The Nobel winner Pakistan won’t celebrate

Hindustan Times: The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for Malala Yousafzai has been officially welcomed in Pakistan, but there is one Pakistani Nobel Prize winner the country continues to ignore and scorn: Abdus Salam, an Ahmadiya Muslim, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979.

The Ahmadiya community reportedly faces persecution in Pakistan, where the constitution was amended in 1974 to declare them non-Muslims. The Ahmadiya faith was founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in the 19th century in Qadian town of Gurdaspur district.

“I am delighted to hear that Pakistan has gained its second Nobel. It is controversial but we can’t deny she is an amazing young girl,” said Ahmad Salam, the London-based son of Abdus Salam. However, he added the Pakistani establishment never gave his father his due.

“Pakistan still does not acknowledge my father in any official capacity. His name doesn’t appear in any history or science books. He has one small hall in Government College, Lahore, named after him, so there isn’t really any widespread recognition that he was a lifelong Pakistani or that Pakistan should be proud of him,” he added.

Ahmad Salam said his father was very touched by the warmth and affection he received during his visit to India after winning the Nobel Prize, and recalled that the then PM Indira Gandhi had offered him Indian citizenship.Other countries also offered him citizenship, but he remained a Pakistani until his death in 1996.

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