On July 23, 2010, President Asif Ali Zardari while signing “gift of life” certificate ceremony announced that his government would nominate prominent medical professional, philanthropist and founder of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) Dr Adibul Hassan Rizvi for Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his services in the field of organ transplant.
Our memories of First Pakistani Nobel laureate, Dr Abdus Salam are not gratifying though, the pioneer of our much lionized Nuclear program faced discrimination at home.
“He was never honoured in his own country because, as an Ahmadi, he became a non-Muslim under the Second Amendment of the 1973 Constitution. He died on Nov 21, 1996, in Oxford and, in accordance with his last wish, was buried in Pakistan. There was no official mourning, no recognition of the laurels he had won for his country and no representative of the government attended his funeral. The inscription on his tombstone initially read: “The first Muslim Nobel Laureate” but the word “Muslim” was effaced by the authorities, turning the inscription into the nonsensical “First Nobel Laureate.” (Source)
The secernment has been institutionalised by the state. On June 26, 2011, a tender notice was published in Urdu and English newspapers by Karachi Nuclear Power Complex. The tender notice was about scrap items offered for auction but KNPC administration didn’t hesitate to remind us of our blessed Nuclear assets. And added following ‘Note’ at the end,
“For the visit of site Plant, only Muslims with NADRA original CNIC will be allowed after confirming at Security Gate”
Ironically it is the same plant, which was founded due to tireless efforts of Dr Abdus Salam and Premier Bhutto was accompanied by Dr Salam and Munir A Khan at the inauguration ceremony. After two years, Friend of Dr Salam had to sign a constitutional amendment declaring him a Non-Muslim.
Maulana Noorani, who was on the forefront of Anti-Ahmadiyya campaign, which resulted in 2nd constitutional amendment, a decade later was asked about the Anti-Shia campaign revived by Deobandi firebrand clerics from Punjab, he replied sarcastically, “Hamein pata hei, Kaaley Jhandey Ke Baad Harey Jhandey Ki Baari Hei” (We know, after the black flag, they will turned against the green one).
Unfortunately, the campaign turned violent as Jihadi delirium in the last two decades has turned the hate mongers into killing machines. Jihadi recruitment and training centers have delegated powers and expertise to the activists of sectarian outfits, who demonstrates it by burning Christians alive in Gojra, killing Ahmedis at their places of worships in Lahore, killing Shia doctors, professionals, clerics and Hazaras in Queta.
The person President Zardari has wished to propose for prestigious Nobel peace prize is also from Shia community and has survived many assassinations attempt. After one and a half year of President Zardari’s announcement, One can hardly find any details, whether Govt of Pakistan has proposed his name or not, and like others, I almost forgot the announcement, but an email by a friend from my home city Karachi has impelled me to recall it.
The email includes some images captured via mobile, showing name plates of a road named after Dr Adib Rizvi, but it has odiously been showered(sprayed) with black paint in such a way that it hardly can be read.
The chowrangi has IJT flags all over, wall chalking and political slogans all around, as they have a habit of occupying every available space with it.
But the black spray on Dr Adibul Hasan Rizvi’s name tells another story. As there are two boards with names on both sides. They have consumed the paint over making the name unreadable, especially the surname, ‘Rizvi’ commonly associated with Shia Muslims.
Karachi and Lahore are witnessing violence against Shia Muslims intensified in the Last two decades. Many intellectuals and professionals have been killed for their crime of being part of Shia community and having surnames associated to Shia Muslims. The way it gone unnoticed or misrepresented is evident from the distorted arguments and misleading terminologies used for such incidents.
Dailytimes and columnist Dr Mohammad Taqi in his Op-ed yesterday referring to this tendency writes,
Many seasoned human rights campaigners have either remained mum or have issued subdued statements literally sanitising the premeditated mass murder underway in and around Quetta. Terms like ‘sectarian killings’, with connotations of a tit-for-tat warfare between equal groups for similar motives, have been deployed.(Source)
In previous term of PML-N, a senior Punjab Police official now CM Advisor was accused of his alleged links with Anti-Shia militias and in this term its Law minister is a known sympathiser of these outfits.
In Karachi, these elements are on a free run, as the complex political situation, and a broadly used term “Target Killings” provides a cover to their activities and is often misrepresented as I stated above.
Abbas Zaidi, Writer, Linguist and a dearest friend in his Op-ed about Supreme Court much celebrated verdict states,
The Taliban and the SSP appear only once each and in a context where Shias can only pull their hair in frustration and disbelief. About the Taliban, the verdict says: “Karachi’s ethnic wars have claimed some 1,000 lives this year, with more than 100 in the past week alone. By contrast the Taliban and other religious extremists kill tiny numbers in Karachi” (page 137).
One would like to ask: how tiny is a tiny number? The verdict has simply not mentioned hundreds of Shias killed in the past few years. What is the point of enumerating the number of people killed in just one year and blot out hundreds of people killed in the previous years? (Source)
President Zardari, while addressing the ceremony, I have mentioned earlier further said,
“The world had in the past converted noble Pakistanis into war machines and warriors. Although this chapter is closed now, Pakistan is still trying to adapt to the changed situation.”(Dawn)
The role of our own state and intelligence apparatus cannot be pushed aside in turning people into War machines, as well as their aiding and abetting of these Anti-Shia outfits for various ideological and political reasons.
In the last decade of our love and hate relations with Jihadis, I was using the famous Urdu saying of “Mey kambal ko Chodta hun, Laikin Kambal mujhe Nahi Chorhta”. But unfortunately there’s not even a wish to get rid of this mess. And every act of us, even our urge of giving peace a chance is negated by what we are practicing.
President Zardari said the world should look at the good in Pakistan and its people.
“Pakistan is proud of people like Dr Adib Rizvi, Abdus Sattar Edhi and Benazir Bhutto. Dr Adib Rizvi and Abdus Sattar Edhi could have made fortunes by pursuing some other profession in other countries.”
Dear President! Pakistan has their first and foremost responsibility to defend their people against hate mongers and Insane killers. And it failed miserably in this regard.