On 6 March 2023, a book launching ceremony of ‘Pakistan Studies: A Book of Readings,’ edited by Dr. Sikandar Hayat, Distinguished Professor of History and Dean of Social Sciences, and published by Sang-e-Meel Publications, Lahore (2023), was held at the FC College University, Lahore. It was attended by a host of participants from the university, faculty, staff, students, Deans, Chiefs, HODs, Directors, former and current rectors, and contributing authors of the book. Dr. Sikandar Hayat, in his introductory remarks, as expressed in the ‘Preface,’ explained the need for the book in these words: ‘I realized, with dismay, that there was no proper, accessible book for the students who, indeed, had to take up the Pakistan Studies course … as a compulsory course to complete their degree requirements. The course readings were selected from here and there, from different sources, lacking any coherence or consistency in their standards, approach, or substance. Mostly these were chance selections, some indeed not meant for undergraduate students, beyond their competence or capacity’.
Dr. Hayat explained that in terms of content, this book is valuable for undergraduate students all over Pakistan as it covers pertinent topics in line with the HEC guidelines on the subject. The authors had made a conscious effort to keep the narrative simple, straight, free of jargon, and thus easy to follow and comprehend for students at the undergraduate level.
Apart from the chapter, ‘Genesis of Pakistan,’ written by Dr. Sikander Hayat, other eminent scholars who wrote for the book include Dr. Farzand Masih (Ancient Civilizations of Pakistan), Prof Kashif Shafique (Land and People of Pakistan), Dr. Muhammad Younis (Politics and Government in Pakistan), Dr. Uzma Hanif (Economic Development in Pakistan), Dr. Arfa Sayeda Zehra (Society and Culture of Pakistan), Dr. Saeed Shafqat (Foreign Policy of Pakistan), Dr. Sara Rizvi Jafree (Women and Minorities in Pakistan), and Dr. Nukhbah Taj Langah (Languages and Literature in Pakistan).
Dr. Hayat acknowledged that Pakistan Studies books were “essentially books on the history of Pakistan, with a sprinkling of a few other topics here and there.’ This book offers multidisciplinary, wholesome text on the study of Pakistan, at the undergraduate level.
Former Rector, Dr. James Tebbe, also attended the book launch ceremony and appreciated the contribution of Dr. Sikandar Hayat and his contributing authors, who, he said, wrote a masterpiece for the undergraduate students of Pakistan.
The Rector, Dr. Jonathan Addleton concluded the event by appreciating the work of Dr. Sikanadar Hayat and the other eight contributing authors. He acknowledged their effort and dedication and the impact of this publication on the education and intellectual growth of students all over Pakistan. He also expressed gratitude for their commitment to academic excellence and contribution to the university’s mission of fostering knowledge.