Pakistan Today: By Qudsia Aklaque: So many Pakistanis are delighted that our criminal neglect of Dr Abdus Salam, Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate, is not continuing. Pakistan’s premier academic institution, Lahore University of Management Sciences, with Dr Adil Najam as its vice chancellor, has launched a fundraising campaign to establish the Dr Abdus Salam chair to honour Pakistan’s brilliant physicist. What a tragic abandoning of a son who crowned the nation as he excelled globally in the task that Allah most preferred for his creation – the task of acquiring and indeed creating knowledge!
Little surprise that the amazing Dr Salam had so profoundly said of the Holy Quran that “more than anything else I know of, it speaks of the eternal wonder I have personally experienced in my own science” and then quoted this verse from Surah Luqman: “And if all the trees on earth were pens and the ocean (were ink), with seven oceans behind it to add to its (supply), yet would not the words of Allah be exhausted (in writing): for Allah is Exalted in Power, full of wisdom.” (31-27)
Genuinely great people have millions of stories about their greatness that do the rounds. But if you are lucky to have one that you personally witnessed then that’s what really stays with you. It’s fate’s gift to you, for life and I can boast of one such gift! In May 1989, barely a year into journalism, my editor Arif Nizami told me one morning that I had to interview the noble laureate the next day. Those weren’t Google times so for research on the grand doctor, I rummaged through the mega files. Next morning dressed in my best, deeply nervous and desperately trying to wear an intelligent look, I arrived at Dr Salam’s door. Welcoming me warmly with an innocent, endearing smile was Dr Salam sahib himself.