7 reasons why Aitchison College is the best school in Pakistan

Published: August 26, 2013

Aitchison College’s iconic Old Building, is quintessential Lahore of old, that takes its beholders on a trip through time and thoughts of great past students who had graced the school. PHOTO:SHAH JEWNA'S KODACHROME.

A common thread unites a disparate group of great Pakistanis, each of whom has made a mark on the nation’s landscape.

What does Mr  Syed Babar Ali have in common with Adnan Sami?

What links the mild-mannered Sardar Ayaz Sadiq to the fiery Akbar Bugti?

The answer lies in a single educational establishment at the heart of Lahore, which has produced some of the finest gentlemen in Pakistan and to answer the question “why Aitchison College” more than any other, here are seven possible reasons:

Photo: Shah Jewna’s Kodachrome Facebook page

Character first: Aitchison produces the perfect gentleman

An Aitchisonian exudes a well-cultivated air of confidence without appearing conceited. This is combined with unassuming intelligence and a sense of purpose. However, more than anything else, a good Aitchisonian is almost always gentlemanly – embodying all the values that it implies. The emphasis on character building is an ethos that is the very essence of what it means to be a student at Aitchison College.

The school’s traditions and philosophy of what it means to succeed, may not always produce better scholastic rankings than other premier schools such as LGS (Lahore Grammar School) or KGS (Karachi Grammar School), but it does result in the Aitchisonian having a broader breadth of experience and more rounded (some might even say more charismatic) personality.

Photo: Shah Jewna’s Kodachrome Facebook page

Sportsmanship as much as sporting excellence

The school’s philosophy has always been that healthy bodies make healthy minds and that sportsmanship as much as sporting excellence is key to building character. The multitude of cricket grounds, football and hockey fields, basketball and squash courts, and swimming pools show that the sports facilities are superior to any other school in Pakistan. In fact, the Main Cricket Ground is one of the best in the country. And with the celebrated horses, it’s the only top school to teach tent pegging at an internationally competitive level.

A combination of great coaches and fantastic facilities has made the school a nursery for athletic legends. While KGS, LGS and Beaconhouse might also have illustrious lists of alumni, none can boast the likes of Qasim Zia, Rameez Raja, Majid Khan, and of course the Kuptaan himself, Imran Khan.

This tradition of producing world-class international athletes who also excel scholastically is something that many other schools try to emulate but few succeed.

Photo: Shah Jewna’s Kodachrome Facebook page

The sprawling campus none can ever forget

Spread over 200 acres, Aitchison College is one of Pakistan’s largest educational institutes. On first setting gaze at the splendour of the architecture and vista of green grounds, fellow students from visiting rival schools are left in speechless awe (and possibly a lifetime of envy).

The singular joy of strolling around the campus amidst majestic buildings and wide-open lawns is yet another memory deeply embedded in all who have had the pleasure of doing so.

Photo: Shah Jewna’s Kodachrome Facebook page

After a day of intense study, there are few better ways to untie the mental knots than dashing to the nearest vacant field with a group of friends – cricket bat or football in hand. On a lazy day, it is equally enjoyable to amble along the outskirts of a field as other boys combat over whether a particular delivery was legal or not.

Photo: Shah Jewna’s Kodachrome Facebook page

History connecting the past with future

Aitchison College’s iconic Old Building, designed and built by Sir Ganga Ram, is quintessential Lahore of old, with the power to take its beholders on a trip through time and thoughts of great past students who had graced the school. While keeping in mind past glory, students are encouraged to strive and shape a better future for themselves and their fellowman.

Photo: Shah Jewna’s Kodachrome Facebook page

Unity, faith and discipline

While some of the brightest in Lahore and Karachi may attend LGS and KGS respectively, diversity defines Aitchison.

The school takes particular pride that there is representation not only from Punjab, but also Baluchistan, FATA, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Sindh. The school’s scholarship system ensures that kids from every social background attend Aitchison. The spirit therefore engendered is that of camaraderie, equality and Pakistaniat, where students take as much pride in speaking Urdu and other ethnic languages, as being fluent in English.

If the rest of Pakistan could be as harmonious as Aitchison despite its ethnic, sectarian and social diversity, we would be a different country. While there may be horseplay on the sports fields, students “gel” with each other, with little thought of who comes from where and even less of what their personal beliefs may be. Despite a multitude of backgrounds, all are united in upholding the motto “Perseverance Commands Success”.

Photo: Shah Jewna’s Kodachrome Facebook page

A proud legacy of Pakistan’s finest

Aitchison College’s singular focus on building character and devotion to duty shines through in producing success stories in almost every sphere of human activity. It’s list of alumni highlights luminaries such as former president Farooq Leghari, former prime ministers Feroz Khan Noon and Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, various provincial chief ministers and governors, and current Speaker of the National Assembly, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. Renowned lawyers Aitzaz Ahsan and Salman Akram Raja will vouch for the influence Aitchison had in shaping them. Celebrities like Yousuf Salahuddin (impresario extraordinaire), Nawab Iftikhar Ali Khan Pautadi (Indian Cricket Team Captain), and Ejazul Hasan (Pakistan’s leading senior artist) once wore the school blazer.

