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Salam – The forgotten genius

Published Jan 29, 2013 06:34am


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Dr.Abdus Salam . - file photo AP

On a hot summer afternoon in 1940, a boy of 14 was rushing on his bicycle to his hometown near Jhang, part of present day Pakistan. He covered his head under a heavy turban because the barber had accidentally shaved off his hair.

When he reached the town, he saw people lined up on either side of the road, greeting him with loud cheers. The boy had earned a distinction in his matriculation examinations; the young genius had broken all previous records within the province, he was Abdus Salam.

Salam was born on January 29, 1926 in Jhang, then a small town in Punjab. After attending Government College, Jhang he went to Government College, Lahore in 1946 where he was awarded a masters degree in Mathematics, securing first place in the College with 95.5 per cent.

The home of Abdus Salam in Jhang, Pakistan. - AFP Photo

A wrangler in Cambridge

After his masters, Salam had two choices: Join the civil services or go abroad for further education. Luckily, he was offered a scholarship and instantly opted for the latter.

In 1946 at St. John’s College in Cambridge, Salam did his Tripos (BA honors) in just two years (the course usually takes three years) and because of this, he was given the title of ‘wrangler’ - a term given to students at Cambridge for obtaining first-class honours in the University's undergraduate degree in mathematics.

Salam was appointed as a fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton University, USA In 1951, where he attended a lecture by Albert Einstein.

Author Zakaria Virk mentions a witty incident between Salam and Einstein in her book “Dr. Abdus Salam – Champion of Science in the Third World”:

“One day, when Prof Salam was studying in Princeton, New Jersey, he met Prof Einstein casually on the campus of the Institute for Advanced Study. Einstein asked him, ‘what kind of research are you doing?’ Salam replied, ‘I am working on the renormalisation theory,’ to which Einstein replied, ‘I am not interested in that.’ After a few moments of silence, Einstein asked the Pakistani, ‘have you studied my Relativity Theory.?’ Salam replied, ‘I am not interested in that.’”

The story of his doctoral thesis too is truly inspiring; he had taken up the complex task of eliminating infinities from the Meson Theory. Salam found a unique solution to this problem in just three short months! However, as per the regulations at Cambridge, he had to wait three years to receive his doctorate degree in 1952.


Back to Pakistan

While he was waiting to get his degree, Salam returned to Pakistan with the hope of serving his country. Upon his return, Salam was appointed the head of the Mathematics Department at Government College, Lahore from 1951-54. However, in that period with no research, minimal contacts or updated material to work with, Salam faced complete intellectual isolation.

In addition to this, neglecting Salam’s outstanding academic career at Cambridge and Princeton, his principal at the college advised him to put aside his research, offering him three substandard jobs: warden of the hostel, chief treasurer of the college or president of the football club. Resignedly, Salam took up the football club offer. However, this occurrence resulted in major disappointment for Salam, prompting him to return to Cambridge as a lecturer. He was the pioneer of the Theoretical Physics Department at Imperial College, London, where he taught from 1957 to 1993.

Back at Cambridge, he studied and interacted with PAM Dirac, Max Born, Wolfgang Pauli and other great minds of the time.

A view of Abdus Salam's primary school in Jhang, Pakistan. -- AFP Photo

In 1959, Salam became the youngest Fellow of the Royal Society at the age of 33 years. The Royal Society is the oldest science association on the planet

During the 50s, Salam visited Pakistan often as an advisor on science policy to the government and in 1961 he was finally appointed as a Chief Scientific Advisor to the President of Pakistan. He laid the foundation of Pakistan Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and made remarkable contributions in creating a culture of science in Pakistan.

In 1973, at the Conference of Islamic Countries in Lahore, Salam presented a memorandum for the creation of Islamic Science Foundation.

The dream of ICTP

During a meeting at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Salam proposed the Idea of an International Center for Theortical Physics (ICTP). He planned a platform for physicists from the developing world to stop the ‘brain drain.’

In his book Salam wrote, “The notion of a centre that should cater particularly to the needs of physicists from developing countries had lived with me from 1954, when I was forced to leave my own country. I realised that if I stayed there much longer, I would have to leave physics, through sheer intellectual isolation” (Ideals and Realities 3rd ed., World Scientific, 392, 1989).

Salam was interested to establish the centre in Pakistan. He also passed on this idea to President Ayub Khan. When Ayub Khan briefed his Finance Minister, Mohammad Shoaib, about the idea, the minister dismissively replied, “Salam wants to make a hotel for scientists rather than a centre.”


Unification of Fundamental Forces

Dr Salam was often quoted as saying, “Progress, begins with the belief that what is necessary is possible.” With this spirit he presented the unification theory of electromagnetic and weak forces – the basic but very different forces of nature; he named it the ‘Electroweak Force.’

Salam, receiving the Nobel Prize in traditional Pakistani dress. -- File Photo / AFP
Salam, receiving the Nobel Prize in traditional Pakistani dress. -- File Photo / AFP

The theory predicted basic particles of W and Z bosons. The experimental stamp was put to theory when Carlo Rubbia discovered them in atom smashing machines at the Center for European Nuclear Research (CERN). Rubbia was also conferred the Noble Prize in 1984 with Simon Van Der Meer for the discovery of the particles.

Despite being afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, Salam produced high level research papers until 1995. He worked on Chirality and its role in the origin of life, gravity, fermions, superconductivity, symmetry, proton decay and science and human development.


The Nobel Prize medal and memorandum. courtesy of the Marie Curie Library, ICTP, Trieste
The Nobel Prize medal and memorandum. -- courtesy of the Marie Curie Library, ICTP, Trieste

The Nobel Prize

In 1979, he shared the Noble Prize of Physics with US physicists Steven Weinberg and Sheldon Glashow. For the Nobel Prize ceremony, he wore the traditional Pakistani dress of shalwar and sherwani with a turban. He was also allowed to give his speech in Urdu.



