Higgs boson: Pakistan’s contribution to a major breakthrough

Published: July 6, 2012
Some of the earliest work in the Standard Model was done by Dr Abdus Salam. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

Some of the earliest work in the Standard Model was done by Dr Abdus Salam. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

Some of the earliest work in the Standard Model was done by Dr Abdus Salam. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE A handout graphic by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) shows a representation of the traces of a proton-proton collision. PHOTO: AFP

Few Pakistanis know what the Higgs boson is and even fewer realise that some of the earliest theoretical groundwork that led to this discovery was laid by Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate, Dr Abdus Salam.

The Higgs boson is a subatomic particle whose existence was confirmed by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (known by its French acronym, CERN) on July 4. The discovery of the particle provides the last remaining bit of empirical evidence necessary for the Standard Model of physics, which seeks to explain the existence of all forces in the universe except gravity.

In the 1950s, physicists were aware of four different types of forces in the universe: gravity, electromagnetic force, the force that attracts an electron towards the nucleus of an atom (weak nuclear force), and the force that keeps the nucleus of the atom together (strong nuclear force). The Standard Model can offer an integrated explanation for the latter three of those forces. Its origins lay in the discovery in 1960 by American physicist Sheldon Glashow of the fact that the weak nuclear force and electromagnetic force are the same thing.

Of the many discoveries that later solidified the Standard Model of physics was work done in 1967 by Dr Abdus Salam and American physicist Steven Weinberg in unifying the Higgs mechanism to Glashow’s theory, giving the “electroweak theory” its current form. But Dr Salam’s contributions to particle physics do not end there. Collaborating with Indian physicist Jogesh Pati, he proposed the Pati-Salam model in 1974, which further moved forward the theoretical underpinnings of the Standard Model.

It was for this body of work that Salam, along with Weinberg and Glashow, was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 1979.

While this work in theoretical physics may seem obscure and with little practical application, the tools created by physicists engaged in this research are ones we all live with today. For instance, in order to assist the thousands of physicists around the world collaborating on this project, European scientists helped develop the internet. The need to crunch massive amounts of data led to the development of what is now known as cloud computing.

Research like this does not come cheap: it cost the Europeans about $10 billion to build the Large Hadron Collider, the atom-smashing machine that allowed for the discovery of the Higgs boson. But the economic payoffs for any country that invests in them seem to be several orders of magnitude higher, making it well worth it. Imagine: the thousands of internet companies – worth trillions of dollars – would not exist, were it not for the innate curiosity of particle physicists seeking what seems an outlandish goal: one theory that explains everything in the universe.

It is this curiosity to seek out the truth through empirical evidence, to seek explanations for the inexplicable, to unmask the unknown, to venture into the uncharted, that forms the basis for the fundamental drive of moving humanity forward. It is at the frontier of discovery that the future is born, and new industries and new avenues of wealth created, allowing millions – even billions – to lead better lives than they did before.

A Pakistani was at the fore of this frontier of discovery in the 1960s and 1970s. But rather than encourage and celebrate his magnificent achievement, he was maligned and sidelined for his faith. An ironic fact: most physicists are staunch atheists but Salam was one of the few firm believers in God.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (122)

  • Maqbool ahmed
    Jul 6, 2012 - 9:21AM

    I appreciate for writing this. He is well known in particle world but not in Pakistan.


  • Atif
    Jul 6, 2012 - 9:24AM

    And we are those unfortunate herd who disowned this jewel in the name of religion


  • Ali
    Jul 6, 2012 - 9:25AM

    Abdula Salam: The true image of an indentity creator, I apologize as an idividual for the filthy chores of our poeple to you, Sir. You remain the great in our hearts, atlest you did not put your wisdom to sky rocket the missile and bomb industry globally.


  • Schrodinger
    Jul 6, 2012 - 9:27AM

    Great man, great job, great physicist.


  • mgkhattak
    Jul 6, 2012 - 9:33AM

    well put… this should have been a breaking news!! for a change… to know how capable we are of bringing positive and better change.


  • Anas
    Jul 6, 2012 - 9:33AM

    History will always remember the contribution of Dr. Salam in the field of Physics.


