I am glad to hear that T. I. College Old Students Association has been launched in Germany. Whereas I congratulate you on that, I wish it could be done all over the world, including Pakistan. I owe so much to T.I. College that I will be ungrateful if I forget it. It is not the buildings of bricks and cement that lend grandeur to an institution. It is the devotion of its leadership, love and affection of the teachers that create an atmosphere that helps in moulding the character of students.
My admission to T. I. College brought about a turning point in my life. After having wasted my years in Government College Lyallpur, I decided to join that great institution in 1956. The college was then headed by a charismatic personality. You remember I had a big wound on my arm and needed special care and attention. God bless the then Principal, Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, who treated me like his own son and provided every facility I needed and more. It was not that physical attention alone that impressed me, it was the entire family-like atmosphere that was so sincere, so Islamic, so innocent and so enjoyable. Rabwah in those days was a small sleepy town, devoid of facilities of a city life that I was used to in Lyallpur. No hotels, no cinemas, no music and yet it was not monotonous. It was both academic and athletic. It was religious and yet secular. I did not belong to the Ahmadiyya community, and am still not an Ahmadi, but I never felt that I was not amongst good Muslims. Rather I did feel that I was amongst better Muslims. I developed some Islamic values that later revolutionised my life became integral part of my character.
When I sat for the final LL.B Examination in the University Law College, Lahore, all students walked out of the examination hall as a protest on something and went on strike. I was the only one who did not take part in strike. Later an enquiry was ordered by the government and I was called as a witness. Justice Mushtaq of Lahore High Court, who presided over the enquiry commission, asked me why I did not join the strikers. I told him frankly that I had graduated from T.I. College Rabwah, and there I had learnt to respect law and not to revolt against authority and I believe this is a good lesson. He was impressed.
I have been active in politics for about forty years. I am one of the founder members of the Pakistan Peoples Party. As a member of the National Assembly from 1970 to 1977, I have roamed through the parlours of power for seven years. I have seen the hypocrisy not only of our political, but also of our religious leadership from too close. I wish they had all studied at T.I. College, Rabwah and leant the basic principles of honesty and integrity.
I wish I could mention all my teachers and classmates by name, but that will make this message too long. If I were to name one teacher and one student, I will name Mian Ata-ur-Rehman, our professor of Physics, and Chaudhry Bashir Ahmad of Sheikhupura (popularly known as Haji in those days), for their virtues which I cannot fully describe in words. Chaudhry Bashir Ahmad, like myself, later joined Pakistan Peoples Party and was elected a member of the provincial assembly (MPA). We remained good friends till he died in an accident.
I wish to tell all my friends that they are lucky to have been at T.I. College. Keep the great traditions of the great institution alive and I mean, honesty, integrity, morality, discipline, and above all tolerance and respect for dissenting views. All these things were summed up in the motto of the college, which was Ilm-o-Amal.
May Allah bless Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad and all the kind teachers who contributed to my consequent success in life. May God bless you all and me and my family. Amen.
Mian Ehsanul Haq (Ex MNA)