Do not allow the destruction of Government Jahanzeb College, Saidu Sharif Swat

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Jahanzeb College is a government funded postgraduate college situated in the SWAT district of Khyber Paktunkhwa (KPK). Established in 1952 by HRH Miangul Abdul Haq Jahanzeb, the former ruler of SWAT, during an era when the entire region had no other institution for higher education. Over the years the college has become an important historical and cultural landmark for the people of the region, as it represents the history, culture, and civilisation of the region. The building itself is said to be one of the best examples of Art Deco design and architecture in SWAT.

Jahanzeb College is close to my heart as this is where I not only studied for 5 years but where I flourished as a student leader before going on to spread my wings as a social activist. It is this very college which afforded me the opportunities to form my identity and ultimately made me the person I am today.

Hundreds of thousands of other people also feel deeply connected to the college as I do as it has given them a sense of unity and belonging as it holds a repository of memories of their time as students at the college.

The college is of paramount significance, not only for the local people in SWAT, but also for many people who once studied at the college but have since moved overseas. The college has a strong history of graduates, known as 'Jahanzebians', who have produced pioneering leaders across every walk of life in Khyber Paktunkhwa (KPK).

The college was damaged in a recent earthquake, leading to the suggestion it should be demolished. But the local community want the college building to be preserved as an educational landmark opposed to its destruction.

I am starting this petition, along with a group of committed individuals and alumni of Jahanzeb College, to appeal to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif and the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Parvez Khattak, to preserve and restore Jahanzeb College building to its former glory. In addition to this we request all historical buildings from the state era be declared as sites of cultural heritage.

To preserve the heritage of SWAT’s first higher educational establishments I urge you to sign and share this petition among your friends and networks. With our joint efforts we shall preserve Jahanzeb College for the culture of Swat and the whole country.

Ziauddin Yousafzai, together with other Jehanzabians (Jahanzeb College Alumni)

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