Beside the unification of Physics, Salam had another passion; to unify humanity for science. He often said science is the common heritage of mankind.

In 1964, he setup a rendezvous for science called the International Centre for Theoretical Physics. And due to the laudable efforts of the Italian government, the centre still continues to do wonders in the beautiful city of Trieste. Unesco and IAEA also supported the effort for the centre which was set up to bridge the gap between the scientists of the south and the north. The ICTP mission statement says:

“Foster the growth of advanced studies and research in physical and mathematical sciences, especially in support of excellence in developing countries. Develop high-level scientific programmes keeping in mind the needs of developing countries, and provide an international forum of scientific contact for scientists from all countries. Conduct research at the highest international standards and maintain a conducive environment of scientific inquiry for the entire ICTP community.”

The center also offers strong scientific research and outreach programs, organising more than 60 international conferences, seminars and numerous workshops annually. Thousands of scientists and scholars visit the ICTP every year to avail the center’s travel fellowships as well.

Salam was the Founding Director for the ICTP from 1964 to 1993.

Apart from his passion for Physics, Salam also felt strongly about providing a platform for scientists from the developing world.  He established the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), also located in Trieste, for this very reason. TWAS supports scientists in the developing world through a variety of grants and fellowships.

Salam breathed his last in Oxford, England on November 21, 1996.

In an email to, world renowned physicist, author and professor of physics at the University of Texas, USA, Steven Weinberg said:

Nobel Laureate Physicist, Steven Weinberg. - image credit,  Matt Valentine
Nobel Laureate Physicist, Steven Weinberg. - image credit, Matt Valentine

“As a graduate student, though I had not yet met Salam, I spent a good deal of time reading his papers on quantum field theory.  So I was very pleased when he invited me to spend 1961-2 at Imperial College, where he was the leading theorist.  We became friends and collaborators, and wrote a paper together (with Jeffrey Goldstone) that turned out to be pretty important. Of course, before and after that Salam did work of the highest importance in theoretical physics. Physicists in general, and I in particular, miss him greatly.”



