India has mathematicians and scientists like Aryabhatta, CV Raman, Vikram Sarabhai, Homi Bhabha, Abdul Kalam and most recently K Sivan to look up for inspiration as India makes giant strides in the field of science and research.
However, Pakistan’s space agency continues to exist just on paper and has a complete idiot in the form of Chaudhary Fawad Hussain as its Science and Technology Minister.
Unfortunately, Pakistan worships terrorists and in the name of jihad completely sidelined “Abdus Salam” – a brilliant man who could have put Pakistan on the road to progress and development if not for his religious associations as he belonged to the ‘Ahmadiyya’ community and was often vilified for being an Ahmadiyya.
Only a country like Pakistan can honour the merchant of death and disown and erase its scientific visionary.
Abdus Salam who was born in British India was the finest scientist that the nation ever produced and till date remains the country’s lone Nobel laureate.
He is the first Muslim to win the coveted prize in physics and his work helped pave the groundwork which led to the Higgs Boson breakthrough.
However, Salam’s name cannot be found in Pakistan’s textbooks as the successive Pakistan government sought to remove his name from Pakistan’s history just because of his religious affiliation.
The Ahmadiyya community regards Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of their sect, as a prophet, a claim that the dominant Muslim faiths and Pakistani law reject.
According to the Quran, the Prophet is the ultimate messenger of God which contradicts the faith of the Ahmadiyya community.
Pakistan has always been ruled by radical Islamists and it was during the tenure of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that the Ahmadiyyas were robbed of their right to be called as Muslims and their right to practice Islam.
Abdus Salam was also the founding director of Pakistan’s national space agency SUPARCO and was later removed for his Ahmadiyya faith.
Salam’s dream to establish a research centre in Pakistan never bore fruit as he was hounded out of his country and he subsequently set up the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy.
Unfortunately for Salam Pakistan is not a country which worships its heroes and instead rejects them as there is a school thought in radical Islamists that Science contradicts Islam and should not be pursued.
Salam received his Nobel Prize in traditional Punjabi attire and quoted the verses of the Quran in his acceptance speech.
He was reduced to a pariah in his own country as no one came to receive Salam at the airport upon his return after winning the Nobel prize.
He was constantly blocked from giving lectures at major Universities in Pakistan as the universities were threatened with violence should they invite Salam to address their students.
There were repeated attempts to smear his image as a section of journalists came up with fictional stories of his treachery and his betrayal to Pakistan as he was falsely accused of selling Pakistan’s nuclear secrets to India.
He was constantly derided by Pakistan’s political class as he was unceremoniously made to wait for two days in a hotel room to meet the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and unsurprisingly, the meeting was cancelled without any reason.
Even after his death, Salam was humiliated as his tombstone was defaced and the word ‘Muslim’ was erased on the orders of a Pakistan local magistrate.
Pakistan is the only country in the world that has through its constitution decided the rules of religion, on who can be called a Muslim and who cannot as it has continued to focus on extremist ideologies instead of prioritising knowledge and education that could benefit the country’s economy and society at large.
While the anti-Ahmadiyya ordinance was passed way back in the ’80s, the present Pakistan government continues to practice the anti-Ahmadiyya policy in totality.
Pakistan Prime Minister axed Atif Mian, an internationally-renowned economist from his panel of advisers because he was a member of a religious minority. The IMF in 2014 named Mr Mian as one of the world’s top 25 brightest young economists and Imran Khan continues to endorse such backward thoughts as he has in the past ranted against the Ahmadiyya community.
Imran Khan inherited an ailing economy and successfully managed to drive Pakistan’s economy to the ground due to his incompetence as evident from his decision to axe Atif Mian as the country has resorted to selling buffaloes and mules.
Pakistan laws are so backward that they don’t allow the Ahmadiyyas to vote in their elections as under the military dictatorship of President Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq reversed universal voting rights and introduced a system of separate electorates that required non-Muslims to register as a separate category and vote for non-Muslim candidates.
To vote, the Ahmadis had to register as non-Muslims.
Since then, Ahmadis have in practice been denied the right to vote in local, provincial, and national elections.
The community regularly faces deadly violence as their mosques are repeatedly attacked and the separate list of all registered Ahmadi voters with contact information places them at greater risk of targeted attacks.
In recent years, hundreds of Ahmadis have been injured and killed in bombings and other attacks by militants. The community constitutes a tiny minority of 0.22% of the whole Pakistani population and face growing discrimination as is the case with all other religious minorities in Pakistan.
Pakistan has been blinded by its radical Islamist ideology and jihadi agenda and a country which doesn’t respect its heroes is bound to implode and the case of Abdus Salam is a further testament to the fact that Pakistan isn’t safe for forward-thinking people.