Institute of Space and Planetary Astrophysics

Institute of Space and Planetary Astrophysics
Motto "O my Lord! Advance me in Knowledge"
Founder(s) Prof. Dr. Jawaid Quamar,
Established 1994
Focus Astrophysics and Mathematics research
President Muhammad Ajmal Khan, PhD,
Director Prof. Dr. Muhammad Jawed Iqbal, Ph.D.
Faculty 8
Staff 7
Key people Prof. Jawaid Quamar, Ph.D.
Owner University of Karachi
Location Karachi, Pakistan
Coordinates 24°55′50″N 67°6′55″E / 24.93056°N 67.11528°E / 24.93056; 67.11528
Address University Road, Karachi

The Institute of Space and Planetary Astrophysics, also known as by its abbreviation ISPA, is a premier and national research institute of the University of Karachi, engaging the theoretical and applied studies and research into topics pertaining to Astronomy, Astrophysics, Satellite Communication, Space Flight Dynamics, Atmospheric Science, Climatology, GIS & Remote Sensing and other related subjects.[1][2] The institute has network of various mathematics and physics laboratories located in various universities of Pakistan, while it operates a single Karachi University Astrophysics Observatory.


The institute was established by Karachi University's Department of Mathematics in 1994.[3] It was established as an autonomous research institute with the idea for a space science astrophysics programme and an astronomical observatory was conceived right at the inception of the Karachi University.[3] However, the trace of establishing such institute came in place in 1960, when Professor A.B.A Haleem, Professor of Political Science and Vice-Chancellor of the Karachi University, first obtained and procured the powerful astronomical telescope with relevant equipment from a West-German company.[3] Known as Karachi University Astrophysics Observatory, an astronomical observatory was initiated under the administrative supervision of the Department of Mathematics of the Karachi University.[3] Later in time, the Federal Government of Pakistan built a building to install the observatory which initially belonged to the Department of Mathematics.[3] In 1994, the building and the observatory became a part of the ISPA with Prof. Dr. Jawaid Quamar as its first founding director.[3]

Prof. Dr. Jawaid Quamar is credited for leading the institute at an academic and international level as he had attracted many students to do their research under his supervision and he also introduced new programmes in the relevant field in the country. The new metallic dome of the observatory was an evidence of Dr. Quamar’s hard work and dedication.

Later, after the retirement of Dr. Quamar, Mr. M. Shahid Qureshi took charge of the institute in 2002. He regularized the academic programs at ISPA and lead the institute till 2010. Mr Qureshi earned his PhD from the same institute under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Nasiruddin Khan (of department of Mathematics, UOK). In Fact Dr. Qureshi was the third PhD of the institute, first being Prof. Dr. M. Ayub Khan Yousufzai, second Prof. Dr. M. Jawed Iqbal (the current Director of ISPA).

On June 4, 2015, a brief inaugural session took place at ISPA where, Prof. Dr. Jawaid Quamar inaugurate the ISPA Seminar Library in the memory of "Prof. Dr. Irshad Ahmed Khan Afridi", who was involved in the foundation of ISPA. The new name of ISPA seminar library (Dr. Irshad Ahmed Khan Afridi Seminar Library) was approved by the Syndicate of Karachi University.[4]


The ISPA offers undergraduate and graduate (even the doctoral level) programmes in particle physics, theoretical physics, astrophysics, plasma physics, and mathematics.


  1. Directorate-Chair. "Introduction". Institute of Space and Planetary Astrophysics (ISPA). Institute of Space and Planetary Astrophysics (ISPA). Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  2. KU, Karachi University (Updated.). "Institute of Space and Planetary Astrophysics". University of Karachi Department of Media and Press. University of Karachi Department of Media and Press. Retrieved 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate=, |date= (help)
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Illyas, Faiza (February 13, 2011). "Space research institute suffering from neglect". Faiza Illyas of Dawn Media Group. Faiza Illyas of Dawn Newspapers, Dawn Media Group. Retrieved 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. "Inaugrial of Dr. Irshad Ahmed Khan Afridi Seminar Library, University of Karachi" (PDF). Institute of Space & Planetary Astrophysics (ISPA), University of Karachi. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
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