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Comments (159) Closed

Deb Jan 29, 2013 10:05pm
Nice to see such an article in a Pakistani newspaper. I am an Indian who just finished his PhD in Physics from an American university. My research advisor, also from India, talks so fondly about his work with Abdus Salam in Italy. Abdus Salam's Electroweak force theory and Satyendra Nath Bose's Bose-Einstein Statistics and Bose-Einstein condensate theory (W and Z bosons mentioned in this article have been named after S.N.Bose from India) have been pivotal for the understanding the behavior of subatomic particles. Our subcontinent has a rich history of science and innovation. One more person who Pakistan should be proud of (even though he was a Hindu) is Har Gobind Khorana, born in Raipur village in Pakistan's Punjab province. He got the Nobel prize in medicine for being "first to demonstrate the role of nucleotides in protein synthesis".
Ammar Jan 29, 2013 12:50pm
time is based on what majourity think, and moslty just forgot him, especially our media
Ammar Jan 29, 2013 12:49pm
yes, u r right... he still disowned by media..
janan Jan 29, 2013 12:45pm
I am impressed after reading the article about Dr. sb. Why can't we produce people like him now from the expensive schools and colleges we have now? I thinks formula is simple you can't change the mentality you can send President Zardari to study in Oxford but you can't change his mentality. We need same education system for masses of Pakistan, not the current system of education where we are only producing clerks whether they come from expensive schools/colleges.
H S Roy Jan 29, 2013 12:36pm
Wasn't he disowned by Pakistan for being from Ahmadi sect ?
A Jan 29, 2013 12:33pm
I disagree with the title ... we remember him, it's just that we are too scared to acknowledge his genius in case some nut case declares it blasphemous.
Atif Jan 29, 2013 11:46am
Unsung hero...
Hassan Jan 29, 2013 11:49am
Thanks for this. One day when we come out of our dark ages we will recognise you Dr.Salam. But that time is a bit far unfortunately. May you rest in peace!
Muby Jan 29, 2013 11:31am
We dont deserve people with brains....and then we complain about BRAIN DRAIN....Sad!!!!
fbn2 Jan 29, 2013 11:22am
It is terribly sad that we disown one of our own gems because of religious standards set by ourselves :( RIP Dr Abdus Salam.
Jamshed Khan Jan 29, 2013 11:24am
I don't think he can be labelled as a forgotten genius. There is an article about him in Dawn and other newspapers every few weeks. In fact, I read more about him than about the founders of the country in Dawn (in particular). So I find the title of this report a bit misleading.
Umer Khairullah Jan 29, 2013 11:16am
Countries who do not honor their heroes, fail to produce them anymore.
Mirza Imran Ahsan Jan 29, 2013 11:15am
You can expect detrioration of science and technology from a religiously extremist nation, what Pakistan has become now, thanks to General Zia and Z.A.Bhutto.
Umar Jan 29, 2013 10:55am
About time we should realize our mistakes as a nation and begin to treasure individuals like Dr. Salam.
Ammar Jan 29, 2013 10:48am
I also wana be the Nobel leurate, Salam inspire me.
rukhsanashama Jan 29, 2013 10:48am
It is a shame that we couldn't keep the brain of this high calibre, nor could we honour him in his death, just because he was Ahmedi.
Akhlesh Jan 29, 2013 10:47am
Salam may be forgotten in Pakistan, but not in the rest of the world.
Simon Jan 29, 2013 12:31pm
Sarcasm at its worse.
ppnh Jan 29, 2013 09:56pm
"Hazaroon saal sa behnoori rooti hai apni kismat per...badi mushkil sa hota hai chaman mein koi deedwar paida"...An absolute genuis...
abbastoronto Jan 29, 2013 11:58am
I had the happy occasion to meet Abdus Salam by chance in Ottawa in late 1980s. He had come for some seminar on Islam or Pakistan. An unassuming man, and charming one at that, plainly dressed like an eccentric genius that he was. I always wondered why of all people on earth he worked on the Unifying Theory rather than the others in vogue - Theory of Relativity (his repartee with Einstein is telling), the Big Bang, et al. Then a deeper truth started dawning on me. Salam was a Muslim at heart.
(Dr.) B.N. Anand Jan 29, 2013 12:04pm
Sir, despite his brilliance and being the only Pakistani Nobel Laureate, he died unsung and without being decorated as a " Pride" of Pakistan. Indeed he was the Pride of the south east Asia. His work and being a generous and broad minded not only a scientist but a fine human being, , he is remembered here in India with all the respect and affection which a scientist of International repute deserves. May he RIP BNA
Sanwal Saraiki Jan 29, 2013 12:19pm
Dr. Abdul Salam is pride of Pakistan and a real hero. He was a born Saraiki genius, the one and the only in Pakistan. He deserved much more honor and respect but due to narrow minded mullahs he could not get that. We Saraikis are proud of him.
Khuram Munib Jan 29, 2013 11:59am
Can't forget the time when his body was brought to Pakistan for burial and we were there to secure the road and passage without knowing from which route his body will be brought and this was done due to security reasons to avoid threats from Pakistani MULLA who were not allowing him to come to his country even after his death.. only because he was an Ahmadi.
Ammar Jan 29, 2013 12:16pm
Bro, he is the nobel Leurate, and only 2 News papers just mentioned his nae, Because Today, His Birthday. Not even a single news channal broadcast about his life on TV today. If some singer will born at same day, then he will be appreciated alot by TV anchors. So this title is vey much true, Not misleading
saad rehman Jan 29, 2013 10:29am
A shame that people don't know a patriot when they see one. p.s thankyou Bhutto because of you the ahmadi community of Pakistan has become a target .
tadaham Jan 29, 2013 12:10pm
He is only forgotten in Pakistan.. His contribution is eternal and will be remembered till Humans exist. Most probably longer than Allah, Jesus or Krishna.
TUQ Jan 29, 2013 12:03pm
Perhaps,....but what good genius is in a person when he cannot establish the truth and could not align himself on the straight path* and could not research enough to understand that his very foundation is wrong when it comes to the real purpose of creation*.....All this big talk and appreciation is coming from those whom we want to be away from*..... For people who know, basically (*) the points are offered from the interpretation of the meanings of two verses of the Noble Quran It is a pity indeed that when one eventually settles finally (to the best of known information) one settles scattered.
akbari Jan 29, 2013 01:01pm
Salaam was a symbol for Pakistan and the world of great scientists. I am not much interested in his community and whether he belonged to that or not.I am interested in people like Salaam, Zafarullah Khan, who proved to be something valuable. BUT all this only after Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the great Quaid-e-Azam. No match to him. Zafarullah and Salaam both were ardent lover of Quaid-e-Azam. One should do more in Pakistan for Salaam and not forget Zafarullah Khan as well, who was the co-founder of Pakistan.
