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Baluchistan’s son wins Oxford Union presidency.

LONDON: Oxford University student from Baluchistan Israr Kakar has won the Oxford Union Presidency, making history as the third Pakistani and the first person from Baluchistan to achieve this honour   

He is only the 3rd Pakistani and first from Baluchistan to become President of Oxford Union. Benazir Bhutto was the first Pakistani to become Oxford Union President in 1977.

Israr hails from a small village in Killa Abdullah district, located along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the Baluchistan province. He is the youngest of 13 siblings. He completed primary education in his village and then went on to study in Abbotabad, Lahore, and the United States for matriculation and intermediate studies.

Israr completed LLB honours from the University of Aberdeen with a distinction. He then went to do Bar at Law from Lincoln’s Inn on a fully-funded scholarship. He is currently enrolled in the D Phil programme at the Law Department of University of Oxford. Israr is only the second among his siblings to go to college. His elder brother was also a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford.

He was elected the Oxford Union President on Saturday.

Speaking to the media  Israr said: “I am incredibly grateful to the members of the Oxford Union for placing their trust in me by electing me as President and to my team in believing in me. This election was crucial, especially during such challenging times”

“Coming from a humble rural background and achieving such an honour will inspire the next generation of aspiring young people. This is a platform where a lot can be done and I will not waste any moment. It is a proud moment for Pakistan and my family back home in Balochistan”

“There is a significant amount of work ahead, and I am committed to leading the Union on a more inclusive path and restoring its relevance.”

Oxford Union’s official newspaper reported: “Israr Khan has been elected Oxford Union President for Hilary Term 2024 with 617 first preferences against opponent Izzy Horrocks-Taylor’s 393 first preferences. The margin is significantly wider than in the Union’s previous two elections, when the top two candidates only differ by a handful of votes. Rachel Haddad Moskalenko, Moosa Harraj, and Siddhant Nagrath won the elections for Librarian, Treasurer, and Secretary respectively. This marks the first time the Union’s four officer positions will all be from BAME backgrounds.“

Founded in 1823, the Oxford Union stands as one of Britain’s oldest university unions and one of the world’s most prestigious societies. This esteemed institution has hosted an array of distinguished speakers, including the Queen, President Reagan, and Mother Teresa. 

Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan’s former prime minister, was the first Pakistani to serve as the President of Oxford Union in 1977. Ahmad Nawaz, a survivor of the deadly attack on APS School Peshawar, was the second Pakistani to become President of the Oxford Union. Israr’s victory marks a significant milestone, highlighting the Union’s continued commitment to diversity and excellence.

Israr has been an active participant and organiser of debates at Oxford Union. He has hosted distinguished international speakers like former Malaysian prime minister, Mahatir Muhammad and distinguished Pakistani speakers including Malala Yousufzai, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faiz Essa, senior journalist Hamid Mir, and others.