Their example sets a high bar that serves to motivate Aitchisonians to strive for the extraordinary. That the alumni have excelled in vast array of callings and careers speaks volumes for the school’s ability to draw the best out each of its students

Photo: Shah Jewna’s Kodachrome Facebook page

It is home to the best “Hot Dog” I’ll ever have

On casual inspection, the famous hot dog patty, available at a school canteen called Deans, looks like a traditional bun kebab. However, dismissing this age-old institution in such a manner would be just short of criminal. I had my first hot dog patty when a friend told me that eating one is a rite of passage and is part and parcel of studying in Aitchison. Together with Deans’ equally famous ketchup, I was introduced to this heavenly combination and a lifetime of shared memories and camaraderie with my fellow Aitchisonians.

Photo: Shah Jewna’s Kodachrome Facebook page

Aitchison is a lot more than a school. It is a fraternity that people remain members of for the rest of their lives. There is hunger for innovation but respect for tradition at the same time. When Aitchison College’s foundation stone was laid on November 3, 1886, Sir Charles Umpherston Aitchison said,

“This is an institution from which you will banish everything in thought and word and act that is mean, dishonourable or impure, and in which you will cultivate everything that is virtuous, true, manly and gentlemanly”.

Even after 127 years, Aitchisonians aspire to live up to these inspiring words and each in his own unique manner succeeds in doing so.

There is no doubt that Aitchison competes with many great institutes for the title “Best School in Pakistan”. But if given the opportunity, would I choose to attend any one of them? Absolutely not.

After spending eight years at the school, I have come to understand that the Aitchison College experience is unmatched. The school not only excels in academia, but also provides a well-rounded exposure. Aided by the best sports facilities offered in the country, an Aitchisonian is taught the meaning of sportsmanship along with an appreciation of striving for excellence. Aitchison’s focus on etiquette surpasses all else, requiring Aitchisonians to behave like gentlemen not only amongst each other but also in all spheres of activity. The ethnic and social diversity, which encourages students to purge thoughts of superiority and instills a sense of equality among them is something I value deeply.

But most special of all, and what I will cherish forever, are the friends I have made and the memories shared with them. Any Aitchisonian will vouch for that there are few experiences that compare to walking through the school’s hallowed halls, or Cypress Avenue, with a group of his closest comrades – each with a hot dog patty in hand.

Photo: Shah Jewna’s Kodachrome Facebook page

Do you agree or disagree with the statement that Aitchison is the best school in Pakistan?

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Syed Ali Hassan

Syed Ali Hassan

An A-Level student at Aitchison College, Lahore, who loves to write and is keen on pursuing journalism as an occupation in the near future.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Shamy

    I can give you 10 reasons why Karachi Grammar is the best.Recommend

  • http://quillemissions.blogspot.com/ Asad

    While these are some extremely positive aspects of the school, I do not believe that, at least in this day and age, and school that does not provide its many opportunities to both the sexes can be considered one of the finest institutions in the country. Recommend

  • faraz

    “An Aitchisonian exudes a well-cultivated air of confidence without appearing conceited” Hahahaha Recommend

  • Abubakar

    Clearly shows the lack of knowledge of the writer. Totally Biased !!! this whole article makes Aitchison a Good school but not the best school. Compare it to GCU or FCC both will beat it. Too immature !!!
    BTW I am also from Aitchison and to be honest its a good place to study but not the best. GCU building is way beautiful than Aichison, this will make GCU the best college of Pakistan??Recommend

  • http://karachi choclet

    next! any ladies from kinnaird? Recommend

  • sana

    “The school’s traditions and philosophy of what it means to succeed, may not always produce better scholastic rankings than other premier schools such as LGS or KGS but it does result in the Aitchisonian having a broader breadth of experience and more rounded (some might even say more charismatic) personality.”


  • Muhammad

    I know some plus and some negatives of Aitchison but just after reading the first para I decided not to read any more about the college….if the writer ranks, Ch. Nisar, Bugti, Adnan Sami and so as the FINEST GENTLEMEN and Aitchison has any claim on them, then there is a lot to be explained by Aitchison.Recommend

  • Rakhshanda

    someone please contribute 7 reasons why this is the most pretentious blog in pakistan. Recommend

  • Saim

    If there is any school & any college that should be proud then those are Govt. High School Jhang and Govt College Lahore (now GC University) for being Producing one of the finest and most intelligent brains in the WORLD, Dr. AbdusSalam.

    What does Ch. Nisar, Bugti and Adnan Sami sell ?? Recommend

  • Britpak

    “There is no doubt that Aitchison competes with many great institutes for the title “Best School in Pakistan”. But if given the opportunity, would I choose to attend any one of them? Absolutely not.”

    lol, pakistani toffs. Education needs to be democratized in Pakistan. Its as simple as that. You may go to the best school in Pakistan (whatever that means), but i guarantee you the best minds remain outside of these schools, probably working at some brick factory or the streets of Karachi, Lahore..etc because their parents cannot afford to send them to any kind of school whatsoever. So its really nothing to boast about. I know this will sting some, but it is the harsh truth. Recommend

  • muhammad khan afridi

    One can surely agree or disagree on Aitchison college being the best institution in the country or otherwise, but let us also not forget Islamia college Peshawar and Islamia collegiate school,Peshawar, they both have also inspired many and have given many leaders to this country. Recommend