RH Jan 29, 2013 01:05pm
I think we're talking about the shocking lack of respect and recognition that he received from the Pakistani state and society. Good to hear that you read about him so much, though I'm not sure how it's relevant here.
Farooq Ahmad Jan 29, 2013 01:26pm
No but he refused to take the pakistani passport offered to him that said on it that "He was a muslim" and not an "Ahmadi" ! May my Beloved Allah the Almighty bless him and have mercy on him in the next world - Ameen
QB Jan 29, 2013 01:30pm
I am not sure how can we call him forgotten. It seems like, we read about him every few days. Also, Pakistan did not abandon him. He was not happy because "Ahmedi's" were declared non-muslims. That is his own choice. As muslims we can not accept Mirza Qadiani as a prophet. If that makes a nobel laureate unhappy then what can one do about it?
HRehman Jan 29, 2013 01:44pm
So what if Salam is forgotten by Pakistan for being an Ahmadi, Galileo was also disowned by his people, result was that the whole world embraced him. Salam's genius is acknowledged by the global community.
Raj Jan 29, 2013 01:57pm
One does not need to wait for Dawn and other papers to publish articles about lives of great men and women. In today's world, you could use serch engines like Google to look for interesting topics. There is so much about people, ideas, art, literature, religions , history and unending subjects . All you develop is to be curious first. Everything else follows next. Knowledge comes from all directions, cultures, societies and countries around you. Good luck Mon ami!
Naseem Akhtar Jan 29, 2013 02:19pm
I feel proud of him being the only Pakistani to receive the Nobel Prise. I would suggest that his Birth Day and Death universary should be officially observed. No matter what religious beliefsi he followed , He was born Pakistani .We as a nation should not be scared of Mulla's reaction.
Magister Jan 29, 2013 02:23pm
No doubt Salaam was a note worthy scientist. Frankly speaking, scientists of Salaam's caliber are fairly common at Western Universities. The article would have you believe he is on par with Schrodinger, Heisenberg, Pauli or Planck.
ANEES Jan 29, 2013 02:32pm
He was.. and rightly so..
Gilzai Jan 29, 2013 02:44pm
Dr. YUSUF: Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this great mind. Dr. SALAM's spirit must be smiling and pleased in heaven after seeing this article.
AHA Jan 30, 2013 12:22pm
I do not know anything of what you are talking about, but your post still made me happy.
Khan Jan 29, 2013 02:50pm
Thanks Dawn for sharing the info of the great Pakistani scientist.
K.Rashid Jan 29, 2013 02:51pm
INtellectuals and literate people in Pakistan recognize his great contributions to Science and Technology for his country. For those contributions we salute him over and over again. AS one who studied from government college much later, he was a source of great inspiration for all students there. Once we were lucky to meet him in 1962 on a rare visit to his old college ; and what a personality he was; he expressed great love for Pakistan and inspired us greatly to learn science. Today, I treasure those brief moments. THose, fundamentalists who opposed him for his religious beliefs were intellectual pygmies as compared to his great intellectual abilities; they were totally misdirected and I hang my head in shame at how he was treated by them. Because knowledge is knowledge and crosses all boundaries of faith, ethnicity and geography. He and Zafarullah Khan served Pakistan with distinction. They were great patriots and the fact they were Ahmadi's does not diminish their contributions to their country nor our appreciation for their contributions
NINO Jan 29, 2013 03:02pm
He was a proud citizen of Pakistan and more loyal to the end of his days than most of us. His achievements, his integrity and his humility remain unparalled in the fatherland. And for those who know this, Dr. Salam shall remain unforgettable.By pretending to forget him, we are displaying the bigotry charachter,we Pakistanis are becoming notorious for. He was a citizen of Pakistan and shall always deserve a salute for apart from Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal, no one in the country can match the glory he brought to my country. Our media can still rectify the deliberate or otherwise the criminal neglect so far accorded to him. From a non-Qadiani pakistani.
Lakhkar Khan Jan 29, 2013 03:09pm
Media printed this article, didn't it?
K T Shamim Jan 29, 2013 03:09pm
Dr. Abdus Salam is just one of many examples. Sir Zafrullah Khan is another. How many Urdu newspapers could publish such an article in Pakistan?
Karachi Wala Jan 29, 2013 03:31pm
Seems like you missed the point of this article, rather intentionally.
Chaigram Jan 29, 2013 03:32pm
He was the greatest Pakistani brain that ever was. And the buck should stop there. EVERY Pakistani should be proud of him.
zakaria virk Jan 29, 2013 03:35pm
After ibn al-Haitham, Salam was the only scientist of great significance in 1000 years. It's good to know DAWN newspaper keeps his memory alive, while his name is a taboo in Punjab. Zakaria Virk Canada
wasii Jan 29, 2013 03:45pm
he was a remarkable talent......we got great talent like him in Pakistan....we just need to channalize it properly............first step should be free education with similar curriculum till the doctorate level.......i hope people bring positive change in the coming elections...leaders who give masses free education and free health care...Amen....we still have many Abdus Salamz.....and Atta ur Rehmanz amongst us...
SPar Jan 29, 2013 03:55pm
While the article is good, at the same time this article also conceals or not bringing true facts. Abdus Salaam got disenchanted when Pakistani parliament declared Ahmadiyyah Muslims as non-Muslims and left Pakistan, though he was holding one of the highest offices. I guess only extremists and terrorists can remain in Pakistan.
Anwar Sheikh, Jan 29, 2013 04:01pm
Thank you for the nice and fine words of respectful honor for the two outstanding sons of the soil for their selfless, dedicated labor of love, un-matched contribution for the glorification of the motherland Pakistan. The Quaid-e-Azam had called Sir Zafrullah as his 'political son' and used to embrace him as a gesture of his pleasure and appreciation of his services as the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan from 1947 to 1954. And Dr. Salam is also being remembered through the world with respect even two decades after his departure from this mundane world.
Hasan Jan 29, 2013 04:03pm
Dear Sir Pakistan is made for the Muslims only so whatever you do but Abdus Salam for a Muslim nation does not hold any Importance. I hope that All Qadianis and Christians will leave Pakistan and then Pakistan will prosper in future in my view. Pakistan is a bastion of Islam and for Non Muslims we have Europe and America and they all can go there and Pakistani government should facilitate them to go there.
