CM Murad acknowledges AKU’s role in efforts against Covid

Says partnership with AKU in health, education sectors to flourish further

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that Aga Khan University has been a trusted partner of Sindh government for decades but in recent years, the partnership has proven its value like never before.

“At the start of the pandemic, when Pakistan was recording its first cases of the virus, there were so many unknowns, there were so many questions in need of answers at that difficult time, therefore expertise of AKU was invaluable.”

This he said while speaking on the occasion of Agha Khan University Founder’s Day – the 40th anniversary, and the Convocation of the Class of 2022 at Aga Khan University. The program was attended by Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Chairman Zakir Mahmood and Members of the Board of Trustees President Sulaiman Shahabuddin, members of the Class of 2022 and family members of the graduates.

Mr Shah said that AKU has been a trusted and great partner of his government. “At the start of the pandemic, when Pakistan was recording its first cases of the virus, there were so many unknowns and so many questions in need of answers,” he said and added at that difficult time, the expertise of AKU was invaluable and it was so willing to share its knowledge even in the middle of the night, there was always someone from the University available to assist us.

Murad Shah said that as the case count of COVID-19 rose, and it became clear “we needed to provide additional training to our doctors and nurses in caring for seriously ill Covid patients, we naturally turned to AKU”. He added that with great enthusiasm, the AGU faculty trained thousands of public-sector health professionals and set up a hotline so that ICU doctors at public hospitals could get advice on caring for Covid patients round the clock.

The CM recalled that throughout the pandemic, his government relied on AKU for data on the spread of the virus and the arrival of new strains.

Mr Shah talking about recent floods- the worst in our history, devastation was unlike anything Pakistan had ever seen. “AKU rose to the challenge once again, alongside government and numerous other private sector institutions and rushed to establish health camps in affected communities across Sindh and other provinces,” he said and added it [AKU]  cared for hundreds of thousands of people.

The CM thanked the members of the AKU community who came to the aid of their fellow citizens in their hour of need, whether as volunteers or as donors. He added that the fact that so many AKU students participated in the University’s flood response speaks highly of them and of the education they have received here.

Murad Shah said that he could recount many more examples of AKU addressing important health and education issues in partnership with the public sector-from increasing access to vaccination in underserved areas of Karachi, to training teachers in rural Sindh. “The AKU is not an institution that exists for one group or sector of society but it working for the benefit of Sindh and Pakistan as a whole,” he said.

Mr Shah said that he has personal experience that he has an AKU graduate in his  own family. “My niece is a member of the Medical College’s Class of 2017, so I know the kind of education that the graduates have received, I know their potential and I know that their futures are very bright indeed,” he said.

AKU’s does’t work in Pakistan but it also has thriving campuses and hospitals in Afghanistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and the United Kingdom, the CM disclosed and went on saying that he had no doubt that they were fortunate that the Aga Khan University has planted roots in their soil.

AKU’s success is a point of pride for the communities and countries it serves, the CM said and added that that reminded us that there was another way in which, as His Highness said that the university was linked to the welfare of the society in which it is based.”

Murad Shah said that if AKU was flourishing, it was because it has been nourished by the people of Pakistan and its host countries across the Indian Ocean. “Its success is our success and it shows what we are capable of,” he said.

The CM said he would be working closely with AKU to bring outstanding health care and education to the people of Sindh and Pakistan. He hoped that the new graduates would continue to demonstrate the power of an AKU education, and the extraordinary talent of our youth The CM offered heartiest felicitations to the graduates.

Addressing the newly graduates CM acknowledged they’re hard to reach the special moment and the degree that they have earned at AKU would serve them in their careers. Earlier, the CM met with Princess Zahra Aga Khan and exchanged views with her.

Hanif Samoon is a senior journalist based at Thar/Badin and contributes reports from different districts of Sindh to Minute Mirror. He has won a number of awards, including the Agahi Award twice for his stories on health and child rights. He tweets @HanifSamoon1 and can be reached through email at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here