  • no one
    Jul 6, 2012 - 9:35AM

    Higgs-Boson has been named after scientist Higgs and Indian scientist SN Bose . Einstein and Mr.Bose had started work on this and Higgs joined later.


  • Sky
    Jul 6, 2012 - 9:35AM

    The last para sums it all.


  • Mr X from Bombay
    Jul 6, 2012 - 9:48AM

    Sincere Salam to Abdus Salam saheb. Hopefully your work encourage more youth in Pakistan to focus on science and study.


  • Concerned
    Jul 6, 2012 - 10:06AM

    Very well written ET!


  • agnostic
    Jul 6, 2012 - 10:28AM

    Pakistan contribution??? Very funny. Pakistan disowned Dr Abdus Salam long back


  • Adeel Ahmed
    Jul 6, 2012 - 10:37AM

    After the way we treated him, we now have the audacity to hail this as “Pakistan’s contribution”. Shameful.


  • hello
    Jul 6, 2012 - 10:43AM

    Mr Tirmizi, If I am not wrong ,Higgs Boson was discovered back in 2008, is their particular reason that we are realizing ,Salam’s contribution to that today? Or is that it struck you today so you wrote an article about that? I don’t mean anything negative but please clarify that I am unable to find a connection of that being reported right now, at-least not for a science enthusiast.Good work any ways.


  • S.K.Ganguly
    Jul 6, 2012 - 10:48AM

    @Mr X from Bombay:
    Dr.Salam is one of the true greats from our subcontinent. My only wish is that he would propagate the meaning of the creator in the pre- space era who triggered the big bang and oversaw creation of the universe as we see it today. The creator is not what we perceive Him as from our dogmatic and religious stand point where son of God, interlocutor with God’s angel, Krishna and the others of the kinds dominate.strong text


  • Super Star
    Jul 6, 2012 - 10:51AM

    Great man ! Wish he got the respect he deserves in Pakistan.Unfortunately its people like Mumtaz qadri and Kasab who are the role models for Pakistanis


  • Faisal
    Jul 6, 2012 - 11:00AM

    Breaks my heart as to how we treated this genius. Truly a man the country ought to have been proud of.


  • Insomniac
    Jul 6, 2012 - 11:06AM

    Will someone write about the legacy he left in the form of Institute of theoretical physics at Trieste, Italy??? Great minds are not born everyday. Well written article.


  • Lala Gee
    Jul 6, 2012 - 11:06AM

    Excellent write. Praise for ET for publishing this story in an appropriate manner.

    All of my appreciations are for the writer who so eloquently and in plain English highlighted the great contributions of a son of Pakistan in the field of science. Every Pakistani must be proud of his achievements.


  • Sunny
    Jul 6, 2012 - 11:38AM

    Hats off to Sir Abdus Salam !!


  • academic
    Jul 6, 2012 - 11:48AM

    @no one:
    You are wrong! Bose had nothing to with the higgs boson work directly. Higgs built the theory based on work of Bose but Bose was never involved in that work. This work was done by 5 other theorists namely R. Brout, F. Englert, G. S. Guralnik, C. R. Hagen, and T. W. B. Kibble . Bose’s work with Einstein is extremely important but he had NOTHING to do with the higgs boson itself. All bosons are directly named after Bose but that doesnt mean he is responsible for each of their discovery. Its more of an honor for Bose than a direct contribution.
    Please try not to say things over here that you know nothing about because you mislead people with your ignorance!


  • vishh
    Jul 6, 2012 - 11:49AM

    You shouldn’t be soo partial from the prospect of Higg Boson theory., atleast you should have named your own country fellow before partician Mr. Satyendranath bose.. he was the one who gave his theosis to Enstain and it has come Enstain-Bose theory..

    Why I said Bose means before Indian partician you people were the part of greater India… so you should take the creadit of bose along with Adbus Salam…

    think big, thing great, donot stick on everything with religion/region lenses ET


  • Naveed Javed
    Jul 6, 2012 - 11:50AM

    And I wish there was no last paragraph! :(


  • Jul 6, 2012 - 11:55AM

    It is encouraging to see the familiar names with this supposedly big discovery. This is another proof that Pakistanis (and Indians) are no less brain than anyone else. Sure we have problems of our own but these problem cannot bar our minds to shine. If we solve our problems we will definitely shine more!