David Mohammad Jan 29, 2013 04:07pm
It is unfortunate we love or hate human being based on religion.
chishti99 Jan 30, 2013 12:29pm
He is not forgotten. He is a true Pakistani Hero.
Tahira, USA Jan 29, 2013 04:13pm
Professor Salam was not only a great scientist, he was also a great humanist. Ask for examples of his unique kindness in recognition of needed help by some scientists who lived and worked in Africa. You will hear many. I am, myself, aware of a few that I witnessed myself in Trieste. I would label Prof Salam as a great Human Being, not just as a great scientist.
anischaudry Jan 29, 2013 04:15pm
How unfortunate the nation is who forgets it's own heroes.
Jamshed Khan Jan 29, 2013 04:28pm
Yes, that's why we see articles about him every other day..
S.A. Afaqi, Jan 29, 2013 04:32pm
When the news of Dr. Salam having been awarded the Nobel prize in Physics was splashed through the world's print and electronic media in 1979, the PTV, i n its main news bulletin proudly said that the first Pakistani and the first Muslim scientist in the world has been given the most coveted nobel prize in Physics. Very quickly the high-up in the seat of authority sent a message, instructing the concerned ones not mention Dr. Salam's muslimhood or his religion as Islam. Alas, such a low level of thinking and this-like mean actions, on the part of rulers of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is really bad, sad and unacceptible as they are against the basic and fundamental aims and ideals of the Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
rich Jan 29, 2013 04:37pm
if u remmember him but do not acknowledge him, bec of fear then u do not respect him, it is close to forgetting him i always wished he was born in india, we would have admired him and honoured him, given him higest civilian honours, his religious belief, would not matter in india pakistan made him a very sad man, u should read his interviews given later in his life pakistan should learn to appreciate its true hero, Richie
Zafar Jan 29, 2013 04:54pm
Agree, yes he was genious and glorified the name of Pakistan but what if Salman Rushdie one day is awarded Nobel prize becuase of his 'outstanding contributions to the literature' should we be also be proud of him? by the way Rushdie has a long track record of successful literary work in the west. Since we hate Rushdie for saying bad things about our prophet so should we hate people who rejected him being the last prophet so became murtad infact
wizarat Jan 29, 2013 05:07pm
Only when we start believing again in knowledge as good that we can start producing genius like Professor Salaam. Somehow the so called madressa leaders have to be educated then only we may have a chance. Only when we stop killing all educated people from Pakistan then only we have a chance. Time for the country's youth to get up like Malala and fight the bigots who are ruining Pakistan. Time for our youth to tell people like Fazlur Rehman and Imran Khan that we cannot support the Taliban and people like them. Time to tell Rana Sanaullah of Nawaz League that it is high time to stop cuddling with the terrorist for political expediency.
a Jan 29, 2013 05:30pm
Can we please for god sake, stop fighting!!! We need more of these scientists who make us proud
Sobriquet Jan 29, 2013 05:30pm
As Abdus Salam was born in 1926, Indians can claim that he was Indian-born.
Hakim Jan 29, 2013 05:48pm
mfaz4 Jan 29, 2013 06:04pm
the fact is he disowned pakistan and left the country of his own will
Mohammed Baluch Jan 29, 2013 06:04pm
I think it is fascinating that Prof. Salam wore a shalwar and sherwani outfit ( with chappals to match) and gave his acceptance speech in Urdu at the Nobel Prize ceremony. This was the Professor's way of letting it be known that he was dedicating his Nobel Prize to Pakistan and Pakistanis - and it is no wonder that Pakistani physicists and mathematicians still go to Trieste to work on their research projects at ICTP and TWAS.
Ikram Jan 29, 2013 06:11pm
Dear Janan!!! Dear Janan Why not you be like him the stream where you are affliated right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if can answer my this question so that would be the answer of your own question!!!!!!!!!!
syed ahmed Jan 29, 2013 06:29pm
I like Dr. Abdus Salam, look his simplicity. He is receiving Nobel Prize and his dress ..what a awesome man..
zach Jan 29, 2013 06:47pm
Reading this makes me cry... what have we done.
nh Jan 29, 2013 06:52pm
If there is any greater word than Hero! .he is entitled for that . The nation cannot forget his achievements he did through out his life . Great Dr. Salam!. We had such superb people and still not in dearth of such people. We only need to value them.
Haris Chaudhry Jan 29, 2013 06:56pm
The only nobel laureate that made this nation proud and the only noble laureate that came back to its nation to serve but be labelled as 'non-muslim'.... Sums up the state of affairs in this unfortunate land !!
Malaysia Jan 29, 2013 06:58pm
Good thought about the two gentlemen. But I don't agree with Mr. Zafarullah being the co-founder of Pakistan
Ali B Jan 29, 2013 06:59pm
A great man and his achievements will always be a source of pride for all Pakistanis and for all times to come. May you rest in peace Dr. Salam, Ameen.
vijay singh ivory coast Jan 29, 2013 07:08pm
salaam tujhe salaam
Khalid Jan 29, 2013 07:24pm
When it will be? when we will be able to remember him openly, celebrate his achievements openly and feel proud of a real genius of a man, shame on us all Pakistanis who have accepted groping in the dark, declaring people of his belief as non Muslims was one of the darkest days in our history just to please bigoted people shame on us.
kabir Jan 29, 2013 08:25pm
Too many flaws n fake points , According to Dr abdus salam himself he never met Einstein leave alone talk to him ....!!he was frustrated with Pakistan n its establishment..due to his oppression as an ahmadi by the normal pakistanis! its a shame on pakistan that they disowned n he had to run away leaving his birth nation n give up his citizenship ...
janam Jan 29, 2013 08:27pm
who the hell is zafraullah khan ? every year u bring new names ....
Utkarsh Jan 30, 2013 02:27pm
I'm sorry, but no one said Bose's contribution to the discovery had been neglected, because of the very fact he did not make a contribution to this discovery. What the media did say was that 'bosons' have been named after him, which is correct.
AHA Jan 30, 2013 12:14pm
Unfortunately, because Pakistan was created in the name of Islam, everyone needs to pass that first litmus test.
Talha Jan 30, 2013 12:15pm
Hazaron saal nargis apni be noori pe roti hay badi mushkil se hota hay chaman mein deeda war paida
Patriot Pakistani Jan 29, 2013 09:59pm
