The National Assembly yesterday unanimously agreed to pass a resolution seeking to rename the Quaid-e-Azam University’s Abdus Salam Centre. The idea was proposed by Capt. Safdar, the same man who went on a tirade against Ahmadis in Pakistan last year in October, calling them “a threat to the country and the constitution”. The proposed change was to change the name to honor the famous scientist Abu al Fatah Abdul Rahman Al-Khazini, one of the biggest names for Muslims in Physics.
Just count the pages; even your age is not equal to his honours.#DrAbdusSalam pic.twitter.com/ahqYowEft4
— Syedih (@SyedIHusain) May 4, 2018
Dr. Abdus Salam was a renowned physicist, who served his country well by being the first Pakistani to win a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979. A man of great accolades, he also worked tirelessly to develop a peaceful nuclear technology. Yet, long after Dr. Abdus Salam’s death, we still cannot honor his formidable contributions to science in Pakistan. Just because he belongs to the Ahmadi faith.
#DrAbdusSalam was one of the greatest #Pakistanis ever but the lowest of the low keep insulting him even after his death the way they did in his life when they asked him to serve as a football coach to “earn his keep”; shame on the #PMLN for trying to change #QAU Physics Ctr name pic.twitter.com/jjLXYXntOb
— Mohammad Taqi (@mazdaki) May 3, 2018
A group of several MNA’s including ones from PTI, PPP, and PML-N unanimously agreed to pass the resolution.
Hey @PTIofficial why four MNA supported to the resolution moved by Capt Safder to rename Physics Center? #DrAbdusSalam pic.twitter.com/cx1V80d1Cl
— Muhammad Zubair (@OptometristZaib) May 3, 2018
Interestingly, it was Nawaz Sharif’s government that named the QAU Physics center as the Abdus Salam Centre, in the first place.
Yet, today, his own son-in-law, Capt. Safdar moved the NA to overturn the decision. The PML-N leadership, ironically, also condemned the hateful speech against rightful citizens of the country. In light of this, many people all calling into question the values espoused by PML-N and whether they actually practice what they preach.
PMLN must decide whether they are still same radical right wing we grewup opposing or have really turned “ideologically democrats”like Miyan Sahib claims
With this mentality, you can’t be Sir
I strongly condemn NA Resolution to pull out the name of #DrAbdusSalam from Physics Dept https://t.co/kB6fiVtZc9
— Shama Junejo (@ShamaJunejo) May 3, 2018
Not just PML-N but the irony-laden policies of previous governments are vexing as well.
What the haters won’t tell you is General Zia Ul Haq awarded #DrAbdusSalam with Highest civilian award Nishan-e-Imtiaz in 1979.
He also received Sitara-e-Pakistan in 1959 from General Ayub.
— Anjum Kiani (@AnjumKiani) May 3, 2018
How exactly does one justify the senseless hypocrisy here?
But, perhaps the most astounding irony is PPP loyalists condemning the decision.
Tragic irony is when PTI supporters hail resolution moved by PMLN leader & PPP loyalists condemn the resolution unanimously passed by NA to replace name of #DrAbdusSalam. Just for their memory refresher it was Bhutto who got Ahmdis declared as non-Muslims & wajubul-qatal.
— Kapil Dev (@kdsindhi) May 3, 2018
Has everyone forgotten who legislated changes that legalized such discriminatory measures, in the first place?
While Pakistan continues to turn a blind eye to its heroes, the world is still acknowledging them.
It s #DrAbdusSalam statue in Bangladesh to inspire the students. Someone will be living in a fool’s paradise if he thinks that the eradication of his name from a university can impact at the fame of a piercing star. He will remain an ever shinning star for Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/A3UmmzMGPE
— Nasr Bhatti (@BakhatNasr) May 3, 2018
“Poor is the nation that has no heroes, but poorer still is the nation that having heroes, fails to remember and honour them.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero. pic.twitter.com/v5hujU1wHF
— صاحب ! (@Mairey_Sahib) May 4, 2018
When we lament over brain drain from Pakistan, do we ever acknowledge how terrible an atmosphere we have inculcated for scientific development and invention? If we continue to let people like Capt. Safdar reign supreme in important public spaces, we won’t be able to foster an environment where learning is prioritized above all. Dr. Abdus Salam wasn’t championing his Ahmadi beliefs while coming up with invaluable, peaceful nuclear technology if that is what the problem is. His formulas weren’t laced with his religious beliefs, rather they were a service to humanity that impacted a lot more than just Muslims. So why can’t we ask the difficult questions and just try to do better by our national assets? Many of whom will, unfortunately, face the same fate as Dr. Abdus Salam if the status quo isn’t broken.