Nayyar Afaq

Nayyar Afaq

He is pursuing a doctorate in Physics from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad and his objective in life is to become a better human being. Nayyar tweets @Nay_Af (twitter.com/Nay_Af)

Grieving Abdus Salam and the Muslim age of darkness

“There is no question, but today, of all civilisations on this planet, science is the weakest in the lands of Islam. The dangers of this weakness cannot be over-emphasised since honourable survival of a society depends directly on strength in science and technology in the conditions of the present age.” – Abdus Salam It was last year, on December 5, when I woke up to the news that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, had approved the proposal to rename the National Centre for Physics (NCP) as the Abdus Salam Centre for Physics (ASCP), along with five PhD fellowships annually in Abdus Salam’s name. This was a pleasant ...

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Has Prime Minister Malala Yousafzai done what her predecessor Nawaz Sharif could not?

It is said that in darkness, there’s light, and in every challenge, an opportunity. And who knows it better than us who once made the headline as “Pakistan: The Most Dangerous?” in a provocative cover story of Newsweek a decade ago. The same news magazine has now called Pakistan “A Country with Hope and a Future” in its recent issue citing that the country has much to offer as a potential model for Islamic renaissance and praised the leadership of its newly elected Prime Minister, Malala Yousafzai, who, according to its editorial “has been repairing the sinking ship with correct tools”. From bullets ...

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20 falsehoods Mirza Kashif Ali and Dr Danish shamefully propagated against Malala

Pakistani TV channels often lack credibility in the rat race of earning rating. The recent example is how Mirza Kashif Ali, President of All Pakistan Private Schools’ Federation, former advisor to Governor and Chief Minister Punjab for education, and the author of “I am not Malala” was given airtime to spread misconceptions against the youngest ever Nobel Laureate. He appeared in the shows hosted by Ahmed Quraishi and Dr Danish on December 26, 2015 and February 7, 2016 respectively. Apart from his baseless charges, it was alarming to witness how cleverly he tried to frame Malala and her father in religious controversy, as well as repeatedly bringing ...

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Dr Abdus Salam and all the wrong choices Pakistan made

What does it take to be a genius? The other day this thought struck me. Is it the environment that nurtures the genius or does nature simply endow certain individuals with a special gene? Maybe both propositions have merits of their own, but for the time being, let’s drop the latter. Let’s suppose there are no chosen ones, there are no saviours. The idea of saviours arises when we start to believe in pseudo-science and seek miracles to solve our problems. But mind it, Aladdin’s lamp or magic wands don’t exist in the practical world. The only magic that works is the labour ...

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He Named Me Malala is the story of an ordinary girl who made a tough choice

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” This bit of wisdom comes from Paulo Coelho, in his bestseller, The Alchemist. The other day when I was watching the film He Named Me Malala, the incredible story of the youngest Noble laureate and activist for education from the Swat district of Pakistan, Coelho’s wise words echoed in my heart. I realised that once an individual decides to stand up with courage and conviction for a great cause, nothing can stop him/her from achieving their goals. One just needs to conquer the fear of failure. He Named Me ...

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Another conspiracy theory, another anti-Malala day

Yesterday, when I was browsing through the internet, two headlines caught my attention. First was that of a terrible suicide blast in Nigeria that killed 47 students and second was of Pakistan Schools’ Federation observing anti-Malala day where they blamed Malala for supporting controversial novelist Salman Rushdie. A similar development took place last year as well when All Pakistan Private Schools Federation banned its members from buying Malala’s memoir claiming that it has anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan content. What is more disappointing than observing such a magnitude of falsehood which is going around in loops since a long time and we find these school federations projecting the same. ...

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Of course, charging an ex-Chief of Army staff with treason will help us fight terrorism

After many hiccups and a long wait, the day has finally come and former president Pervez Musharraf has been indicted for treason. This is a new chapter in the history of Pakistan, for reasons both, good and bad. However, before going into the reasons and the impact of this verdict, I think it is pertinent to recap the situation that led to the imposition of emergency on November 3, 2007 – the alleged violation of Article 6 of the constitution. Since the matter cannot be considered in isolation, let’s begin from the presidential reference against the former chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry. The lawyers’ ...

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On the 5th anniversary of the Mumbai attacks, let us take an oath

Five years ago, it was the worst of times for my neighbouring country. Mumbai, India’s commercial hub was under attack. The eve of November 26, 2008 was one of the bloodiest days for India. When the calendar marked November 29, the death toll exceeded 100 people.  Everything was deplorable. The entire Indian nation was mourning and rightly so. It was the worst of times for my country as well, as the whole Indian government and the media turned hostile towards Pakistan and built war hysteria. The attackers were reported to come from my soil. This was a shocking revelation. The after-effect of ...

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We are sorry, Dr Abdus Salam

November 21, marks the death anniversary of Dr Abdus Salam – Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate and one of the legendary physicists of the 20th century. The list of his achievements and awards is so long that one wonders how an ordinary man who grew up in the outskirts of Jhang, a relatively small and less developed city in Punjab, could accomplish so much. Yet, Jhang, the land of the Sufi saint Sultan Bahu and the burial place of Heer and Ranjha, gave us another gem, Dr Abdus Salam. Salam truly knew what the way forward for the country was. He had a vision for the socio-economic development of third-world countries and saw development ...

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Calling Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy ‘jahil’ can only happen in Pakistan

A few days ago, a fierce verbal battle took place between the guests on a talk show called “On The Front” hosted by Kamran Shahid. The bone of contention was the book called ‘I am Malala’ authored by the 16-year-old herself. The guest speakers included, Orya Maqbool, Ansar Abbasi, Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy and Zafar Hilaly. With regards to the topic at hand, the conversation began with Orya Maqbool and Ansar Abbasi giving their view on the book. Highly sensationalised words were used by the two, and common ground was reached with Malala being framed as offensive towards Islam. Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy interjected stating that he had ...

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