Dr Abdul Salam is the only muslim Nobel Prize winner in Science.Pakistan was lucky that he was Pakistani.Like with all the other people who are famous and good in Pakistan, the Pakistani establishment let him be forgotten.He had always wanted to have a scientific institute of international standard in Pakistan but he was thwarted in his efforts all the time by mostly illiterate and influential people.He has to leave Pakistan to save his life during Bhutto's rule.He is not even forgiven in his death-now and again his grave is de-secreted by followers of mad mullahs.
akbari Jan 30, 2013 01:06pm
i agree with Shoaib. How many heroes of our history we have forgetten. Liaqat Ali, Suharwardy, Azam Khan, Raja Sahib Mahmudabad, Sardar Nishtar, Dr. Salimuz Zaman Siddqui,Hakim Saeed, Zafarullah Khan, Prof. Salaam and Sultan Agha Khan. This is like we have forgotten so many high class Urdu literary figures with the result we have landed in the mess of the language these days all over Pakistani Society where the national language is Urdu. By forgetting the above political heroes we are now in real political mess. Thanks god that we have not yet forgotten Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal.
akbari Jan 30, 2013 01:14pm
Quaid-e-Azam had Chaudhry Zafarullah Khan as his first Foreign Minister who was also the first and the only Pakistani Member of the International Court of Justice to date.Every body knows the community to which he belonged. Did that disturb Quaid-e-Azam whose soul must be proud of Salaam ?
Shafqaat Jan 30, 2013 03:14pm
He was really a HERO of Pakistan. May we remember them. You can also see how the idiots did not allow the Physics center to be opened in Pakistan. If that could have done.........where would have been now, Alas we do not encourage the potential of this nation.
Naseer Qureshi Jan 30, 2013 03:16pm
He is the only Pakistani Nobel Prize Winner in Science and anybody in larger Muslim World. Pakistan was lucky that he was Pakistani. Agree, pakistani establishment should not let him be forgotten. Yes, I agree his grave should not have been desecrated because actions like these are un-islamic. Pakistan should celebrate and remember all of its heroes whether they are muslims or non-muslims.
Deb Jan 30, 2013 03:54pm
Salaam shared the Nobel Prize with Weinberg- a Jew who also worked on the Unifying theory. Now the Jews will say that since Weinberg was a Jew at heart, he worked on this theory. But the only problem is that jews have won the most nobel prizes in science.
Arif Jan 30, 2013 04:29pm
Your wish of including his achievements in academic books seems dream under current mindset of society. i fully agree brother Salim.
Khan Jan 30, 2013 04:33pm
I dont know what is the big deal. The man himself left Pakistan in protest. Its like a chef protesting to be called a pilot.
Musawar Jan 30, 2013 04:37pm
Pakistan will not flourish till we start appreciating our hero irrespective of their religious believes. I feel the media has started playing this role already. As media is still in its evolution stages towards maturity, so it will take a while when we actually start acting as a civilized society. I am a great believer and optimistic about my nation that time is not very far when we will see a real change and it will happen in our life time. Some people will disagree with me in their own rights but me being living in London for last 12 years have met people from almost every part of the world, which has clarified in my mind that Pakistani people, could shine in every field of life once they get the right opportunity. This opportunity could be Pakistani media which is strengthening its roots in every corner of the society. Dr Salam was a great hero of the nation and time is now reached to start putting his introduction in the primary school syllabus for every child of Pakistan to learn about him and get motivated. By the way I am Sunni Muslim as well
Kamal Jan 30, 2013 04:57pm
Thank you DAWN for publishing one of the best article on our great Pakistani Nobel Prize winning Scientist. Just for information to our readers and if I am not wrong, the breakthrough abroad scholarship to Abdus Salam was given by Sir Chhotu Ram of Punjab
AHA Jan 30, 2013 05:56pm
I agree, though I think life was 'designed', as was the math behind it.
Deb Jan 29, 2013 10:10pm
This universe is too big and complicated for Bronze age or Iron Age books like the Quran, Bible, Torah, Gita, Vedas etc. What science has unraveled is so magnificent and beautiful that religion becomes irrelevant. Just the Big Bang theory is enough to prove that all the religious books give the wrong version of the creation of the universe.
Deb Jan 29, 2013 10:13pm
What does that mean!! A true scientist like Salaam could never be religious. Science and religion do not mix at all.
Ali Jan 29, 2013 10:15pm
And what a shame that is for Pakistanis and Pakistan. Who are we to judge any one on the basis of their religion. Only Allah knows the truth.
Salim Jan 30, 2013 09:48am
Your wish of including his achievements in academic books seems dream under current mindset of society.
M. Ahmad Jan 30, 2013 10:01am
TUQ. First of all one's beliefs have got nothing to do with one's achievements in life, when some Christian or a Hindu or for that matter an atheist, dose something good you never hesitate to praise him/her without even remotely thinking about his believes but when it comes to praising an Ahmadi all sorts objections and excuses come up, and Bseides... who is on the right path and who's on the wrong its for Allah all Mighty to decide no man can do that and He will make it clear to every soul on the day of judgement, what is in one's heart only Allah knows
Deb Jan 30, 2013 06:28pm
Scientists and philosophers have a different take on the relation between science and religion. Religion is the earliest attempt by mankind to explain his surroundings, morality and philosophy. Most of the things given in ALL religions have been proven to be wrong by science and social science. For example, the quran says that the universe was created by God in a few days (I think 2 days). But thanks to the Big Bang theory and the theory of evolution, we now know that there was NO role of God in the creation of the universe of mankind. Also, there are many atrocious things written in all religions that seem evil in the 21st century. So, religion TRIES to deal with values and morals but falls way short of today's standards.
Parvez Jan 30, 2013 07:50pm
A true fole model for our youth. It is tragic that we ignore him as if he did not exist.
Yousaf Jan 30, 2013 07:55pm
He should not have been born in Pakistan. Pakistan did not deserve him.
Ali Raza Jan 30, 2013 08:03pm
Great scientist to be remembered. He did a great job by establishing Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). I read his book Islam and Science. I was very impressed by his vision about world.
Patriot Pakistani Jan 30, 2013 08:41pm
Can you name them please.We are talking Nobel Prize in Science not in Literature.
Chanakya Jan 30, 2013 08:44pm
He achieved his full potential at the right place, where he was recognized for his qulities and noting else.Salute to him, and to the society which gave him the opportunities to explore his full potential.
Rizwan Arain Jan 31, 2013 03:55am