  • Talal

    I thought in Aitchison you cannot get admission unless you come from a ‘big’ family or have important sources? Very Pakistani ;-)Recommend

  • vijay gupta

    a) Dozens of India’s boarding schools beat Aitchison College hands down. You CANNOT run a decent school that imparts the best of lireral modern values combined with the best of those from the old world in the midst of a bigoted, feudal, militaristic set up that has managed to get rid of most of its minorities, and now wants to turn chunks of their co-religionists into minorities.

    b) Despite this glittering array of upmarket schools, India takes pride in the fact that its best brains are often produced amongst the middle class and underprivilaged, nurtured by an excellent system of State schools and univs. Recommend

  • Pappu

    I am proud to be Ravian. Aitchison may have produced politicians and bureaucrats but Govt College Lahore ( now GCU) has produced Great people. Recommend

  • Rayan

    Abbottabad Public School is the best…. :) Recommend

  • Usman

    If you’ve got haters, you must be doing something right. Around 3000 people give the admissions test for Aitchison and 150 get in. The rest live in a complex their entire lifeRecommend

  • Ayesha

    cute! :)Recommend

  • Alumnus

    “You are Aitchisonians, you don’t need to brag” – The PrinceRecommend

  • Nawaz Sharif

    So the best school in Pakistan does not allow Female admission. Hmmm……Recommend

  • MK

    Aitchison has a beautiful campus, with so much history and elegance. However, it is often rightly criticised as being an elitist school. Not sure it’s “the best” school – and why are we so eager to rank anything as “the best”? Education – whether it be a school or b school, at any place has certain virtues. Education is “the best” when the students are committed, creative and eager to learn!Recommend

  • Hamaad

    Umm – ever heard of St. Patrick’s, Karachi ? the school has an equally distinguished alumni list across all breadths of life – sports, politics, corporates … not to mention the highly egalitarian culture and the grounding in good values that the school insists on. Let’s hold off a bit on these unfounded sentiments of superiority. Recommend

  • Whoops

    Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan …’finest gentlemen’…!!
    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha…I can’t breathe…gasp gasp…hahahaha…Recommend

  • ramish

    i know many idiots from aitchisonRecommend

  • aqib

    Does this ‘SCHOOL’ produce the most ‘SCHOLARS’….supposed to be primary objective.Recommend

  • p

    dude i thing u dont know Sadiq Public School then..one of the best school in every aspectRecommend

  • Baloch

    Do Visit Cadet College Petaro. Runway being used as parade ground. 8 Hostels. 7 large Grounds, 4 basketball courts, one swimming pool, riding club, shooting club, Cinema, 2-Cafetaria, Glass squash courts. Fair Price Shop, Fruit Shop, Cobbler shop, Butcher shop, tailor shop. more than 1500 staff. it occupies an area of 300 acres. “With a lighter note it also produces the finest brains such as ASIF ALI ZARDARI . Recommend

  • Taimoor

    Why have you been rejected by [email protected]: Recommend

  • adnan

    Military college jehlum is best institution. it enrolls students purely on merit. Recommend

  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan

    Nice blog. All alumni should be proud of their almamater. No indo pak boxing of the keyboard here. Education and by that I mean a non discriminatory curriculum for all Pakistanis should be taught and the government can entice the poor children to attend school in villages by proving afternoon meal for free. The poor family will definately send these children to government schools. It is implemented here in india with huge success and some tragedies too alas. But no-one is perfect. We try though with a good heart. Rab rakhaRecommend

  • pinky

    Pervez khattak is aitchisonian too, right?Recommend

  • Hassan

    As an ACian, I’m glad someone wrote about our glorious institution, and considering the level of negativity this article has been getting, I’d like to elaborate on some points here:

    Does anyone know why Facebook became so popular in its early days? It was the ‘exclusivity’ it offered. And when it went public, people just couldn’t resist signing up. The same is true for Aitchison too. Its true that up till a few years ago, it admitted children from elite families ONLY, but its not like that anymore. If you can’t get in these days, chances are, you aren’t bright enough. Simple.
    The author doesn’t need to name ALL the illustrious people to prove that its alumni body is the best.
    If you know idiots from AC, then it tells more about your circle of acquaintances than it does about the institution itself.
    As for scholars, ACians are normally applying for foreign universities, with LUMS as their backup. Consider that foreign unis grant admission to suitable all-round applicants, and your query has been answered.
    If you haven’t been fortunate enough to spend some time at Aitchison, then you can never understand why it is the best. Its about the feelings it invokes inside you. So don’t talk about what you don’t know.

    And oh, if you think that because Aitchison is boys-only and hence NOT the best, ask Cambridge University why AC was the first school from Pakistan to be included in the honourary advisory board for O/A Levels.Recommend

  • Syed M. Qasim Ahsan (13939)

    I commend your love for your school, but this article sounds showy.
    You’re an Aitchisonian, have some class yaar. Recommend

  • Imran Khan

    The mere fact of how many people have come out to discourage your writing and responded negatively is a testament to the greatness of Aitchison College !! Recommend

  • Aqqas

    Ch Nisarr!!! Oh please, scratch him off the list! Read about his fiasco with Anne W patterson(wiki leak.) Aichison is only home to pompous boys with money. Otherwise Nawaz Sharif’s grandson is also studying there, and hes known for being not even slightly good in. Studies.. . We. All know how these people, including our “honorable’ interior minister get admision into this college.Recommend

  • Umair

    It’s amazing how much negativity this article is getting! What’s wrong with a guy praising his alma mater? I’m sure every one of you would have similar comments regarding your schools. I’m also amused at what vijay gupta had to say, especially his first point. Making that statement is like someone saying ‘India is a country where women get raped and killed everyday for sport’ after reading about recent gang rapes in India. Get some perspective bro. Don’t make every issue an ‘Indo Pak boxing of the keyboard’ as Prabhjyot Singh Madan said.Recommend

  • Saim

    I see complexes here….superiority and inferiority….nothing moderate.

