MANSEHRA, July 20: Hazara University Vice-Chancellor Dr Sakhawat Shah distributed BA and MA degrees to 16 people kept at Haripur central jail here on Friday.
The degree distribution ceremony was organised on the prison premises, where Hazara University vice chancellor Dr Sakhawat Shah, jail superintendent Masoodur Rehman and large number of prisoners were in attendance.
A release issued by the university said the said prisoners passed BA and MA exams held inside the jail of late.
According to it, 50 prisoners appeared in the said examinations with the university bearing expenditure of all candidates in line with a decision made two years ago.
Mr Shah told participants that he was pleased to give away degrees to prisoners, who had passed MA and BA examinations.
“I had no option but to provide free examination services to all Haripur prisoners after one of them called for it. We not only provided free examination services but also set up examination centres inside the jail. Its outcome is highly encouraging as 50 prisoners have so far appeared in examinations and completed their education inside the jail,” he said.
The vice chancellor said on release, the said prisoners would become responsible citizens and play due role for national development.
Mr Shah urged degree holders to educate fellow prisoners, saying education brings a major, positive change to one’s life and society.
“You should now come forward to change thinking of other prisoners for their welfare. Almighty Allah will reward you for it,” he told degree holders.
Speaking on the occasion, the jail superintendent said it was a big change for all prisoners that 16 of them passed BA and MA exams before being awarded degrees while serving their terms in jail.
He said education changed attitudes and brought people closer to Almighty Allah.
“I am confident that these 16 people (graduates) have paved the way for hundreds and thousands in jail to follow them,” he said.
Mr Rehman urged other varsities to follow Hazara University in making prisoners good and responsible citizens.
Also in the day, Mansehra police recovered a kidnapped minor girl in Pano-Dahri area of the district and arrested a man.
Pano-Dahri station house officer Khursheed Tanoli told reporters that the two-year-old girl was kidnapped in Karachi for ransom before being shifted to Mansehra.
He said the girl had marks of torture on her body.
The SHO said the arrested man was son of the woman, who rented the house from where the girl was recovered. He said the woman fled before the raid.
“We are interrogating the arrested man and have informed police stations in Karachi about the girl’s recovery to know the identity of the girl and contact her family. However, no success has been achieved yet,” said Mr Tanoli.