Thank you for the article. I wonder why as a nation we forget our hero's.
F Khan Jan 31, 2013 04:57am
As a Pakistani and a Muslim I'm ashamed of the treatment meted out to the great Pakistani scientst; but, I'm proud of his staure and name associated with this unfortunate country. I despise those uneducated and indoctrinated masses who became pawns in the hands of mad "people" and Dr. Salam had to leave this country.
Mohammad Nasir Jan 30, 2013 01:47pm
Abdus Salam's speech at the Nobel Banquet, December 10, 1979
Ziauddin Ahmed Jan 30, 2013 02:41pm
Abdus Salam's greatness can be appreciated even more if his work is fathomed. The recent epochal discovery of the Higgs boson owes its concept largely to the unification theory of the weak and electromagnetic forces conceptualized by Salam-Weinburg nobel prize winning work.
zulqarnain Jan 30, 2013 02:42pm
Dear chatha sahib you did very great job.jazakallah.janjua
Sangat Singh Jan 30, 2013 11:25am
We do neglect our own genius, no wonder!
Abdul Razaq Jan 30, 2013 01:27pm
I am pleased to read this articles and shocked that such a great personality is not known properly in Pakistan. It's unfortunate that most of the Pakistanis knew nothing about him except with reference of his religious beliefs. he is a story of success and inspiration. Apart from his religious beliefs he deserve a salute for the respect he earned for Pakistan and for his contributions he made to serve the mankind. Indeed he was a genius a FORGOTTEN PAKISTANI GENIUS.
Ammar Jan 30, 2013 08:53am
Dawn is not the only newspaper that is in term of media, there are alot of news paper and channels, bot one even mention him. Just go to Google News and write, "Dr Abdus Salam", then u found that, on his birthday only 2 news paper write an article about it. And if any singer or artist birthday, then this media will made documentaries after their news bulletin.I think its enough for u Mr Khan....
Ammar Jan 30, 2013 08:56am
@ mfaz4... the question of your answer is in this article, if you read it carefully.
Imran Jan 30, 2013 02:34pm
And where does your genius come from?
Umar Jan 31, 2013 06:24am
Dr. Abdys Salam is good man and pakistani
Imran Jan 30, 2013 11:46am
Following reported observation of the Higgs-like particle in July 2012, several Indian media outlets reported on the supposed neglect of credit to Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose after whose work in the 1920s the class of particles "bosons" is named, although physicists have described Bose's connection to the discovery as tenuous(very weak)
Muhammad Shoaib Jan 30, 2013 06:44am
Salam is our true hero. He represened Pakistan in Nobel ceremoney with nationa dress, and delivered speech in Urdu. This shows his nationalism and patriotism. I wish we should include his story, achivements and honors in our academic syllabus. Live nations never forget thei heroes.
Sultan Ahmed Warraich Jan 30, 2013 06:31am
Scientists of his caliber are fairly common at Western Universities but the world doesn't know this that is why they're not awarded Nobel prize.Is this what you're trying to say.
Md Imran Jan 30, 2013 02:30pm
To our Indian readers this must be an eye opener. The study into fundamental particles was taken to a higher level by Dr Abdus Salam, and with all due respect Satyendar Bose's contribution was next to nothing. Dr Abdus Salam is undoubtedly one of the greatest scientific minds the world has ever seen since Albert Einstein, a distant second probably being Dr AQ Khan.
Sultan Ahmed Warraich Jan 30, 2013 06:26am
@QB Who has given you the authority to act like God and pass judgments about people's faith?Yes Dr Salam was not happy with the anti Ahmadiya laws,but it was the Government of Pakistan that didn't allow him to work here.He was a true Muslim and a real patriot,not one like you people who sell their faith for worldly gains.
Muhammad Shoaib Jan 30, 2013 06:27am
We are terribly habitual of forgetting our Heroes like "Salam", this is why our present condition is pathetic.History witnesses the great nation's heroes have been the primary,supreme and integral parts of their ceremonies and curriculum but we are aware of the false filmi heores & so on.
Bijay Jan 30, 2013 06:11am
He he he. Again the same thing. Since he is a Muslim he started working on electro-weak model. Dr J. Pati who was his student ( also my teacher) who has worked on this ( Read Pati-Salam model) must be a Muslim too. I am also working on unified theory ( May be I am a Muslim). Nice nice nice.
Bijay Jan 30, 2013 06:03am
How can Allah bless him if he is not a Muslim ?
Srichand Jan 30, 2013 06:00am
Dr. Abdus Salam won the Nobel Prize because he worked outside Pakistan. If he had remained in Pakistan he would have been totally unknown. Neverthelesss, he was a genius and Pakistanis should be proud of him. It is a pity, he is not celebrated in the country of his birth because he was an Ahmediyya. If Pakistanis want to progress, they must learn to separate religion from the state, education and commerce. Only the ideology of secularism will save Pakistan from religious intolerance.
Rao Jan 30, 2013 05:53am
After his death, the word " Muslim" was removed from his gravestone with the authorization of local district magistrate. in 1989, the world
Rozenberg Jan 30, 2013 05:41am
Bhutto was hanged and Zai vanished in the thin air.
sami Jan 30, 2013 05:44am
Leave religion out of this. People like you who imperil the progress of this nation
Akhlesh Jan 30, 2013 12:05pm
To my knowledge, at least two other Muslims have received Nobel Prizes in science. In science, their religion is unimportant.
Mustafa Jan 30, 2013 08:06am
Then why not you remove white part of pakistani flag? I salute your thoughts
Khuram Jan 30, 2013 08:05am
Wow... media printed his article and we are done.. great. Even Shami Kapoor's death is more important to cover for this media and by printing one article on birthday of our only Nobel laureate we think media has done justice??? Dr. Salam's soul is indebted to this media for this article... shame on us..
Sagar Jan 30, 2013 05:26am
Even being an Indian I have read many articles on great Pakistani scientist. Pakistan should have not disowned him, Pakistan could have done the same thing what India has done to its great defense scientist APJ Abdul Kalam. Now this can be understood how 2 countries treat their minorities. Pakistan can never allow people from minority community to do great thing for nation.
Jalaluddin S. Hussain Jan 30, 2013 05:29am
At one stage he was a Scientific Adviser to the government of Pakistan. He was also duly recognized as a theoretical physicist and a genius. He was great soul. May his soul rest in peace!
Amir Jan 30, 2013 05:15am
What good is your "truth" when it makes you inhuman? What good is your "truth" when it refuses to recognize a countryman as an equal? Even the Prophet (SAW) did not treat his enemies with such disdain as we treated Dr Salaam. Who appointed us as arbitrators of who is a Muslim and who is not? Do our enemies ask us if we are Muslim of a particular sect when they use drones? Do we know what was in his heart? Do you even have a single "Muslim" who could equal what he did?