    Studying in any great institute doesn’t make you great, its what you deliver to humanity that makes you great. If you have delivered something worthy, your school will be proud of you.

    No need to, fight whether Aitchison is great or not…that has no real meaning in real life.Recommend

  • Saad

    Competitively ranking schools in Pakistan is the very reason the middle and lower class are unable to afford quality education. Why not standardize all schools to the same level and then boast about the education quality in the whole of Pakistan?Recommend

  • Ace

    Only the elite can dream of going to these schools.Recommend

  • Gulshan Boizz

    The City School, Gulshan Campus, Karachi. Best school in Pakistan. Notable alumni include…….well you won’t know them, because we are very indie.Recommend

  • @Umair

    @ Umair

    The recent mumbai gangrape you’re refering to of the photojournalist,was done by five young men,four of who,were muslim boys..a fine example of hindu muslim co-operation.Recommend

  • Rehan Saigol

    I find it hard to believe that Ch Nisar is an Aitchisonian! I’m an Aitchisonian myself. Ignoring the current students at Aitchison, all I can say is that back then people who studies at Aitchison had class! Money doesn’t buy class! Now people like Ayaz Sadiq, Imran Khan have class. Not Ch Nisar! I think the writer corrected his mistake of mentioning him.Recommend

  • Haroon

    There weren’t many comments encouraging the writer, but too many 1ups… typical. I enjoyed reading the article and think the writer should continue to support his arguments as to why his respective college ranks so highly and post them. Don’t let the haters deter you!Recommend

  • Ahmad Tabassum

    Oh please. No school can compare to Aitchison’s history, or its level of ingenuity. That I can assure you (and no, Mr. Abu Bakr, but GCU is not slightly comparable to the 127 years of excellence that Aitchison College has provided to students).

    Now all of you are going to say that this article is ‘biased, just because the writer is an Aitchisonian’, or that ‘your school is better’, but trust me, you should really visit Aitchison College for a day. You know, spend a day in the vicinity of our college. And ignore all the stereotypes that the other schools create about us.

    An excellent piece of article, I must say Ali. Reminds me of a saying by our Principal “You are Aitchisonians. You don’t show off. You don’t need to show off”. Likewise, the Article speaks for itself. Great job. :DRecommend

  • http://na deep

    @@Umair: Can you just own your criminals as well regardless of religion and let this poor bloke write about this school he obviously admires?Recommend

  • ilyas

    its unfortunate that this article was writtten, more unfortunate that it was printed and the comments, well most of them last nail in th coffin.
    character building comes from good teachers and not from buildings. resolve to remain truthful comes from those leading by examples and not from huge acres the schools are built over. I also once cherished the very large school i went to. But having grown up my most cherished memories are the golden words of my teachers and not vast expanse our school was sperad over. When the good teachers left, the school that produced the best citizens (they were equally good professionals) may have produced better professionals but the trait of decadnace also became prominent. Its extremly disappointing that we are just comparing and not simply competing, we want to be winners and not just good sportspeople. Like it was said about England that we have become fen of stagnent waters or a nation of shopkeepers.
    Quaid e Azam Allma Iqbal Sahibzada Yaqoob Khan, etc. etc must be turning and tossing in their graves today.Recommend

  • Nida

    Alumni from KGS don’t have to write long articles trying to convince people why we are the best. Recommend

  • Tughral T Ali

    I can understand the proud sentiments of the writer, but its always a mistake to make such a big claim as being the best. Different people have different definitions of what makes an educational institution the best.

    I take great pride in being an aitichisonian, and if I have a son I will prefer to send him to Aitchison as well.. but equally all educational institutions have their plus and negative points.

    Just one last point: I know many aitchisonians who fail miserably at the “gentleman” measure. That claim made me cringe. Recommend

  • Junaid Noon

    I meant chudhry nisaar khan is from Aitchison????? Doesn’t seem like so at all! Recommend

  • chatha

    Haters keep on hating. AC zindabadRecommend

  • @deep


    That response was not for you,it was for Mr.Umair and his comment..he brought it up. Similar cooperation was seen in the delhi case too in a 5:1 ratio..remember the juvenile who was vicious..the one who used the tyre iron ?Recommend

