|Professor of English and Geography (1959-1988) and Head of Dept. of English (1975-1988)
Prof. Tariq Mustafa Khan
|By Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/Latif
The late Mr. Tariq Mustafa Khan was professor of English and Geography at Petaro. He joined the college in 1958 and left in 1988. He was head of dept. of English in later years.
He was born on 10 July 1932 at Mahrara in Dist. Aligarh, UP. He was married to Mrs. Shamsa in 1965 and had three children – Saad Mustafa 80129/Qasim, Sadia and Muaz.
He is among the few of the staff members who died in the college. He died on 15 July 1988 of cardiac pulmonary failure.
If there was a truly well dressed and soft-spoken gentleman at Petaro, it was the late Tariq Mustafa Sahib. He had class. He stood out amongst my teachers without a doubt.
He spent his childhood at Aligargh, and acquired his early education from Govt. High School Aligargh and Govt. College Muradabad in U.P.
Moving to Pakistan after the partition, he settled down initially in Multan and joined Emerson College from where he got his B.A. degree. While he was still a student of M.A. Geography, he had to leave his studies due to family problems and joined PAF Public School at Lower Topa as a teacher of Geography. He then worked for a short while at Habib Public School Karachi before joining Cadet College Petaro in 1959.
Tariq Sahib was the House Master of Jinnah House during my days – the house which was furthest from my Latif House. He was House Master from 1966-1969.
I had a very unique relationship with him. He was my Geography teacher, and I was the only student in his class. It was a one teacher – one student class.
In our days, every student was required to take an elective course in Matric. Since most of the 9th Class boys had no real inkling of their own aptitude, the college used to test their abilities in the different electives being offered through an examination, and would then advise the boy on which elective would suit him best. Options available included Drawing, Agriculture, Biology, Electricity, Sindhi in addition to Geography.
When the results for our tests were posted, I had scored 100% in Geography. Mr. Azim called me to his office and insisted that I should take Geography although I was more inclined to take Drawing classes with Mr. Zuberi. I was in two minds. Tariq Sahib was a favourite teacher too. I finally succumbed, and accepted. And when the lists were published, I found out that all my colleagues were adjusted in other classes, while I was the only one in Geography.
Therefore, we never sat in a classroom. Tariq Sahib would take me to the Library and pull out some of the most wonderful books on Geography. We had the TIME-LIFE series books and many others. We would sit and talk about many interesting aspects of how this universe exists and about the earth, the oceans, the skies, the mountains, and all different aspects. It used to be the most relaxing of periods.
He was given the position of House Master once again – of Latif House – in 1971-1972. In addition to his administrative duties, he was quite active with sports and club activities too. He was in charge of Funkada Drama Club in the early 1960s, and the Photography Club in 1966-1968. He was always personally very fond of photography and had his own collection of photographs.
While he was still at Petaro, he sat for his M.A. English exam at Karachi university and got his degree in 1973. He also went to the UK in 1977 for a specialized course in Linguistics for 3 months.
Upon getting his MA English degree, he became a professor of English at Petaro (along with Geography), and was appointed Head of Dept of English in 1975. He retained this position until his death in 1988.
In the interim, he was also sent on deputation by the Ministry of Education to Muscat, Oman for two and a half years during 1982-1984.
When I was leaving Petaro in 1969, he honoured me with his autograph, which is so reflective of what he sought to teach me. It is vision and insight that can lead to optimism and a desire to attain excellence. One has to be a visionary. And my Geography lessons took me away from the starkness of science and mathematics, exploring the other side of one’s life – the humanities – that brings out the best in a person.
Tariq Sb did not keep good health towards the end of his life. He was suffering from diabetes and hypertension and was on dialysis.
May Allah grant Tariq Mustafa Sahib the choicest place in Jannatul Firdaus!