Stories about Nobel laureate

Damage control does not need to come at the expense of our minorities, Capt Safdar

A few days ago, I came across a video making rounds on social media which disturbed me a whole lot. In the said video, a retired major, belonging to a newly formed political party, was openly threatening to kill the former prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif. In his view, Nawaz, by constantly reaching out to Ahmadis, had become ‘Wajibul Qatl’ (necessary to be killed). I could not believe that someone could so openly express hatred against a minority community and incite violence against a former PM for just displaying kind and courteous behaviour towards our minorities. It was the ...

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When public monuments sprinkle salt on another community’s wounds

The constant struggle to control the past and the future by dominating the present took a new turn in Charlottesville, Virginia, over Robert Edward Lee’s statue. Now, public monuments are becoming polemical in Australia. Erecting and pulling down public monuments in democracies during peacetime provides a new battlefield, in stark contrast to the acts of armed men drunk on victory. In 2003, when the Americans bludgeoned their way into Iraq, they gleefully helped Iraqi citizens pull down Saddam Hussein’s statue while much of the world cheered. When the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas, most of the world wept. Karl Marx and Joseph Stalin’s statues received applause ...

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How can China fight for climate change but completely disregard human rights?

Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, China’s most prominent dissident, died of liver cancer on July 13th while serving an 11-year prison term for ‘inciting subversion of state power’. His imprisonment and subsequent death illustrates China’s total disregard of world opinion on human rights, sitting oddly with the volume of its morally correct rhetoric on climate change. Neither Xiaobo’s international stature nor Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi could protect them. Xiaobo’s 2009 conviction earned him an 11-year prison sentence and the Nobel Peace Prize, which strengthened the determination of China’s dissidents to obtain multi-party rule. Six years after Xiaobo’s imprisonment, this movement had started alarming China’s leadership. Accordingly, China’s ...

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Why are our children brain washed to become “followers” instead of “thinkers”?

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.”  ― Charles William Eliot In the wake of the critical crisis that literacy and education suffers in Pakistan, it is imperative to understand that education and the enlightenment of the mind cannot necessarily be instilled within the caged walls of a classroom. Although degrees and grades can produce suited versions of empty minds vying for jobs in an already saturated market but they can hardly broaden the vistas of learning or enrich young brains with insight and ...

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Dr Abdus Salam, forgotten but not forgiven by Pakistan

The hush silence that marked Doctor Abdus Salam’s death anniversary this year was palpable. It is fairly difficult for most of my compatriots to honour the services of a Pakistani if he happens to be an Ahmadi. However, there is a lot more to Salam than merely winning a Nobel Prize or being ostracised as a pariah for his religious affiliation. A befitting gesture on my part would be to clear some of the hazy aura and the lesser known Sisyphean struggle that makes him unique and inspirational. Missed out on a Nobel Prize, but never gave up Where the world is still in awe for Salam winning a Nobel Prize in Physics, ...

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9 books that are literary treasures of 2015

Just like any other year in recent memory, this year, too, saw the publication of several overrated, overhyped, droningly disastrous and infuriating books. However, when the Swedish academy decided to award this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature to a non-fiction writer, the Belarusian journalist, Svetlana Alexievich, it was clear that 2015 will be remembered as an eccentric and exciting year for booklovers. Yet, that was not the only reason that set 2015 apart; this year was also rife with several hotly anticipated books by literary masters and a plethora of enthralling and breathtakingly promising books by debut writers. Unsurprisingly, one ...

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Will we ever hold Aamir Liaquat accountable for spewing hate?

December 25th has always been an important day for Pakistan. It was on December 25th that our founder – Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah – was born. Officially dubbed Jinnah’s day, many celebrate it by remembering Jinnah’s enduring struggle for freedom and equal rights for the minority Muslim community within United India. Jinnah’s selfless struggle was driven by a passionate sense of respect for human freedom and equality. He dreamt of a state where there was no discrimination, one that stood firm on the values of tolerance, acceptance and pluralism. It is well known that Ahmadis played a very prominent role in the creation of ...

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Stop blaming the mother for everything!

The city of Jhang is well known to most Pakistanis due to its affiliation with the Heer Ranjha legend. Located on the east bank of the River Chenab, Jhang has produced people of immense worth, the list of whom is topped by the sole Nobel Laureate of the country, Dr Abdus Salam. However, not many Pakistanis are aware of the head-shaping tradition that originates from this part of Punjab. Having spent a considerable time of my life in my paternal city, Jhang, I’ve witnessed one practice that hasn’t changed the slightest over the course of time: the exercise of shaping a newborn’s head. The locals ...

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President Obama: The only Nobel Laureate guilty of war crimes

It is a champion of human rights, it is a champion of science and technology. It is a champion of arts and humanities. It is the forerunner in world economy and is a central figure in the global power politics that shape the future of nations. It is also guilty of more war crimes than you can imagine. It is probably the only country in the world that lives and breathes paradoxes. It witnessed its people occupying Wall Street but at the same time, keeps denying the Geneva Convention and the International Court of Crimes. When it comes to its own evils ...

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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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