  • Ex-Aitchisonian

    No school should be deemed the ‘best’ merely on virtue of how many ministers or celebrities it has graduated. By that account, KGS wins by a mile any way. The true measure of an institution is its teachers and the values they inculcate. What made Aitchison special for me, at least under principal Shamim Khan was that it taught me to be responsible. One could be the son of an industrialist, MNA, MPA or the scion of an ultra-landed family but within the walls of the school all were treated equally. In many instances of misconduct, students who thought bigshot daddy or chacha or pupha could save them from expulsion were dealt with and chucked out if need be. Of late, many of the brightest teachers have left the institution for various reasons so I wouldn’t say it has the best quality of education. Even sports, which used to be the highlight of the school have deteriorated. BUT I have to say we have the best damn campus of any high school in Pakistan. Recommend


    o my poor dear young writer, clearly you need to look outside the boundary walls of your Alma mater to arrive at good position to judge things and make statement, i would urge you to give some of your time to gain knowledge about Colleges like Military College Jhelum, Sarai Alamgir to know how a under privileged and kids from poor background are groomed to lead men in battle field as officer, it will surely open your mind and horizon
    Regards Recommend

  • ahmad

    i heard Shahrukh Jatoi was also an aitchisonianRecommend

  • Karachiwala

    Following is the oath that every child takes on day in and day out in One of the finest school of Pakistan. Habib Public School.
    And i feel proud in reproducing it here, as follow:

    I, as a Habibian, hereby pledge:
    To serve God and man according to the tenets of Islam, the true religion.
    To do my best and sacrifice my all for Pakistan.
    To do clean thinking and practice honest dealings.
    To be courageous and to know no fear when truth and right are in peril.
    To shrink from jealousy and to guard against flippancy and irreverence.<

    The school is full of academic and athletic history. Many known politician raza rabbani, hussain haqqani, Hasan sardar, Tapal.(i am missing alot- check the school website).etc are the shining stars of school.
    We do have our own fraternity “Ex Habibians”, and its not by invitation but it becomes a part of your blood. Who ever you are, which ever sect you belong from..we learn to be a Pakistani, and join hands as Habibians!
    Even though as boys, we fight a lot while in school but to the outsiders we always united.
    As a Habibian, i do not recall any fight that we have lost. Be the fight of swimming, hockey, cricket, debate, gymnastic..or be it hand to hand with others! Recommend

  • Ahmad Tabassum

    Ilyas, I think our faculty is by far the best of the lot – our exceptional grades and academic standards speak for themselves.

    @Umair, how does that relate to this article? The Mumbai Gang rape was committed by a negligible percentage of the Muslim populous. You can’t really lay your trust on stereotypes, bro. Recommend

  • Khan

    Ah. Yes. The criticism.
    Let’s understand a few things.
    A. One cannot simply criticize a person for wanting to express his appreciation for his Alma-mater.
    B. As far as the best school goes, yes. That is undoubtedly a questionable statement. But, then again, to each his own.
    C. Whatever the case, you cannot deny that Aitchison College DOES possess many interesting and unique features along with ample facilities, as well a rich subcontinental heritage, however you may interpret it.
    D. Yes, it is called an “elitist” school, and whilst that may be true(probably is), other private institutions mentioned in the article also are somewhat more of a “upper-middle class youth” educational institutions considering that their fees also near or sometimes match those of Aitchison.
    E. Yes, admission are scarce, and they have admitted sons of bureaucrats and politicians a number of times. But do note that this is also because such children have achieved the academic criteria that the college requires because they have been blessed with the means to a good education before their admission. I do sincerely believe that such institutions should not be the center of everybody’s attention, and that the public education system needs to badly improve to give the rest of the 80 to 90 percent of the young populace a fair chance at good education and consequently, success in life. And sometimes we people at the ‘better end of the town’ do overlook this.
    PS I am a student of Aitchison.Recommend

  • Ahmad Tabassum

    Ilyas, actually I take my words back. Just realised what you really meant. You’re right, to an extent. Recommend

  • rehan

    All said and heard..whenever I come across an aitchisonian,it only adds in strengthening my observation: they are SNOBS.Recommend

  • abcd

    its a burger school. guys like him “papa chicken” goes there, where all day long they yap in english and when it comes to urdu reading then these kids are speechless. angrez ki oladeinRecommend

  • https://twitter.com/ahmedmalik_ Ahmed Malik

    Aitchison College is just a tiny box for the rich and powerful of the country where their kids can feel at home with other rich brats. At Aitchison either you are one of the descendent of some Nawab or Sardar from the pre partitioned era or even if you are not you start behaving like one and then some day you turn out to be a politician and start claiming that you are from the masses but the truth is you don’t even know what the problems of this country are, you only know you exclusive set of friends.
    P.S that does not means i hate Aitchisonions, i simply hate the idea of a school exclusively for the powerful elite and i also know there are exceptions, a very few people from middle class also study at Aitchison. Recommend

  • maryam

    Yaaar aikk sawaal hai aap sab kay liyay! Who’d you vote for in the elections? Period.Recommend

  • Ayesha

    Clearly the writer is biased. Aitchison is hardly the best school in Lahore! Being the best in Pakistan is an entirely different discussion. My son is a fourth generation Aitchisonian, and for me it was more of passing on a tradition than anything else. Aitchison’s glory days ended way back in the 80’s. Now it’s just a symbol more than anything else. The curriculum is archaic, and creativity is hardly encouraged. Recommend

  • Javed Hassan

    “An Aitchisonian exudes a well-cultivated air of confidence without appearing conceited. This is combined with unassuming intelligence and a sense of purpose. However, more than anything else, a good Aitchisonian is almost always gentlemanly – embodying all the values that it implies.” I’m not an Aitchisonian but these are right values to instill for any school anywhere in the world! Recommend

  • Middle class Aitchisonian

    I went to Aitchison for 12 year! Being from a middle class family with no big ‘connections’ I didn’t get to do much in my entire stay there. Lesser sportsmen were selected over me because they sent ‘parchi’ to the housemaster. Candidates with lesser credentials were made prefects because they belonged to an influential family. College teams were chosen with favoritism. The sports coaches were more inclined to train the richer kids than the average joes.

