I’d like to express my deepest appreciation for the mentorship Prof. Dr. Syed Wiqar Ali Shah extended during my MPhil and PhD in QAU. He was not only a teacher and academic supervisor but like an affectionate family member. He fixed my mistakes and turned it into a learning opportunity. His guidance has been influential, and I know it has shaped my developing skills and habits as I move into my professional career.
Prof. Dr. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah, a teacher of history, is known to us (students) as a living chapter of history. Prof. Wiqar, who served as the Chairman of Department of History and later as the Dean of Social Sciences has a long career of almost thirty- five years in Quaid-i-Azam University, which is full of motivation and inspiration for many students like me. Prof Wiqar Shah Sahab is known in the circles of academia as one of the most accomplished researcher.
The most difficult life in academics is lived by a historian. He has been carrying the burden of history on his shoulders bearing all the winds and tornadoes instilled by regimes, dictatorships and monarchs. He is sailing through these difficult waters of subsidence and truth. There are very few historians that stand tall upholding the beacon of truth and academic excellence. Prof. Dr. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah certainly is a major part of this prestigious league who in my opinion always kept the honor and sanctity of history.
Prof. Dr. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah is one of the pillars of the Department of History, serving the discipline for the last three decades in various capacities. He is an internationally reputed scholar who has written countless books on the history of KP and translated many valuable works from Pashto to Urdu and English. He has produced more M.Phil. and PhD. Students than any other faculty member in the department so far. He has also served twice as Chairperson of the History department and also Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences.
I don’t remember much of my childhood. But it lives with me in the tales I hear from my mother. The stories about how Mamaji (Prof. Dr. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah) would bring balloons every morning and would tie them to my hand and would sit and watch while I would play with them. Thinking about it, I can see the smile on Mamaji’s face as if it was happening right now. Since childhood Prof. Shah’s house was my favorite place to visit because the love we share for birds.
It is a great pleasure and privilege for me to write few words for the personality whom I admire the most, Professor Dr. Wiqar Ali Shah. Prof. Shah is renowned professor in the Dept. of History. He is known to me since 1999, the time when I joined Quaid-i-Azam University as an M.Phil student. My first meeting with Prof. Shah was at his office in the presence of one of his students who was also one of my close friends. I found him quite a humble and kind person during my very first meeting with him. Not only does he have a deep knowledge of History but he also knows how to impart his knowledge to students in an interesting and easily understandable way. He makes learning History less difficult. That is why many students admire him and enjoy his class to such an extent. I have also attended a number of his public talks and lectures.
Dr. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah, a prominent historian who has made significant contribution in highlighting the struggle of the great Bacha Khan, is currently working at the Dept. of History at QAU. Dr. Shah is a visionary person and has familiarized many new generations with the non-violence movement of Abdul Ghaffar Khan and the Khudai Khidmatgars.
Sweet memories of the Past- Revisiting the past is just like to reimburse the lost ones-thoughts, friends, relatives and all the near and dear ones.
On the request of dear/sweet Pashmina, the daughter of my friend, fellow and younger brother Prof. Dr Wiqar Ali Shah Kaka Khel, pushed me back to recollect some scattered pearls of the past from the 80s when for the first time I met Wiqar in the office of Mr Abdul Karim Khan [Now Prof. Dr A.K.K in Hawaii] who was his teacher in the Department of History, University of Peshawar and my friend. Luckily, this first meeting later on turned into a lasting friendship and family friendship till date.
I feel honoured and privileged to be one of the students of Prof Dr Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah, Former Chairman of the History Department and Dean of Social Sciences at the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad. When I did my MA and M. Phil. from the History Department of the QAU during the period 1984-1988 Dr Sahib was probably working in the History Commission. When I joined the QAU’s PhD program in 2000, Prof Dr Sikandar Hayat, then Chairman of the History Department, became my PhD thesis Supervisor. He was supervising nearly a dozen students but after retirement in 2005-6 he soon became very busy in his new assignment at Lahore.
Wiqar Ali Shah joined the Department of History at the Quaid-i-Azam University about a decade after I did. Relatively fresh from Peshawar, he broadened his horizons through sheer hard work, which earned him a doctorate under Judith Brown at Oxford.
