had a great number of students from Malakand Agency, Chitral, Dir, Mardan and Charsada.
K.M. Ashraf lacked the charismatic stature of Col. Khatak. His administration was very loose and the Staff often made fun of his working style. As the Director Health Services and Director Education had to meet the Ruler in the morning of each working day because of the nature of their departments, he also want to have the same status. After a few such un-called meetings, he was advised to remain in the College premises and would be called whenever the Ruler wanted to see him. Anyhow, in the State order of Precedence, or Protocol he was on the same level with the Directors of Health and Education.
I had to suffer due to his weak hold on the Staff. Unfortunately, in my 3rd year, I lost the track and was under the shock of my poor performance in F.A. I attended classes casually and often skipped one or two periods daily. Then another misfortune hit me. The Degree Course was extended to three years by President Ayub’s Regime and for appearance in every year exam, you had to clear a local test.
As usual, I topped in all subjects but even the Principal withheld my name to appear in First year Degree Exam, because of my short attendence. I met him in his office and pointed out to him my performance. He refused, saying that Mr.Kiani was against sending my name for the exam. I met Kiani but he was firm in his decision against me.
So I lost heart to continue my studies and decided to seek for a job. I was just 18 years old. What a shame to destroy my life. That was the phase one of my ‘qalandarism’ as predicted by my father’s Peer.
To Be Continued…