    To me, Pakistani (and Indian) scientist look more enlightened when compared to those in the developing world. I am saying that because one can easily see that the discussion on this discovery turns into a religious debate on international forums which looks quite backward to me. As a laymen, I don’t think that this whole effort is only done to advocate that their is no God! This is science which needs to be objective and free of bias, imo..


  • Qaisar jan
    Jul 6, 2012 - 12:00PM

    thanks Allah, the article mentions him as ”a Pakistani scientist” and not ”a Pakistani Muslim scientist”…… since Islam > physics.


  • Jul 6, 2012 - 12:01PM

    Would have loved it if Zardari had visited his tomb and offered a tribute – nothing like the state recognising its genuine heroes.


  • Mohd Butt
    Jul 6, 2012 - 12:13PM

    Dr. Abdul Salam sorry from the people you belong to, they did unjust to you, but forgive them as they are not the only society in the world which did unjust to their heros, rest in peace. Nawaz governament tried to reinstall your respect which you deserved. .


  • tariq
    Jul 6, 2012 - 12:56PM

    v well written sir…


  • mh
    Jul 6, 2012 - 1:26PM

    is there any pakistani who can hate this noble man? i dont think so


  • Parvez
    Jul 6, 2012 - 2:11PM

    The Italians deserve the credit for allowing this good man to do his work and practice his faith in their country.


  • Kunza
    Jul 6, 2012 - 2:15PM

    He was the one good thing that happened to our country. This country was the one bad thing that happened to him.


  • Inzimam
    Jul 6, 2012 - 2:23PM

    Salam was Qadiyani and Pakistani claiming to be an Islamic state has to declare the status of minorities masquaraded as Muslims. Therefore Salam’s contributions cannot be taken as an excuse to support another lie or deception. Islamic states have never had any problem with non-Muslims scientists, as that in Ottoman Empire and Spain and Baghdad. They have been serving the Muslim civilization and will continue to do so therefore Salam’s qadiyani declaration has little to do with his scientific contributions. Moreover I would like to ask as to what did he really do for the people of Pakistan other than getting pats from US masters and pumping the giant that is devastating Muslims lands now. We should think about it. Blind rejoice and amusement is good for health but frankly it is not good for national psyche.


  • Raja Rental
    Jul 6, 2012 - 2:31PM

    Wait till he meets Raja Rental


  • Khan79
    Jul 6, 2012 - 2:46PM

    Dr. Abdus Salam has no relation with this country. This country does not deserve intellectual like him!


  • Omer
    Jul 6, 2012 - 2:59PM

    Finally some good contribution in recent days by Pakistan.


  • ayesha
    Jul 6, 2012 - 3:16PM

    Pakistan treated Abdus salam terribly.Not the first nation in the world to do so and unfortunately not the last. It was not a decision by all the Pakistani people. I hope that this gives atleast those Pakistanis who are students of science a role model. Scientists work for knowledge. There is no higher goal than that. It raises us above religion, ethnicity or any other petty doctrine. So lets hear it for science and its heroes, forgotten and remembered!


  • DevilHunterX
    Jul 6, 2012 - 3:53PM

    A person should be gauged by his work, not words, clothes, wealth, ethnicity or religion.


  • Umer
    Jul 6, 2012 - 3:56PM

    In appreciation of Dr Salam, the government has blocked Ahmadi web site yesterday;



  • abs
    Jul 6, 2012 - 4:09PM

    I pitty ths Zia influanced nation :(


  • Ali
    Jul 6, 2012 - 4:14PM

    @Qaisar jan:
    But you have done it on behalf of the millions of deluded minds that inhabit this country, haven’t you? Great job.


  • Mazher Mehboob
    Jul 6, 2012 - 4:37PM

    Thank you Salam. This nation is in debt


  • Mazher Mehboob
    Jul 6, 2012 - 4:41PM

    Shouldnt this be the first page news?


  • Umer
    Jul 6, 2012 - 4:52PM

    @Qaisar jan:

    thanks Allah, the article mentions him as ”a Pakistani scientist” and not ”a Pakistani Muslim scientist”…… since Islam > physics.

    So that leaves, what, just one Muslim scientist with Nobel Prize? Does not fare well for 1.5 billion Muslims compared to other religions specially Jews who have many more Nobel winners.


