Islamabad: After retirement when most people prefer to rest, an 80-year-old Pakistani man sought a new challenge: earn his PhD.
Haibatullah Khan Halimi, a lifelong learner, completed his studies and earned the PhD at the age of 80. The scholar, who hails from Mastung in Balochistan, was awarded the doctorate degree in political science by the University of Balochistan at a convocation last week.
He is the oldest recipient of a PhD from the university. The university said he is a role model for other students and the entire province.
Balochistan Governor Zahoor Ahmed Agha, the chief guest at the convocation, commended the spirit and commitment demonstrated by Halimi, which he said was a “source of inspiration for all.”
Adil Zaman Kasi, the dean of Balochistan University’s Political Science department, appreciated Halimi for his commitment to education. The department, he said, was surprised that he persevered till the end to succeed in his mission.
The white-bearded scholar, who used a walking stick to get to the stage to receive is degree, won a huge applause from the audience and recognition from the university professors.
Police officer’s path to PhD
Dr Halimi worked at the police department from where he retired as the deputy superintendent in 2005. The end of 40 years of service at the police department was the beginning of learning and teaching for him.
After completing his MPhil in 2011, he immediately started his PhD. Dr Halimi said his biggest motivation to pursue the path of research came from the Holy Quran. “The very first verse of Quran calls on to seek knowledge which tells you about the importance of pursuing knowledge,” he says. His colleagues and family also supported him on the journey.
Halimi attained his doctorate degree in political science in 2019 but had to wait two years to receive the degree as the convocation was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic break. His thesis work focuses on conventional and modern policing. Dr Halimi is currently teaching at the University of Balochistan and the provincial judicial academy.
All four of his daughters have either completed or are pursuing higher education in organic chemistry, biochemistry, MBBS and one is a gold medalist too, the proud father told local media in an interview.