SHAH NAWAZ MOHAL
The Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) College for Boys, H-8/4 held inter-collegiate debate competition titled ‘Role of Overseas Pakistanis in National Development’ here in which students from various colleges participated as part of the awareness week marking the International Migrants Day.
OPF College H-8 Principal Professor Muhammad Siddique welcomed guests and participants in his address and recounted the achievements of OPF College since its inception back in 2001. ‘All these successes were possible courtesy of highly professional team of teachers who worked with dedication and determination. It was due to them that Asher Shahid, a student of this college topped the world in Physics and Shaheer Ahmed Khan topped SSC exam from FBISE by scoring 97pc marks, he said during the address. Professor Siddique also thanked chief guest Gen (retd) Abdul Qayyum, Habeeb-ur-Rehman, MD OPF and other officers to grace the event with their presence.
Before debate competition, the students from both OPF boys and girls campuses performed short skits that documented lives, trials and tribulations many Pakistanis working abroad were facing. The issues like long work hours, challenging and unsafe work environment, homesickness, demanding family members back home, alienated children were aptly represented by students in skits.
Students from various grades and age groups debated in either ‘for’ or ‘against’ the topic ‘Role of Overseas Pakistanis in National Development’. The speakers were allowed to debate in English or Urdu and were given maximum 4 minutes to make their case.
Majority of the speakers debated in favour of the subject while few brave souls dared to go against the tide. Those in favour cited the value and pivotal role played by the foreign exchange sent home by hardworking Pakistanis abroad and sacrifices made for the greater good of their fellows. Those who contend against the topic were of the view that ‘brain drain’ is happening due to increased number of Pakistanis going abroad and the major beneficiary of overseas were their families and the country at large suffered due to lack of workforce.
Taha Amir, Ayesha Adnan and Shaheer Ahmed Khan, all from OPF colleges came 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively while consolation prize went to Asam-ul-Haque of IMC, I-10. The decision was made by the panel of judges, comprising senior professors and academics.
‘All the tableaus, speeches and skits were amazing and carried glimpse of our social life. More interestingly, the concept of teaching a lesson is most laudable,’ said chief guest Abdul Qayyum, while speaking to the audience. He also shed light on the importance of overseas Pakistanis who played vital part in our economy. ‘We have 8 to 9 million Pakistanis abroad and they have their lives, families and homes here. We need to teach our labourers technical skills, so that they can work in better positions, earn more and be considered as ambassadors of our great country,’ he said.
He insisted that the young generation must be groomed to become better Pakistanis, better Muslims and better human beings. ‘I wish you all the luck for your future life and endeavour, May God be with you,’ he concluded.