In the Department he was known for his hospitality and his love for all things Pashtun. A devout practicing Muslim, he regaled us with anecdotes of Pashtoonwali and educated us on how it not only pre-dates Islam, but also oftentimes supersedes the practices of Islam amongst the Pashtoons. He continued to be the interlocutor between the administration and the Pashtoon Students Council, sometimes formally and other times informally.
Whenever I went through the text including the word “Mentor” during my student life, I couldn’t understand its literal meaning. I found its meaning when I met Prof. Dr. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah, for the first time in my life. I read his articles and books and that inclined me to carry out my own research work on the history of Khudai Khidmatgar Movement, to the cause, Dr. Wiqar Ali Shah Sahb is the pioneer.
It is always a difficult task to write about your teacher, especially one who has contributed in your life. Prof. Dr. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah is one of those personalities who has not only taught me in the classroom but has also played an important role in my life and career development. He was and still is always there whenever I need any guidance. I first met him back in 1993, when I joined department of History, Quaid-i-Azam University as a first semester M.Sc. student. We were his last batch whom he taught as a non-Ph.D. faculty, as he went to Oxford to pursue Ph.D. in fall the same year.
Prof. Dr. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah is the luckiest person around. He has a good academic record with a D.Phil from one of the best universities in the world. As a senior colleague, I witnessed with admiration his steady rise up the professional ladder over a period of thirty years. He achieved all this with sustained effort and hard work.
Only one meeting a quarter century back made me his fan. He was a couple of years younger than me but his maturity had gone much beyond his age. I had already been highly impressed by his books on two iconic personalities of his native area. He had compiled biographic works and interviews of Mian Akbar Shah and Dr. Waris Khan Rashakai. Both of the revered freedom fighters after having passed the best part of their life striving for their goal of independence were leading a quiet,unnoticed and unsung life.
I have been bound in the passionate attachment of student and teacher with Prof. Dr. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah Sahb since 2002 till date. I verily owe my academic as well as professional accomplishment to the zealous efforts and mentorship for Sir Wiqar. I have attached to the higher education at University since 2011 wherein I am serving as faculty member as well as in administrative capacity, however, I think I would not have been able to achieve such a position, had I not been tutored by the greatest mentor as Professor Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah is.
Dr Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah is a Professor of History at Quaid-i-Azam University. He served this department as a faculty member and Chairperson. Later he served for three years as Dean Faculty of Social Sciences. He is renowned worldwide for his seminal, diversified and fundamental contributions in topics relevant to History. He has a unique honor of being fellow of Alexander von Humboldt, Germany. His national and international recognition is evident by the membership of international and national Committees, leadership and motivation, numerous scholarships and fellowships, seminars delivered and attended conferences the world over, established research collaboration with leading international scientists and editorial membership.
Prof. Dr. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah Sahab is a real mentor. He is a teacher of generations. He is at the top who encouraged research in the domain of history. Not only am I honored to be his humble student but many of my teachers are also his students. May he live, long, healthy and prosperous. Ameen.
Prof. Dr. Wiqar Ali Shah is one of the most senior and renowned historians of Pakistan and an expert on the Indian freedom Movement, Pakhtun history and Bacha Khan, the popular Pakhtun nationalist and non-violent freedom fighter of the 20th century in South Asia. He has obtained his PhD degree from Oxford University in 1993 and has 12 books to his credit written in English, Pashto and Urdu. He has been teaching at Quaid-i-Azam University since 1990 and won the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship at the University of Heidelberg University, Germany in 1999. He also served as a professor at the South Asian Institute of the same university from 2009 to August 2014 as an Iqbal Chair Professor and on his return to Pakistan became the Chairperson of History Department and Director NIHCR at Islamabad in 2015. He later on served as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences for three years and is presently a member of the teaching staff, various committees, Syndicate and AS&RB at QAU, Islamabad.
I know Prof. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah as a great historian who has an excellent command on his subject. The name “Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah” is a symbol of academic excellence and pride for QAU. Lots of his students are serving in different organizations at national and international level. I know found him a very dynamic and wonderful personality with a very soft attitude towards younger colleagues. I am greatly impressed by his way of dealing, listening and understating. He is very good in hospitality and welcoming guests.