    Despite all that, those were the best years of my life and I would once again choose Aitchison if I had to. Recommend

  • Raza

    Firstly to all the people who are trying to compare Aitchison with GCU, let me remind you that both of these institutions have been providing exceptional education to students for over 100 years. To be exact in calculation, Aitchsion was founded on 3rd November, 1886 and GCU was established on 1st January, 1864 and both of these prestigious institutions have a history of creating Pakistan’s finest in every field there is. Having said that, the only difference between these two great institutions (apart from atmosphere, co-curriculum etc, which is default) is that of education. Aitchison College offers A’Levels, the best in the country I’d say while GCU offers FSc, again, the best, in the country. Both of these institutions are a symbol of unity in Pakistan as students from throughout the country apply with a dream of getting admitted in them. (Respectively for A levels, and FSc).

    The reason for writing the latter was certainly not to compare these institutions. It is evident that these two cannot be compared as both of them are “best” in their own fields. Personally, it’s like comparing your left hand with your right one. And if you read the article clearly, the writer did NOT compare Aitchison with GCU or FCC. It’s your ego that’s doing so.
    Now, I’ve been at Aitchison. I know what it feels like to be an Aitchsionian. From the early morning assembly, hearing the headboy shouting at the top of his voice to assemble the students to eating the “hot dog pattis” as Ali mentioned in his article. The memories gathered up are certainly something that I will cherish throughout my life and yes, when I think of the past, it does make me sentimental.

    But I’ve been at GCU too. I know what it feels like to be a Ravian as well and the reminiscences are certainly cherishing as well and something I’d not trade anything else for.

    Sorry for this exaggeration but I felt that your ideas needed clarification.

    Now to those people who think that Aitchison only accepts children from the “elite group” or as I read in one of the comments, “rich people,” let me tell you that you’re wrong. I don’t know where you heard of that, but belonging from a middle-class family and being Aitchisonian, I can say that it’s completely false. As Hassan said, “If you haven’t been fortunate enough to spend some time at Aitchison, then you can never understand why it is the best.” Aitchision admits students strictly on merit.

    Secondly, to those who say that this article is completely “biased.” Well, I don’t see anything wrong with a student praising his institute. He can’t be studying in Aitchison and praising LGS or KGS now.
    Thirdly, you say that you know some “stupid Aitchsionians.” Well, that statement marks how illiterate and immature you can be, restricting your opinions to a specific group of people. We don’t say, “Ohhhhh that JTite/Grammarian is sooo stuupiidd, OMFG, HE’S SO DUMB WEARING HIS UNIFROM IN ATTENDING MUNs. HAHA LETS COMMENT THAT ON FB AND OTHER PLACES.” No sir, we don’t make such comments. We don’t need to.

    Now, speaking of different schools like LGS, KGS and FCC.
    FCC cannot be compared to Aitchsion. Why? The same reason GCU cannot be compared to Aitchsion. FCC tries to compare itself with GCU if you didn’t know, and we all know that GCU is better than FCC in many, many ways. I’m amazed how people are comparing two different bodies. I mean LGS with Aitchison is reasonable, FCC with Aitchsion? Seriously?
    For LGS and KGS, well Ali already elaborated a lot on that in his article.

    I’d just say that being an Aitchsionian is something extraordinary and that a non-Aitchisonian can never understand the feeling. As they say, haterz gonna hate.
    Great article Ali. Well done. Recommend

  • Rebel

    I think you have not heard about Beaconhouse, The City School and Foundation Public School. Students from Habib Public school would beat Aitchisonian’s in sports any day,all day. And Karachi Grammar School and St Patrick’s High School are both much older than Aitchison.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    What a rubbish illogical article full of untrue self-praise and non-sensical musing. If an aitchisonian is your idea of a gentleman, buddy you must be lost.

    The tribune needs a better class of bloggers. Recommend

  • Malik

    I fully agree with Baloch. Cadet College Petaro is the best high school institution in Pakistan. Its sheer size would eclipse AC. It has produced some of the finest brains and leaders of the country. Unlike AC where only elites of the elites could get admission, Cadet College Petaro has admitted students from the remotest areas of rural Sindh and the best of the Urban cities to produce some of the top minds in the country. Recommend

  • Indian

    Nawab Ifthikar Pataudi of Haryana studied here ? That would be before partition…so it’s a very old institute then…He’s Saif Ali Khan’s grandfather..Ifthikhar and Mansoor Pataudi were the only father-son pair to captain the Indian cricket team.
    Very nice photographs..good article.Recommend

  • Ismail Ark

    Interesting read. Though i do not agree with all the points mentioned, i am rather impressed. The article truely does speak for itself.