  • azmat khan
    Jul 6, 2012 - 5:00PM



  • Jul 6, 2012 - 5:37PM

    Religion has nothing to do with scientific discovery. Scientists have been from all faiths.

    As far as Ahmedis being non Muslim: Well this needs to be revisited.A Parliament, in any case cannot, pronounce itself on this issue.

    It is ironic that people who supported that are not fond of parliamentary sovereignty.

    Ahmedis should have gone to the higher courts, if nothing else but to test their mettle.

    Like Christians and Hindus we should be able to accommodate various sects in the same framework.

    Too much of hair splitting even about is no good.


  • Tarique Malik
    Jul 6, 2012 - 5:42PM

    Great man, great job, great physicist very humble servant of Islam.


  • Imran Ahsan Mirza
    Jul 6, 2012 - 5:54PM

    Salam was a genius and larger than life personality forgotten by some of his own mean countrymen. Due to the Higgs Boson’s discovery Dr Salam would be a very happy man if alive today, in 1967, Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam were the first to apply the Higgs mechanism to the breaking of the electroweak symmetry, and showed how a Higgs mechanism could be incorporated into Sheldon Glashow’s electroweak theory, in what became the Standard Model of particle physics. These gentlemen won Nobel Prize in 1979.

    Gravity is the hidden secret force of the universe and I think we are getting closer to unravel its true roots by establishing a link with other forces, Salam and others have their contribution to it. Mankind is one step closer to find true nature of gravity by knowing about Higgs Boson’s existence. Alas, Pakistan currently has no great scientist to contribute or become part of such profound research. Salam we miss you.


  • alicia
    Jul 6, 2012 - 7:06PM

    He wanted to do a lot for Pakistan but wasn’t allowed to. I remember my father telling me that he came to Punjab University. Jamat goons and lots of other young men chased him away saying they did not want to listen to an Ahmedi’s lecture.

    Can you imagine a man of his stature; someone so intelligent running from university to university asking them for permission to build a state of the art science department and then getting chased away by goons who didn’t agree with his faith?

    USA and Italy treasure intelligence and hard work. We do not. That’s why they can destroy our lands while we are busy reminiscing Baghdad and Ottoman which were centuries ago.


  • Riaz Khan
    Jul 6, 2012 - 7:10PM

    Sir, we salute & love you! Truly you are our hero.


  • Zahid Hussain Ali
    Jul 6, 2012 - 7:13PM

    Let me say here that those raising issue of Pakistani Muslim scientist or Pakistani scientist are obsessed with bigotry. Dr. Salam’s being an Ahmadi served Pakistan better then these prejudiced Muslim minds and brought a good name to his country. Ahmadis are only constitutionally/officially non-Muslims in Pakistan. In the outside world they enjoy respect as Muslims. I remember in Ayub Khan era, when I was an F.A. student my history book described Ahmadiyyat as one of the Movements in Islam. Ayub Khan felt very happy during foreign tours when Ahmadi missionaries used to welcome him and he took them as goodwill ambassadors of Pakistan. I don’t know how hatred replaced love and during ZAB and Zia era this irreligious poison was spread with official backing, which is bedeviling the country nowadays and now Shias are also being targeted. Please end the evil of separate electrorate and treat all as Pakistanis and it cannot be done if we think Muslims are better than followers of all other religions. I, at times, wonder why our leaders haven’t done anything in this regard. Perhaps they have hidden fears and are too timid to take a bold step. How many Dr, Salams we will continue to disown.


  • Jul 6, 2012 - 7:14PM

    Very well written and thanks for explaining in detail about Abdul Salam contributions.. Good work


  • Irshad Khan
    Jul 6, 2012 - 7:40PM

    The fate and status of a person is decided in Pakistan with his origin, religious thoughts, tribal connections, political affiliations etc. etc. and nothing on merit.


  • Jul 6, 2012 - 7:45PM

    There are some parallels between British scientist Alan Turing and Pakistani scientist Abdus Salam, both of whom were discredited by their own people in their lifetimes. Both rendered great service to humanity by their contributions. Meanwhile, Pakistani scientists, many of whom participated in the work at CERN, highly value Salam who still inspires them.



