Why has this Nobel winner been ignored for 30 years?

Source: BBC News

Abdus Salam
Image captionAbdus Salam was born to a family of modest means in the Jhang region of central Punjab in 1926 before becoming one of the country’s pre-eminent academics

In 1980, soon after Pakistani professor Abdus Salam was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contribution to developing the theory of electroweak unification in particle physics, he was invited to a ceremony at the Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) in Islamabad.

Few at the time expected the decision would backfire.

But it did, and the reason was because of sectarian hatred unleashed by a 1974 law that declared the Ahmadi community – to which Dr Salam belonged – as non-Muslim.

“The ceremony was organised to honour Dr Salam, and was to be held at QAU’s Department of Physics, which was founded by one of his former students, Dr Riazuddin,” says Pervez Hoodbhoy, a well-known Pakistani physicist, academic and security analyst who was among the organisers.

Dr Salam arrived in Islamabad to attend the ceremony, but couldn’t enter the QAU premises due to fierce agitation started by student members of the powerful political and religious wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami party.

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