    On a personal note, i do not believe that Aitchison is the best school. Nor do i believe GCU is the best, as Mr Abu Bakr has stated. As an ex-Aitchisonian and a current Ravian, i believe both educational institutions have a great deal of flaws. Aitchison boys do tend to be arrogant from time to time, and the excessive fees ensures no one from a lower class family can even afford the institution. Similarly, GCU has its own problems, such as most of its students being out of touch with the modern world. But still, both are educational institutions, and their main goal should be to impart education, not compete with each other.Recommend

  • che guevara

    there is more to an educational institute than big grounds,fancy buildings and hot dogs or whatever you call them and besides most Pakistanis cant send there children to aitchison college.they are neither that affluent nor do they have the money. ET you can do a lot better than thisRecommend

  • S Haider

    This juvenile blog should have stayed in its original place, the College’s annual magazine.
    AnAitchisonian old boyRecommend

  • Random Pakistani

    Get a life maybe?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Somewhere in this daastan you have referred to the Aitchison hot-dog being made with a patty………now as far as I know hot-dogs are traditionally made from sausages and that to from chicken sausages, a Burger is made from a patty.

  • Anon


  • Haider Ali Salem

    A proud aitchisonian. Yet I would like to correct you in 2 places:

    1) lgs and kgs THRASH us according to grades
    2) perfect gentlemen don’t go around pickin fights in girls school!

    No worries shamim khan is back to fix all this!! Recommend

  • Mohammad Shahnawaz

    It’s natural to disagree with this article if you were never a part of Aitchison. The feeling an Aitchisonian gets is a feeling YOU ALL can never get. It can’t be put into words either. Aitchison made me what i am today and i am proud of it. No school in Krachi, Lahore or Islamabad can give me the memories Aitchison has given me. Proud to be an Aitchisonian!Recommend

  • Waqas

    Now if only it also taught students to write without cliches.Recommend

  • sana

    to the guy who commented that 3000 apply and only 150 get in – do you know the population of karachi. lol.Recommend

  • Raj Kafir

    The most important fact is not mentioned in the blog. The architect of this building was a Sikh, Bhai Ram Singh Ji.Recommend

  • Ali

    I’m disappointed that a majority of the commenters who claim to be educated are berating a student of Aitchison for this blog but themselves do not understand the difference between a school/college (class 1 to 12) and a college/university (class 12 – phd) such as GCU, FCCU and are thus comparing apples with oranges. Shame on whichever educational institution they attended for not even teaching them this difference. Recommend

  • JK

    Back in the 60’s I was one of the few ‘goras’ at AC. I had the privilege of having Mr Langland as my teacher, number one. Secondly it was hard in every respect, but it taught me respect and I have never forgotten that, nor will I forget the motto. Rightly or wrongly I am proud to have been an Aitchisonian and for what it taught me in my formative years.

    The words mentioned in the article “a rounded education” spring to mind as I finished my schooling in London where we had to have a police station on campus…….Recommend

  • Muhammad A Chaudhry

    An elitist institution where common people like me imagine of getting an admission, just have a look at the web site of the college where you can’t even access the admission policy on the web site, no mention of fees, scholarships etc. Only maintained to serve the gentry not the masses.Recommend

  • An Alumnus

    I will not participate in the 'my horse is bigger than yours' argument, Any school that hopes to embody aspirations in its policies and activities faces challenges. The existence of such issues (or lack thereof) is by no means the sign of an outstanding educational institution. Yes, the state of affairs in Aitchison College leaves much to be desired, but as far as a foundation goes, it is an absolutely amazing place to get an education from. People who claim it to be 'elitist' may have a grain or two of truth in the statement, but if the history of the place is taken into account, it is blatantly obvious that such exclusion has been decreasing for decades and continues to do so.
    I admit that the words chosen are bold ones. What many of the people commenting here are forgetting is that the author is a young individual (still wet behind the ears as far as experience goes) simply explaining why he loved his time spent there. This is neither a research paper nor an attack on other educational institutions. It is a tribute. There is no need to take offence or get defensive.

    TL;DR: He's just a school kid writing about why he liked his school. Why the s**tstorm?

  • Osama Zaman

    I spent twelve of the most formative years of my life at Aitchison. And the way there’s always a black and a white, I belong to the category of people who, despite having been ‘proud Aitchisonians’ at some point in life, were let down and have consequently developed a very rational and unbiased hatred for the place. Every single reason given in the article is easily put down .. Except for maybe how pretty the buildings are … Possibly my largest affinity is exactly that. My memories aren’t golden .. They’re laced with undertones of deceit. I didn’t make friends for life because of Aitchison. Heck I hated sports and being forced into having to participate, not my cup of tea. Aitchison never was a place that appreciated individuality or respected an opinion contrary to what everyone was taught to believe as the one and only truth. I gave heart and soul to the school as a kid .. I won Aitchison accolades that it wouldn’t have, so proudly displayed at the old building. And what I got in return was: if you are not going to conform to the ideal of what a gentleman is in ‘our’ heads, you can bugger off. You kids like to believe you’re gentlemen. Ha! The same gentlemen who made a habit out of harassing every female who was unlucky enough to be able to attend the U-19s. Freedom of thought and freedom of expression are two ideals opposed to the ‘we produce gora saabs’ ideology, and these ideals are what I believe help make an individual and shape their conscience. I can proudly say that I have a hand in getting your school to whatever pinnacle you kids like to believe it’s at, but I can not being myself to be proud of the title Aitchisonian because that place my friend, is the feeding ground for myopia.

