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The Journey of Israr Khan Kakar from Qila Abdullah’s mat School to Oxford University

Special Interview: Wajahat Ali Khan
Israr Khan Kakar, a student from Balochistan, Pakistan, has been elected the president of the union by a large margin in the Oxford University Student Union election. It should be remembered that former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was elected the first Pakistani and first woman president of Oxford University Union in 1977. In 2021, Ahmed Nawaz from Peshawar and now in 2024, Israr Khan Kakar got 617 votes in the election, while his rival candidate got only 393 votes. Asrar Khan Kakar is pursuing his doctorate in law and hails from Qila Abdullah Balochistan.
Pakistan Prime Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif and Balochistan Chief Minister Sarfraz Bugti and many other ministers have also congratulated Asrar Khan Kakar.
“Aims International” conducted an exclusive interview with Asrar Khan Kakar at the Student Union office at the University of Oxford, in which he said that he was in Qila, a remote area of Balochistan. Abdullah belongs to a middle-class family. While opening the windows of memories and answering the questions, he said that I received my primary education in mat School as a child, later in Government College University Lahore and for higher education my elder brother encouraged and helped me, and I got to Oxford University while studying in America. Throw-out I got scholarships and in Oxford also half of my fees are covered by scholarship while I meet my other expenses by lecturing and tutoring in different places.
He added that my father is a self-made farmer, a man whose hard work and determination have always been a source of inspiration for me, his primary source of income comes from his farms in Gulistan, where he has cultivated the land with dedication and skill.” My upbringing was shaped by the challenges and complexities of a region deeply affected by tribal rivalries and conflict. In our village, education was not a priority and often took a backseat to issues of identity and ideology.”
Khan added that despite these challenges, his upbringing was filled with the simple joys and vibrant culture of village life. He said that education might not have been a priority, but the sense of community and the natural beauty of our surroundings offered a unique and enriching childhood experience. “One of my fondest memories is the excitement that accompanied the pomegranate season. The entire village would come alive as we anticipated the harvest, and the taste of fresh, juicy pomegranates remains one of my sweetest childhood memories.”
Israr Khan said that the communal gatherings were equally enjoyable, where stories were shared, laughter was abundant, and everyone felt like part of an extended family. However, my life took a pivotal turn thanks to the unwavering commitment and dedication of my brother, Akhtar Kakar. He said that by recognizing the importance of education and its potential to change our lives, Akhtar was determined to ensure that his siblings receive a proper education. He enrolled us in schools in Quetta, away from the pervasive influences of our village culture. At the time, I hated this as I wanted to always go to the comfort of the village.”

Khan said, remembering the past, that Akhtar’s efforts ensured that they were exposed to better educational resources and a more stable learning environment.
“His dedication provided us with the foundation we needed to pursue our dreams and achieve more than what seemed possible in our early years,” said Khan.
Answering the question on the difference between the education system of Pakistan and the United Kingdom. He said there is huge difference.
Asrar Khan Kakar added that I have been in Oxford University for three years and I am here for another year and a half, but if someone is the president of the student union, he is given an extra year by the administration, because running the union is completely a full-time job. He said that it is indeed a great honour to be the president of Oxford Union. He said that “Oxford University has a history of almost eight hundred years, but the students’ union was established two hundred years ago in 1823, so in the last two hundred years Ms. Benazir Bhutto and after Ahmed Nawaz, I am the third Pakistani who has become the president of this union.
Answering a question, he said, “I want to use my skills to serve my country for the better future of Pakistan.” Israr Kakar said that Balochistan province is suffering from severe deprivation and lack of infrastructure, the government of Pakistan should pay full attention to this, and the best strategy needs to be made to benefit from the valuable resources of the province. Investment is needed on the youth there, he said, now I am the only student from Balochistan in Oxford University.
Khan said that while studying here, I never realised what my background was, although most of the students from very rich families come here. He said there was a big debate of the Oxford Students’ Union during the Second World War in which it was decided, or the slogan was given that “There will be no more war”.
That was “The Oxford Union ‘King and Country’ debate in1933”
In 1933 the Oxford Union, the university undergraduate debating society, passed a famous motion that “This House would not in any circumstances fight for King and Country”. It made headline news at the time: Churchill called the vote “abject, squalid, shameless” and “nauseating”, and it is even said to have misled Hitler into thinking the British had lost the will to fight, so it is clearly important historically. evidence, but of what?