Pathan Jan 30, 2013 05:11am
You have heroes like Qadri ( killer of Salman Taseer) who needs science heroes! The Mullah Islam has almost destroyed Pakistan. Well done Quaid-e Azam, your experiment has failed.
Brighton Jan 30, 2013 04:52am
Pakistan will remain destitude as long as the society keep screening the progress of the efforts of its patriots through religion.
Khan Baba Jan 30, 2013 04:31am
TUQ: Dr Abdus Salam very well knew his foundation. Anyway, it is useless putting remarks here to make you kind of people understand the right foundation. Live your life...and see you then...
Iqbal khan Jan 30, 2013 04:05am
I admire courage of Dawn newspaper to publish this article so openly.I know it will not sit well with many but than who cares enough is enough.By the way I am a Sunni Muslim.
ishfaqkhan19 Jan 30, 2013 08:16am
NALI Jan 30, 2013 03:40am
Why can't we think as Pakistanis and leave every one's Religion and belief to themselves. Let the God judge on day of judgement who is on the right path.
BakwasMia Jan 30, 2013 03:26am
His genius comes from non-Muslim ancestry.
NASAH (USA) Jan 30, 2013 02:58am
The fact is Pakistan did not deserve a man like Salam -- and Salam did not deserve a country like Pakistan -- yet a symmetrical mathematically beautiful lotus can only bloom in mud and mud is the only place where the life itself in all its mathematical splendor and interconnectedness - originated. Life was an accident -- so was Salam.
Isolated Jan 30, 2013 02:35pm
Then what if all the so called Muslims like u will be thrown out of America and Europe..... People like u are the worst enemy of humanity.
KT Jan 30, 2013 02:41am
Every few day??? Please tell me last time any Urdu newspaper covered Dr. Salam in Pakistan. Please.
yajigourish Jan 30, 2013 02:51am
Science is the one questions the beliefs, whether it could be religion or it could be any established theories in Science itself. That's how science progresses. Religion is the one which focuses on beliefs and resists any change in that. He is the only muslim to get Nobel prize for science in the entire list of Nobel laureates, but it's irony that his community is declared as non-muslims by other muslims.
Akhlesh Jan 30, 2013 12:06pm
He never gave up his Pakistani citizenship.
quater life crisis Jan 30, 2013 02:36am
Agreed, but 2 small corrections. He was a theoretical physicist, he did not do science experiments and he was the pride of South Asia not South east Asia :). Irrespective of what happened, history will judge him as a hero !!.
j abid Jan 30, 2013 02:22am
One of the genuine great assets of Pakistan. We need his statue in Islamabad as inspiration to future generations. A great scientist. To honour this gentleman his home and primary school in Jhang should be made National Trust Buildings. J Abid Sydney
Ch.Laeeq Ahmad of Sydney Jan 30, 2013 02:06am
Thanks to Dawn Group & Mr. Suhail Yusuf. Sorry to say " wrong man for wrong country" Just look not too for away,,,, About.. former President of India, Abual Kalam Azad. , Hindo religion and a Muslim President, just for his achievements in his field.
Imran Jan 30, 2013 02:36pm
So was Gen Musharraf and Gen Zia-ul-Haq.
Wasi Jan 30, 2013 08:13am
People will forget Bhutto after some years but not Abdul Salam
Salim Jan 29, 2013 11:56pm
It is abundantly clear that your interpretation is different from Dr. Salam's in matter of faith. Dr. Salam's contribution is for benefit of humanity while your accolades are limited to your kind. Dr. Salam applied his education to good use in his lifetime. Please make good use of your time.
Laeeq,NY Jan 30, 2013 01:20pm
He was a great scientist, a patriotic pakistani and a devout non- Muslim. He recited the verse from the holy book of Muslims (Quran) when accepting his noble prize. He had no shame to wear traditional Pakistani dress on this elegant ceremony. Will our President wear the same dress while meeting the western dignitaries. He was a down the earth person in is real life.
Naeem Jan 29, 2013 11:46pm
It is a shame that we dishonour our only nobel laurete. We are all bigotted and focused on his religion and forget his immense contribution to science and technology. Pakistan is being taken over by uneducated Mullahs and people that wear the religion on their sleeve although the Quran says " there is no compulsion in religion". Only Allah is the judge but the ignorant Mullah are ready to judge us all. There is no hope for Pakistan although I am a pakistani contributing to education
sakhokhar Jan 29, 2013 11:18pm
It seems the Quraish have found a new home in present day Pakistan. No amount of reasoning will make them see beyond their little box of stubbornness. This coming from a Pakistani "pure" and ashamed Muslim.
Oxford uni Jan 29, 2013 10:30pm
Prof Slam is the graetest scientiest in muslim world after 11th century. When we will read muslim science history, we will start from 7th century till 12the century, the era of peak of muslim science. After the pause of 800 years we have produce one more name to add in the list of muslim scientiests. It is indeed Prof Salam. Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.
AHA Jan 30, 2013 12:19pm
Religion resists change. This is the only way for a religion to survive. But, fortunately, the only thing that is permanent is the change itself.
Najam Gandhi Jan 29, 2013 10:37pm
Dr Abdus Salam and Zafrullah Khan were the people of Character and one of the best humans of their age. But they were mortal human. If they been alive and seen the above comments that somebody telling their comments will be remembered longer than Allah, Jesus, Krishna, they would believe that this commentator is making mockery of them. Contribution of all the scientists of earth planet together can not be equal to a drop of the Ocean of spiritual contribution and stature of Jesus and Krishna for their believers?
kalim Ullah Jan 29, 2013 08:44pm
sir,Abdus Salam is our hero,was our hero.and will our hero.we should learn a lesson and stop brain drain according to the wishes of the sir.
Abdul Jan 29, 2013 08:52pm
It was Pakistan's shining moment when he was not allowed to enter into the nation from the airport because of him being Ahmadi. I am truly proud of Pakistan for being the beacon of modernity and spirituality combined. May Allah (SWT) bless Pakistan!
akbari Jan 30, 2013 01:18pm
I fully endorse the sentiments of Iqbal Khan. There can not be any second opinion.And, I am also a Muslim.
Akram Jan 29, 2013 09:34pm
He was disowned by the government, not the people of Pakistan. We are very proud of him because of his achievements. His beliefs were his personal matter.
Muhammad Saleem Jan 29, 2013 09:35pm
He wasn't disowned, but something along that was the case in part only. An overwhelming majority of Pakistanis is proud of Dr. Salam. Writer has earnestly avoided any such reference; and we can do that just as well.
AHA Jan 29, 2013 09:42pm
But not by Dawn. I must salute Dawn for being forthright always.