    I don’t feel half as angry now as I was reading the title to this article.


  • Go zardari go

    The jealousy oozing out of the haters, give me more.Recommend

  • AQ

    Ever heard grapes are sour? Some enjoy this great almamater and some just dream about it, and whoever said they only accept students from rich and powerful families is just wrong. My father was a very ordinary person and I got in. So if you love Aitchison raise your hand, if you don’t then raise your standards.Recommend

  • Bonga

    Great people make their schools feel great…

    Ordinary people right blogs about their great school..

    (extra) ordinary people comment on that blog !


  • MD Khan

    I saw this blog post, decided to comment immediately even without reading it, as I usually have less time on my office desk for non office related work.

    Aitchison is finest, no doubt about it.

    People it grooms, usually make awesome career out of themselves, 90% of grads went on , to become great professionals, all around the world.

    I’ve met a lot of aitchsonians, during my career/academic phase, there is remarkable difference between people, who studied their inter/A-levels over there and who studied longer. People who studied longer were better performers.

    I wish it becomes affordable for average Pakistani, If one day, I have a son, and I can afford it, he’s going there!Recommend

  • http://walt.com Walt

    As a fellow author I would like to impart a word of advice.

    It is forgivable and perhaps even mildly charming to present a romanticized version of ones alma mater. However, what makes a strong piece is a certain number of facts littered into the body of the blog that can transform argumentative writing into a compelling read.

    In your work you present clearly hand selected and even challengeable versions of facts, which formulate weak arguments that unfortunately don’t stake a strong claim to the title of the blog.

    As a writer you must learn to resist the desire to over romanticize while keeping a healthy dosage of facts and statistics that clearly back your claim.

    You produce a piece that is well written, but unfortunately not well researched, and therefore do not produce a compelling read.

    Keep trying and I’m sure you’ll find your way.

    Good luck!Recommend

  • http://mezaajedeen.blogspot.com Tribune Reader

    Don’t let the Grammarian snobs bog you down, they make up a significant proportion of the A level population, and as far as Aitchison goes, I have met quite a few snobs from that school also while at University abroad. So snobbery is something you will find in every elite school of Pakistan. Recommend

  • ptr

    Most of the alumni of this school have a class for sure. Although a student from middle class family cannot even afford to think about applying to this Institution for admission. So it is also about money to get the personality and class.Recommend

  • Saki

    Love the AC/KGS rivalryRecommend

  • haris

    I am from LUMS, and always has a regret for not being into Aitchison. here in lums i have friends from all walk of life but no doubt aitcsonian walon ki baat hi kuch aur hai. Excel in everything. true gentlemen outstanding gpa with captain of every sports.
    for writer plz also include the name of
    Dr. asim khawaja
    Dr. umar saif
    and i believe i don’t need to tell about these two persons whose achievements certainly made Pakistan proud in MIT & Harward.
    and for athletics, you can have a reference of currently Pak bowler Wahab Riaz.Recommend

  • Pappu

    Next blog on GCU? and then the rest.Recommend

  • ilyas

    my boss’s mother once told him I don’t care how much money do you make what matters to me is how many jobs you provide. Success, money, fame, etc. came secondary in our tradtional upbringing and were supposed to be a bonus. Humanity and above all truthfullness were the goals our elders pursued. Here I just see rat race, compare, compare till death do us aprat. No wonder Allma Iqbal’ poetry has been replaced by glamour of Bollywood. Its was sad to read a teenager’s blog but it was extremely disheartening to read most of the comments from all ages and different walks of life. We are so deeply indulged in this curse that we just fail to appreciate the finer aspects of life. The Miller of Dee was a far happier man than the King. Take time to smell the roses and kiss your child. There is far more to life than comparing which school had more trees. seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave, the entrance at my school said this. Today we seek grades and still better grades. While we read books, this generation mostly seeks shortcuts thrrough tuition, solved papers, etc. It really pains to see this nation collecting degrees and bragging the length of their school’s boundries but coming short when it comes to character building. No wonder once we had leaders and that too of the calibre of Quaid e Azam while today we have just presidents MNAs MPAs, leave alone leaders. Its a defining moment for us and we need to make decisions as to which path to choose. History repeats itself. Its upto us how we want to be remembered.Recommend

  • concerned_citizen

    sorry but aitchisonians are very conceited. i stopped reading the moment i read this: “An Aitchisonian exudes a well-cultivated air of confidence without appearing conceited.” — what a joke!Recommend

  • anvaar

    give two :) @Shamy: Recommend

  • M. Saleem Akhtar Bodla

    If it’s so, then my school is the best of all. This is quiet frivolous discussion. Everyone has same concrete reason to support his school. Because, where one has been studying; it cannot be a petty thing. Recommend

  • Imran

    Guys growing up I was a military brat so I have attended both KGS and Aitchison. I always call myself an Aitchisonian never a Grammarian. I was in Manhattan for a couple of years and would come across investment bankers from both schools, never got more than a pleasant “hello” from Grammarians after telling them I attended their Alma matter for a while and was never left alone at the party after I told an Aitchisonian that I was also one…..
    Mr. Ilyas….get with the program and try not being Aristotle for a change, it is what it isRecommend