  • rehan
    Jul 6, 2012 - 8:29PM

    the last paragraph, I think one should not pull in salams personal view towards life…..He was one of the best theoretical physicist ever produced by pakistan and i think that should be enough…he was a pakistani ..thats enough…

    Thank you


  • Humayun Bhatty
    Jul 6, 2012 - 8:36PM

    Towards the end of the article you made a statement : ” he was maligned and sidelined for his faith. An ironic fact: most physicists are staunch atheists but Salam was one of the few firm believers in God.” Your this statement is totally uncorroborated and unapproved. You have spoiled the taste of the article. Dr Salam was an Ahmadiyyah, well that happens to be his own choice and we have nothing to do with that.
    My advice is that you should have restricted yourself to the Scientic side only and not dragged it into Religious one.


  • rehan
    Jul 6, 2012 - 8:59PM

    We as constituational muslim couldn’t have done better by hating him and disowning him. After going through some of the above comments which carry hate and hate in name of religion denying teaching of islam by so called ignorents , who cannot do better then this. Dr sb we apologise for the hate we seed.


  • Jul 6, 2012 - 9:00PM

    Instead of feeling shame, we Pakistanis now take pride of Dr. Salam who was hounded by the religious bigots and criminal minds and forced to get out of this country with a broken heart. Recommend

  • Yahya
    Jul 6, 2012 - 9:13PM

    Great Article. Thank you for the effort and enlightning us!


  • Ali Shehper
    Jul 6, 2012 - 9:49PM

    I love Dr. Salam. He is a legend.


  • Hafeez Sheikh
    Jul 6, 2012 - 10:14PM

    It is a myth that Salam was persecuted in Pakistan. He was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Pakistan and served in that post from 1960 to 1974 (15 years) and was awarded Nishan-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s highest civilian honour as well as the Sitara-e-Pakistan. He was one of the co-founding directors of Pakistan’s Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and set up the Theoretical Physics Group at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC). He also played an importand role in the development of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme. He also co-founded PINSTECH. Salam had an office in the Prime Minister’s office during the time of the development of Pakistan’s nuclear programme. It was Salam who advised Bhutto to call Dr. A.Q. Khan from Holland. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdus_Salam


  • Jul 6, 2012 - 10:20PM

    Most Pakistanis may not know what Higgs boson is but more often than not, they do know who Dr Abdus Salam is and sadly they are not likely to sing his praises. To them what matters most is not what Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate achieved but what he believed Recommend

  • 1984
    Jul 6, 2012 - 10:32PM

    Nice article by ET to remind people about their local heroes

    I think you should also have highlighted S.N.Bose’s contributions.He literally opened a can of worms by his supposed “mistake” in experiment which lead to Bose-Einstein statistics.Though,he never received any Nobel prize,he was honored by scientists by naming the subatomic as “boson” from his surname…..


  • Aviratam
    Jul 6, 2012 - 10:45PM

    Excellent piece. Just a small point, though. Jogesh Pati provided a great deal of the math for Salam’s theories. In fact, you should cite the reference to Pati in Salam’s acceptance speech of the Nobel. Salam had actually suggested that Pati be included amongst the Nobel laureates that year. What a great thing that would have been for Indo-Pak relations if that had happened.


  • maqsood
    Jul 6, 2012 - 11:07PM

    Tribune has really impressed me.At least there is some one who has the courage to speak the truth.History will never forgive Zia and Bhutto .jRecommend

  • G. Din
    Jul 6, 2012 - 11:35PM

    Even after Pakistan had treated him so shabbily, Dr. Salaam continued to be proud of the same country that had excommunicated him and forced into exile. I suggest you look at the extraordinary pride in the picture taken when he was receiving his Nobel award. Notice, how he was attired! I am sure there won’t be a similarly draped scientist at the Nobel ceremony any time soon!


  • Jul 6, 2012 - 11:38PM
  • Ramem
    Jul 7, 2012 - 12:04AM

    May be you missed the big news recently. Higgs Boson discovery was officially announced by CERN last week.


  • hamza khan
    Jul 7, 2012 - 12:32AM


    he was and will remain a pakistani, irregardless of past events. so get lost veggie boy.


