It is not easy to be objective about an institution with which one has been so deeply involved for so much of one’s life. I will not therefore make the attempt. Let me simply state that the institution whose sixtieth birthday in Pakistan we are celebrating this year could not have been brought to where it is today without belief and commitment, on the part of our parent organization, and the passion and dedication of those who have worked for it since its inception in Pakistan.
A sixtieth birthday is a Diamond Jubilee celebration. A diamond is beautiful, but it is also the hardest substance known which needs expert craftsmanship and patient hard work to bring out the crystalline splendour of its many facets. The metaphor is appropriate for OUP Pakistan which had perhaps lacked lustre to begin with, and for several years thereafter. It may even have seemed downright unpromising at times. But, as the result of a great deal of patience and fortitude, the application of a wide range of skills to the different aspects of the institution, and enormous amounts of sheer hard work, we can today certainly boast about the kind of organization we have been able to develop here.
The metaphor would be incomplete without reference to the hardness of this diamond—the hardness of numbers: volume growth and turnover. After some initial shakiness and uncertainty, the Pakistan Branch has shown continuous, strong growth and consistent returns year after year for at least the past quarter century.
We of the OUP family in Pakistan can be rightly satisfied with these achievements, just as we can take deep pride at our custom-built head office, whose concrete celebration of Pakistan’s arts and crafts symbolizes the position of our organization within the larger community. It has not been just a matter of sales numbers and growth, important as these are, no less significant is the fact that OUPP has been decisively established within the educational and academic communities. Moreover, it has become an integral part of the intellectual and cultural life of the country and enjoys a unique position in the hearts and minds of Pakistanis of all ages.
Today, at the age of sixty, the OUP Branch in Pakistan is mature but can hardly be said to be becoming portly and middle-aged. After all, our parent organization is more than five centuries old. We remain as young, dynamic, and vigorous as ever, always looking for new ideas, challenges, and successes. Our most important resource remains our people, and their training, development, and well-being will enable us to successfully chart an exciting and fulfilling future. It is a proud and happy sixtieth birthday that we celebrate this year.