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Friday, July 12, 2024  
05 Muharram 1446  

Balochistan’s Israr Kakar wins Oxford Union Presidency

Israr hails from a small village in the Killa Abdullah district of Balochistan

Israr Kakar, an Oxford University student from Balochistan, Pakistan, has made history by becoming the President of the prestigious Oxford Union. He is only the third Pakistani and the first person from Balochistan to achieve this honor.

Prior to Israr, the first Pakistani to become the President of the Oxford Union was Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, in 1977. The second Pakistani to hold this position was Ahmad Nawaz, a survivor of the deadly attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.

Israr hails from a small village in the Killa Abdullah district of Balochistan, which is located along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

He is the youngest of 13 siblings and completed his primary education in his village before going on to study in Abbottabad, Lahore, and the United States for his matriculation and intermediate studies.

After completing his LLB honors with distinction from the University of Aberdeen, Israr went on to pursue a Bar at Law degree from Lincoln’s Inn on a fully-funded scholarship. He is currently enrolled in the DPhil (Doctor of Philosophy) program at the Law Department of the University of Oxford.

Israr is the second among his siblings to attend college, as his elder brother was also a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford.

“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,” Oxford Union’s official newspaper said.

The Oxford Union, founded in 1823, is one of Britain’s oldest university unions and one of the world’s most prestigious societies. It has hosted an array of distinguished speakers, including the Queen, President Reagan, and Mother Teresa. Israr’s election as the Oxford Union President on Saturday marks a significant milestone, highlighting the Union’s continued commitment to diversity and excellence.

During his time at Oxford, Israr has been an active participant and organizer of debates at the Oxford Union. He has hosted distinguished international speakers, such as former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad, as well as prominent Pakistani figures, including Malala Yousufzai, the Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faiz Essa, and senior journalist Hamid Mir.

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