  • Anwar Ul-Haq
    Jul 7, 2012 - 1:13AM

    It is a great article about DR. A. Salam. He certainly was a genius and a great son of Pakistan. For anyone who does not realise his achievements for Pakistan, please study Pakistan’s space research programme of 60s and 70s, which was far ahead of any other country in the region. We must recognise and acknowledge his achievements.
    However, with regards to his religion, yes he was a qadayni, when Ahmadis were pronounced non-muslims during Mr Bhuttos first term in the office and not during Zia’s regime, he stayed in Europe in a self imposed exile.
    This does not mean that being a non-muslim you can not achieve your ambition in Pakistan. There are many examples where non-muslims have achieved their ambitions, e,g Justice Cornalias, Cowsji immediately spring to mind. We must acknowledge and appreciate good work done by any citizen of Pakistan irrespective of religion.
    With regards to the comments by “superstar”, I would advise him to go and see his psychiatrist.


  • True Blue Lahori
    Jul 7, 2012 - 2:10AM

    As an engineer my respect for Dr. Abdul Salam will always be the highest.


  • gp65
    Jul 7, 2012 - 2:16AM

    @Qaisar jan: “And I agree Pak has is its fair share of problems, but the solution lies with us and must be solved by ourselves”

    The reason he is not referred to as Pakistani Muslim scientist is not the one you claimed but rather the fact that a majority of your countrymen do not believe Ahmadiyas are Muslim and he was an Ahmadiya.


  • Waqas
    Jul 7, 2012 - 3:03AM

    The article is well written. But the miscoception of Dr. Salam being sidelined by his fellow scientist is a fallacy. He was disowned by Pakistan and was banished from the country in late eighties due to his beliefs. Please don’t mis quote the facts. And for those who still question the reputation of Dr.Salam, do watch the Beyond Belief session 2006 where Dr. Weinburg quoted him as a dear friend and as leading scientist. The athesim is free of the trivial prejudices often practiced by almost all religious groups. Follow the link please.


  • Dr. M A Hussain
    Jul 7, 2012 - 3:31AM

    What is Salam’s contribution for the people of Pakistan? There are several unsung scientist heroes who have done so much for Pakistan by staying here and giving their sweat to the soil, yet totally unknown too. The persona of Salam and the over-glorification of his shared Nobel Prize has a political overtone and agenda. I personally abhor someone’s glorification based demonizing others.


  • Kamran
    Jul 7, 2012 - 3:39AM

    So now that they have “found” God Particle…are they still atheists?


  • saeed
    Jul 7, 2012 - 3:48AM

    my. every good Pakistani like him and every good Muslim hate. story of Pakistan.


  • asim syed
    Jul 7, 2012 - 4:47AM

    Don’t insult Dr. Salam by calling him Muslim or a believer. He was a scientist and could not believe in religious non sense. In his unified theory there is no room for a ‘holy’ force.


  • Hussain
    Jul 7, 2012 - 5:24AM

    I see hope in Pakistan !


  • 1984
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:35AM

    @asim syed:
    @Dr. M A Hussain:
    You are just giving us the reason why Abdus Salam left Pakistan….and the fact that if u disown him as a muslim,I can safely vouch that your muslim ummah which is around 25% of the world has never produced a single Nobel prize for science and technology and will never will if u follow this path…

    @Dr. M A Hussain:
    If you think the nuclear missile producing scientists are your unsung heroes,then could you please answer why your country has no sent no satelitte to space or producing groundbreaking medicines(or even have a manufacturing unit) or producing any complex electronic goods??


  • 1984
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:38AM

    God’s particle is just a nickname given to Higgs Boson due to its elusiveness and its presence in every subatomic particle….Noone’s religious belief is shattered by this discovery,it rather gives us new avenues of development,for example,cleaner nuclear energy

    Just because many Indians call Sachin Tendulkar as “God of cricket” doesnt mean they prostrate and worship him everyday


  • Dilbar Jahan
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:46AM

    @academic: Jealous?


  • Dilbar Jahan
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:47AM

    @hello: Sectarian?


  • saba
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:52AM

    Oh no Indians must be upset.


