Pakistan: Watchman completes MPhil, now has promotion in his sights

Islamabad: Noor Marjan, a watchman at Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centre has successfully completed his MPhil degree from the University of Agriculture, Peshawar.

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The news came as a pleasant surprise for the entire university staff and Marjan, 36, has since been warmly greeted for his accomplishment. An image of him with a gun over his shoulder and a book in hand has also gone viral on social media.

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Marjan joined the Islamic Centre as a watchman back in 2000 after passing his matric exam when he was only 16 years old.

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He has also did a Bachelors of Education (B.Ed) and Masters of Education (M.Ed) exams during his service and has a distinguished academic record.

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While talking to Gulf News on Thursday, Marjan said he continued his studies side by side with his duties as a watchman and expects from the university administration to give him a promotion to a more senior position or reward.

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“I have worked on a number of posts as per the university requirement for instance as invigilator during exams, hostel clerk during the days of new admissions but every time I have been sent back to work as watchman as soon as the task is over,” said Marjan.

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He said that in 2014 he was given the duty of Superintendent of Examinations which he performed well for four years, later he was given the responsibility of a clerk in a university hostel, which he also performed well. But now he has been given the duty of watchman again.

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Well-versed with tribal values

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Hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Khyber District, Marjan has a good knowledge of the tribal customs and rituals and his MPhil thesis was also on ‘Comparative study of customs among tribal people, Hindus and Sikhs.’

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Marjan has also worked in various departments at the same university as a janitor.

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He says he might be the only watchman who has an MPhil degree but made it clear that he did not study for the sake of any recognition. However, he hoped now with an MPhil degree in hand, he would get a better position/post instead of working as a watchman.

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“Sometimes, I get very upset but I can’t give up this job because if I quit, there is no other source of livelihood and my pension will also be lost”, he said while adding, “I am a man with a family and have the obligation to feed my children, raise and provide them with all necessities of life.”

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