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Tributes to a great scientist

Letters to the Editor

DAWN, Wednesday, December 4, 1996.

THE void created by the passing away of Prof. Dr. Abdus Salam, the internationally famous scientist, scholar and humanitarian, will be extremely difficult to fill and the immense loss, not only to the Third World, but the entire world of scientists, scholars, intellectuals and humanitarians will be almost irreplaceable.

In recognition of his colossal and brilliant contribution to scientific inventions and research, he was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize and other citations, prizes, scholarships, degrees and awards by numerous countries of the world, including, "surprisingly", by Pakistan in rather a "luke-warm" manner.

Unfortunately, we have the temerarious tendency to shamelessly shed cosmetic "crocodile tears" and hypocritical hyperbolism when our great heroes, like Dr Abdus Salam, Sir Zafarullah Khan and many others pass away; while ignoring them in their lifetime and conveniently forgetting their teachings and messages.

Just because he was an Ahmadi, Dr Abdus Salam was ignored by successive governments in Pakistan; so much so that he had to reluctantly leave his beloved homeland and establish himself in Triesta, Italy. Now, after his death, we have the audacity to "grab" him as a Pakistani, but during his life-time, did we treat him as one? In spite of the fact that the Holy Quran and our Holy Prophet (PBUH) have laid great stress on protection of the minorities, we have thrown to the winds this noble message.

During one of Dr Salam's visits to Pakistan he lamented that the government has not done anything concrete towards the advancement of science and technology. We still have not yet implemented his wise instructions.

We are anxious to move into the 21st century as an Asian "Tiger" while still living in the 15th century! We will only be able to do so, if we indefatigably and relentlessly struggle to give topmost priority to the advancement of science and technology in our country.

Only then, and not before, it will be said that we have, though posthumously, paid deserving tribute to the soul of the world-renowned scientist, Dr Abdus Salam.

AHMED F. JIVANJEE
Karachi.


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