Famous Oxonians:
Gifted men and women have studied or taught at the University throughout its history. Among them are 28 British Prime Ministers, at least 30 international leaders, 55 Nobel Prize winners, and 120 Olympic medal winners. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, former President and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia, HM King Abdullah II of Jordan, Sir Grantley Adams, former Premier of Barbados and Prime Minister of the West Indies, J M G (Tom) Adams, former Prime Minister of Barbados, Diran Adebayo, author, Samira Ahmed, journalist and presenter, Riz Ahmed, actor, Monica Ali, author, Tariq Ali, writer, Elizabeth Anscombe, philosopher, W H Auden, poet, Clement Attlee, former British Prime Minister, Zeinab Badawi, journalist and broadcaster, Solomon Bandaranaike, former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Sir Roger Bannister, neurologist and athlete, Kate Barker, economist, Dame Josephine Barnes, first female President of the British Medical Association, Tony Benn, politician, Alan Bennett, playwright, Sir Lennox Berkeley, composer, Sir Isaiah Berlin, philosopher, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir John Betjeman, poet, Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister, Baruch S Blumberg, Nobel Prize-winning scientist, Henry Bonsu, journalist and broadcaster, Dr Ian Bostridge, opera singer, Sir Adrian Boult, conductor, William Boyd, author, Lord (Melvyn) Bragg, broadcaster, Katy Brand, comedian and actor, Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, Vera Brittain, writer, Fiona Bruce, broadcaster, Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia, former Prime Minister of Ghana, Rt Hon David Cameron MP, former British Prime Minister, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, Baroness (Barbara) Castle, politician, Reeta Chakrabarti, journalist, Bill Clinton, former President of the United States, Wendy Cope, poet, Dr Penelope Curtis, Director, Tate Britain, Richard Curtis, screenwriter, Cecil Day Lewis, poet, Cressida Dick, Assistant Commissioner, Metropolitan Police, Edward de Bono, philosopher,David Dimbleby, journalist and broadcaster,Sir John Eccles, scientist, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physiology, T S Eliot, poet,Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, chef and broadcaster,Helen Fielding, author,Lord Florey, Nobel Prize-winning pathologist,Emilia Fox, actor,Lady Antonia Fraser, novelist and historian,Malcolm Fraser, former Prime Minister of Australia,William Fulbright, politician, founder of the Fulbright,Scholarships,Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India,Dr Frene Ginwala, former Speaker of the South African National Assembly,William Golding, Nobel Prize-winning novelist,Hugh Grant, actor,Robert Graves, poet,Graham Greene, author,Sir John Gurdon, Nobel Prize-winning scientist,Mark Haddon, author,J B S Haldane, geneticist,Professor Stuart Hall, sociologist,Tony Hall (Lord Hall of Birkenhead), Director General of the BBC,Rt Hon Lady Justice Hallett, judge,Harald V, King of Norway,Bob Hawke, former Prime Minister of Australia,Professor Stephen Hawking, physicist,Sir Edward Heath, former British Prime Minister,Joseph Heller, author,Sir Cyril Hinshelwood, Nobel Prize-winning chemist,
Christopher Hitchens, author,Dorothy Hodgkin, Nobel Prize-winning chemist,Edwin Hubble, astronomer,Ruth Hunt, chief executive of Stonewall,Aldous Huxley, author,Armando Iannucci, writer and comedian,Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, former US Congressman,Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, current British Prime Minister,Felicity Jones, actor,Lakshman Kadirgamar, former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister,Elena Kagan, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court,Imran Khan, former Prime Minister of Pakistan and international cricketer,Liaquat Ali Khan, first Prime Minister of Pakistan,Soweto Kinch, jazz musician, saxophonist,Dame Emma Kirkby, soprano,John Kufuor, former President of Ghana,Hari Kunzru, author,Haruhiko Kuroda, Governor of the Bank of Japan,Martha Lane Fox, businesswoman, co-founder of lastminute.com,Philip Larkin, poet,T E Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia,Nigella Lawson, chef and broadcaster,John Le Carré, author,Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari, former President of Pakistan,C S Lewis, writer and scholar,Ken Loach, film-maker,Alain Locke, philosopher and architect of the Harlem Renaissance,Val McDermid, crime writer,Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum,Harold Macmillan, former British Prime Minister,Norman Manley, former Leader of Jamaica,Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, former Director General of the Security Service,Chief Justice Mrs Sujata Vasant Manohar, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India,Rt Hon Theresa May MP, former British Prime Minister,Sir Peter Medawar, Nobel Prize-winning scientist,Dame Barbara Mills, first female Director of Public Prosecutions,Dom Mintoff, former Prime Minister of Malta,Dame Iris Murdoch, philosopher and author,Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp, chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox,Arthur Mutambara, politician, former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe,Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace,Sir V S Naipaul, Nobel Prize-winning author,Emperor Naruhito of Japan,Rageh Omaar, journalist,Michael Palin, actor and writer,Mansoor Ali Khan (“Tiger”) Pataudi, captain of the Indian cricket team,Lester B Pearson, former Prime Minister of Canada and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize,Robert Penn Warren, American poet laureate,Robert Peston, journalist,Sally Phillips, actor and comedian,Rosamund Pike, actor,Sir Matthew Pinsent, four times Olympic gold medal-winning rower, Philip Pullman, author,Hugh Quarshie, actor,Dr Olli Rehn, EU commissioner,Dr Susan Rice, US National Security Advisor,Rachel Riley, co-host on Channel 4’s Countdown,Hon Raymond Robinson, former President of Trinidad and Tobago,Michael Rosen, children’s novelist and poet,Sir Martin Ryle, Nobel Prize-winning physicist,Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement,Dorothy L Sayers, author,Ernst Schumacher, economist,Pixley Seme, founder of the African National Congress,Vikram Seth, author,Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India,Professor Oliver Smithies, Nobel-prize winning scientist,Laura Solon, comedian,Cornelia Sorabji, India’s first female lawyer,Aung San Suu Kyi, leader, Burmese National League for Democracy and Nobel Peace laureate,A J P Taylor, historian,Baroness (Margaret) Thatcher, former British Prime Minister,Sir Wilfred Thesiger, explorer and anthropologist,Mark Thompson, CEO of the New York Times Company and former Director-General of the BBC,J R R Tolkien, author and academic,Andy Triggs Hodge, Olympic gold medal-winning rower,Margaret Turner-Warwick, first woman President of the Royal College of Physicians,Dame Janet Vaughan, haematologist and radiobiologist,Revd Chad Varah, founder of the Samaritans,David Vitter, United States Senator,Baroness (Mary) Warnock, philosopher,Sir Andrew Wiles, mathematician,Dr Eric Williams, former Chief Minister, Premier and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago,Ivy Williams, first female barrister in the UK,Baroness (Shirley) Williams, politician,Michael Winterbottom, filmmaker,Jeanette Winterson, author,Qian Zhongshu, Chinese academic and writer.

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