The National Assembly (NA) on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution to rename the Physics department of Islamabad’s Quaid-i-Azam University in a bid to drop the name of Pakistani physicist Dr Abdus Salam.
The resolution presented by MNA Captain (r) Safdar reads, “Today, this Parliament has signed a resolution to highlight that the Physics department of Quaid-i-Azam University should be named after the famous scientist Abu al Fatah Abdul Rehman Al-Khazini who was the biggest name for Muslims in Physics”.
Now, as Pakistanis wake up to the news, social media is awash with responses, mostly critical of the resolution.
Writer Yousaf Nazar tweeted, “Pakistan is sinking deeper into the dark hole of ignorance and bigotry.”
“SHAME ON YOU ALL…….Six MNAs from @pmln_org Four from @PTIofficial Three from @MQM Two from @PPP_Org and two from JUI supported Captain Safdar resolution to change the name of #DrAbdusSalam Center for Physics,” tweeted journalist Mubashir Zaidi.
Rights advocate Mashal Iftikhar said, “After extraordinary planning from some hardworking friends I am SO excited to say the Dr Abdus Salam documentary will be shown in Oxford 12/5/18. Come and celebrate his life in a way that befits this true patriot of the soil.”
Columnist Mohammad Taqi said, “#DrAbdusSalam was one of the greatest #Pakistanis ever but the lowest of the low keep insulting him even after his death the way they did in his life when they asked him to serve as a football coach to “earn his keep”; shame on the #PMLN for trying to change #QAU Physics Ctr name.”
“Poor is the nation that has no heroes, but poorer still is the nation that having heroes, fails to remember and honour them,” was another message that Twitter user Marcus Cicero put out as a reaction to the incident.
Twitter user Nasr Bhatti said, “It’s a #DrAbdusSalam statue in Bangladesh to inspire the students. Someone will be living in a fool’s paradise if he thinks that the eradication of his name from a university can impact at the fame of a piercing star. He will remain an ever shining star for Pakistan”.
“What the haters won’t tell you is General Zia Ul Haq awarded #DrAbdusSalam with Highest civilian award Nishan-e-Imtiaz in 1979.
He also received Sitara-e-Pakistan in 1959 from General Ayub,” said Twitter user Anjum Kiani.
Another Twitter user uploaded a picture depicting Dr Salam’s many achievements. “Just count the pages; even your age is not equal to his honours,” he said.
Rights Activist Kapil Dev said, “Tragic irony is when PTI supporters hail resolution moved by PMLN leader & PPP loyalists condemn the resolution unanimously passed by NA to replace the name of #DrAbdusSalam. Just for their memory refresher, it was Bhutto who got Ahmadis declared as non-Muslims & wajubul-qatal”.
Journalist Aadil Aamir tweeted,”#DrAbdusSalam is a national hero regardless of resolutions passed by bigots who have not only let #Pakistan down but also defamed the house they sit in. #PakistanZindabad”.
Twitter user Maria Patel tweeted at Pakistan Peoples Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari saying, “Hi @BBhuttoZardari, Can you please take notice of those lawmakers who supported the name change of #DrAbdusSalam Center of Physics? Can you please not repeat mistakes your grandfather has done? Can u please disown these lawmakers n make a statement that you are ready to rectify?”
Rights Activist Jibran Nasir tweeted, “Helped develop Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, founded SUPARCO, helped Pak get its 1st Atomic Research Reactor, established Pakistan Institute for Nuclear Science & Technology, started TPG which made the theoretical design of the Nuclear Weapon so you can order a test fire in 1998”.