Due to an editorial mistake, this story initially stated that the Professor Abdus Salam Centre for Physics at the Quaid-i-Azam University had been renamed as the Abu al-Fath Abd-al Rahman Mansur al-Khazini Department for Physics. A university representative has explained that the center for physics and the department of physics are, technically speaking, two separate entities. Though Capt Safdar has repeatedly demanded that the centre for physics be renamed, the resolution tabled yesterday concerned the physics department. The error is regretted.
The National Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution to name the department of physics at the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) as the al-Khazini Department, after Byzantine-origin astronomer Abu al-Fath Abd al-Rahman Mansur al-Khazini.
The resolution was tabled by PML-N lawmaker Captain Muhammad Safdar, who is former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's son-in-law and aspiring PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz's husband.
The resolution was signed by representatives of all major parties.
The resolution stated that the physics department should be named after Al-Khazini to recognise his contribution to physics, “So that the everyone may know that this person was the pioneer in the world of science. While following the footsteps of his teacher Al-Biruni, he made remarkable achievements in the field of physics.”
Despite earlier reports to the contrary, the resolution did not, in fact, name QAU's Centre for Physics.
“Technically speaking, the centre for physics and the department of physics are two separate entities. The centre is an autonomous body affiliated with QAU, while the department of physics is part of QAU,” senior university dean Dr Wiqar Ali Shah had later explained to Dawn.
The centre, which is named after Professor Abdus Salam, has been the target of a sustained campaign by Capt Safdar.
Last year, during an anti-Ahmadi tirade on the floor of the National Assembly, Safdar had criticised the renaming of the QAU physics centre after Professor Dr Abdus Salam — the country's first Nobel laureate — on the grounds that the scientist followed the Ahmadi faith.
The physics centre had been named after Abdus Salam in December 2016 following the approval of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who had also approved a grant for five annual fellowships for Pakistani PhD students.
Due to an editorial mistake, this story initially stated that the Professor Abdus Salam Centre for Physics at the Quaid-i-Azam University had been renamed as the Abu al-Fath Abd-al Rahman Mansur al-Khazini Department for Physics. We apologise to our readers for the error.