  • Moeed
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:59AM

    Dr. ADil Najam at LUMS did a good job educating people on the Salam connection with the Higgs Boson and like many I got to know about this from him. WIsh them best in establishing a Chair for Dr Abdus Salam at LUMS: http://lums.edu.pk/story-detail/lums-launches-fundraising-campaign-for-abdus-salam-chair-194


  • Jul 7, 2012 - 11:48AM

    It is nice to know that a great majority of your commentators do appreciate the achievements of Dr Salaam, notwithstanding the atmosphere of bias and bigotry created by the fanatics and their cronies. The ET deserves commendations for highlighting the great work done by Dr Salaam.


  • Farhan Kermani
    Jul 7, 2012 - 1:03PM

    the best part..
    “A Pakistani was at the fore of this frontier of discovery in the 1960s and 1970s. But rather than encourage and celebrate his magnificent achievement, he was maligned and sidelined for his faith. An ironic fact: most physicists are staunch atheists but Salam was one of the few firm believers in God.”


  • Arif Humayun
    Jul 7, 2012 - 3:51PM

    Noted Indian author Jagjit Singh published Abdus Salam’s biography in 1992. This is a must read especially for Pakistanis to better understand great man’s contributions to the economic and scientific development in Pakistan. Although he laid the foundation for Pakistan’s scientific and economic development this first Muslim Nobel laureate was shunned by his country due to his religious beliefs. Unfortunately, neither Pakistan nor the Muslim world utilized this genius due to bigotry.

    According to this biography, Salam’s life in Pakistan can be classified into three broad periods: (1) first four years of his professional life (1954-8) were years of oblivion; (2) the seven year period (1958-65) after Pakistan first “discovered” Salam and benefited from his talents to boost science and technology was termed “innocence and hope”; and (3) the next nine years (1956-74) was termed “frustration and despair”.

    Salam formulated a massive program for economic growth in Pakistan and accorded the highest priority to the fields of: (1) promoting science and technology, (2) medicine, public health and hygiene, (3) food and agriculture, including food technology, (4) Irrigation, hydrology and soil science, (5) Industry based on indigenous raw materials and self-reliance, and (6) Defense sciences. His efforts led to the establishment of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH), Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Committee (SUPARCO) of which he was the Chairman and Wheat Rice Research Institutes, etc. He tackled the problem of water logging and salinity and brought a team of US scientists, hydrologists and engineers to Pakistan. Although he formed the PAEC and was its Chairman, he disagreed with Bhutto’s policy of developing nuclear weapons and resigned from PAEC in 1974.

    In 1973, Abdus Salam proposed a comprehensive plan establish a well-endowed Islamic Science Foundation to develop scientists and scientific institutions. He proposed that the Muslim countries contribute a small fraction of their GDP to fund this proposed Science Foundation but his proposal was rejected. His appeal to OPEC resulted in a $10,000 grant. In 1891, he promoted his idea to Kuwait but the patronage he sought from Arab and Muslim governments did not materialize.


  • shahzad
    Jul 7, 2012 - 4:25PM

    dr slam a great scientist of his era


  • Twisted
    Jul 7, 2012 - 4:49PM

    It speaks greatly of us as a nation, that the front page is filled with the idiotic jibber jabber of theives cloaked in the respectibility of statesmanship and this article is a side note


  • Jul 7, 2012 - 6:24PM

    We as a nation should feel proud to have a renowned Pakistani physicist, for his great contribution not during his life span but even after his death…..I wish we had given what was due to him in his life…..I personally salute, Dr. Salam, being the greatest mind ever born under the umbrella of Pakistan…


  • Jul 7, 2012 - 7:53PM

    where is my comment?


  • kaalchakra
    Jul 7, 2012 - 8:33PM

    Mr Salam was a great scientist, but good human beings and good Muslims should not give these people nationalist twists. All great achievers belong to mankind. We shouldn’t claim them as ‘Pakistanis’ or ‘Indians’ or citizens of specific countries. That creates narrow-mindedness instead of the universality that we should all pursue. It is stupid to bask in reflected glory or to ‘feel good’ just because Mr Salam happened to be a Pakistani by coincidence.


  • rkfromny
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:38PM

    higgs and bose ….none have anything to do with pakistan…however hard pakis try to fool…


  • L. Manohar
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:22PM

    This is not pakistan’s contribution at all. Abdus Salam studied during british-india times (before pakistan was created) and later studied higher physics in England and later worked in Italy. Pakistan cannot take any slightest credit for this. Don’t be chauvinists. Your pakistani chauvinism will only strengthen islamic fascism, self-deceit and arrogance.


