Age no bar; 80-year-old Pakistani former police officer earns PhD degree

Age no bar; 80-year-old Pakistani former police officer earns PhD degree

The eldest scholar earlier belonged to the police department and retired as a superintendent of police in 2005.

A Pakistani varsity's convocation took an interesting turn when the oldest PhD scholar of the Balochistan University appeared on the stage to receive his doctorate degree in political science on Wednesday.

80-year-old Haibatullah Halimi has become an example for former government officials by achieving higher education in the discipline of political science.

Halimi, who hails from Mastung district, was just like any other doctorate recipient at the university’s convocation held on Wednesday — until his name was called out and Balochistan Governor Zahoor Ahmed Agha, the chief guest on the occasion, couldn't hold back his commendation for the octogenarian committed to pursuing education while defying age barriers.

The governor hugged the elderly but determined scholar — who walks with a stick and came up the stage with the support of two people — before conferring the doctorate degree on him.

Later during his speech, the governor told the participants that the ambition and success in attaining a PhD at such an age was a matter of encouragement and pride for all who have an interest in seeking knowledge.

The eldest scholar earlier belonged to the police department and retired as a superintendent of police in 2005.

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Following 40 years of service in police department, Halimi got enrolled at the Balochistan University and secured his MPhil in 2011. Deciding he wasn't done yet, he went on to earn his PhD in 2019 but the convocation scheduled a year later was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Adil Zaman Kasi, the dean of the Department of Political Science at Balochistan University, heaped praise on the graduate for his commitment to education.

“Haibatullah Halimi, despite being aged, remained determined to pursue his goal. We did not expect him to complete his PhD, but he persevered till the end and succeeded in his mission," Kasi said.

Zaman told local media that Halimi was the oldest student of the political science department, and served as a role model for other students at the university.

Halimi's research is about traditional and modern policing in Balochistan.

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