Former KU VC Professor Dr Syed Ittefaq Ali buried at varsity graveyard

KARACHI: Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Karachi (KU) Professor Dr Syed Ittefaq Ali was laid to rest at the KU Graveyard on Friday.

His funeral prayers were offered at the Masjid-e-Ibrahim after Friday (Juma) Prayers on the campus. Professor Dr Syed Ittefaq Ali left behind a widow and three daughters.

Professor Dr Ittefaq Ali breathed his last on Thursday night. He was the 10th vice chancellor of the University of Karachi and served the University of Karachi from 08-07-1990 till 06-07-1994.

He was a renowned top-ranking systematic botanist and considered as one of the authorities on the plants of Southeast Asia in general and Pakistan in particular.

The distinguished professor had also served the Dr A Q Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering as its Director General and was also the former Dean Faculty of Science (1981 to 1990) and ex-Chairman Department of Botany.

He was also the Editor of the Flora of Pakistan. He edited Flora of Pakistan with Professor Dr Nasir (Rawalpindi) in the beginning and afterward with Professor Dr Muhammad Qaiser for more than 40 years. The Flora of Pakistan comprises of 224 volumes.

Syed Ittefaq Ali joined the University of Karachi on December 13, 1958, as the lecturer in the Department of Botany and served as the chairman from December 13, 1963, while become a professor on August 30, 1969, and retired from the service on September 13, 1990.

Born on September 14, 1930, in Lucknow, India, he completed his matriculation from the Board of Higher Education and Intermediate Education Allahabad in 1946 and intermediate in 1948. In 1950, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1950 and Master’s degree in Botany in 1952 from the Allahabad University and later migrated to Pakistan.

He completed his PhD in botany in 1958 and DSc in 1979 from the University of London. He also worked as Professor of Botany at the University of Tripoli, Libya from 1972 to 1976 and was still working in the Plant Conservation Center of the University of Karachi.

For his contribution and distinguished career Professor Dr Syed Ittefaq Ali was conferred with Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 1988 and honoured with the Emeritus status in 2011. He was also awarded the title of the Higher Education Commission Distinguished National Professor in 2004.

He was also a Fellow of Pakistan Academy of Science and The World Academy of Sciences. He has contributed in the field of plant sciences at the national and international level and provided basic information on the plant wealth of Pakistan, which is widely used by phytochemists, pharmacists, ecologists, agriculturists, and foresters.

Professor Dr Syed Ittefaq Ali has published a large number of research papers in journals of national and international repute and four books as well. He was also the pioneer and co-editor of Flora of Libya.

KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi expressed his condolences on the demise of former KU VC Professor Dr Syed Ittefaq Ali and prayed for eternal peace for the deceased.

Former vice chancellors of the University of Karachi Professor Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui and Professor Dr Muhammad Qaiser, the VC NED University of Engineering and Technology Professor Dr Sarosh Hashmat Lodi, deans, and chairmen of various faculties, teaching and administrative staff attended the funeral prayer. The Karachi University Teachers Society, the DG KIBGE Professor Dr Abid Azhar expressed that Professor Dr Syed Ittefaq Ali was a renowned intellectual figure and acknowledges his services in the field of botany.