  • Arif Humayun
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:27PM

    @Arif Humayun:
    The last sentence of my comment has a typographical error. Prof. Salam contacted Kuwait for funding his proposal in May 1981 (not 1891 as was erroneously printed).


  • politically incorrect
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:35PM


    I agree 100%.For the first time in fact.
    A big thanks for such an enlightened post.


  • huzaifa
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:54PM

    @Inzimam: While thinking like that people like you will never let Pakistan go forward. By the way you deserve fuming, self blasting, ignorant fanatic Mullahs. I hope if you keep on thinking like that ,one day you might face a suicide bomber face to face and your last hearing will be his last battle cry. i wish not.


  • Shahid Kamal
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:57PM

    He is the same Abdus Salam who was marginalised by our society just for having different religious views, he is the same Abdus Salam who lead the larger part of his life in exile for he could not see his people treating him like trash. He is the same Abdus Salam whose epitaph has been deprived of the word “Musilm” and as of now it reads a nonsensical “The First ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓ Nobel Laureaute”
    Hail hypocrisy!


  • Arif Humayun
    Jul 8, 2012 - 12:06AM

    @Hafeez Sheikh:
    Prof. Salam’s genius was unrivaled; he loved to serve his country and did so when the opportunity arose. He was too great to be ignored by Pakistan. It was a privilege for Pakistan to utilize his talents; Pakistan did him no favors by seeking his assistance. Please let us not re-write history and distort facts.

    The Wikipedia link you have provided also documents how Pakistan persecuted this great soul even after his death. The Wikipedia account states: “Salam was buried in Bahishti Maqbara, a cemetery established by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Rabwah, Pakistan next to his parents’ graves. The epitaph on his tomb initially read “First Muslim Nobel Laureate” but, because of Salam’s adherence to the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, the word “Muslim” was later erased on the orders of a local magistrate, leaving the nonsensical “First Nobel Laureate”. Under Ordinance XX, Ahmadis are considered non-Muslims.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdus_Salam)


  • Suraj
    Jul 8, 2012 - 12:07AM

    From Wikipedia:
    The epitaph on his tomb initially read “First Muslim Nobel Laureate” but, because of Salam’s adherence to the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, the word “Muslim” was later erased on the orders of a local magistrate, leaving the nonsensical “First Nobel Laureate”. Under Ordinance XX, Ahmadis are considered non-Muslims.
    … Feeling sad for a Nobel Prize winner from subcontinent..


  • Shahid Kamal
    Jul 8, 2012 - 12:09AM

    For all those religious fanatics who don’t even know what religion teaches and just try to rule people on their perceived notions, I just want to clarify that I am a Sunni Musilm, but the day I read about the removal of the word “Muslim” from his epitaph, believe me, I felt so ineffectual and I wanted to do something, if God gives me power – I vow upon my life, I will try to give the word Muslim back to his epitaph.


  • Need to undrstd
    Jul 8, 2012 - 12:30AM

    Good piece of info, although it will be incomplete until you mention about Peter HIGGS (British, 1964) & Satyendra Nath BOSE (India, 1935). After these two gentlemen, this elementary particle is named- “Higgs Boson”.

    This whole concept was hypothecated by Dr. S.N. Bose in 1935 when nobody paid heed to his hypothesis, but Mr. Albert Einstein immediately understood his merit & published the paper. Present day LASERS, ATMs, Note counting machines are born out off that concept.


  • Kaspar
    Jul 8, 2012 - 12:47AM

    Dr. Salam is perhaps the greatest man Pakistan has produced during the last half century. and that class of Muslims which can be called ‘born-again Muslims’ in this country, are the biggest danger to this land at present.
    However, politics aside, Dr. Salam would be remembered long after all the current leading pygmy leaders in this country are dead, gone and forgotten!
    The new generation, esp. those who are interested in science, must make some effort to acquaint themselves with the life and work of this great Pakistani scientist.
    Pakistan will not advance on the road to science and technology as long as the people here do not give up their obsession with the religious affiliation of others. Diversity of faith, which the extreme fanatics want to eliminate, is a source of strength not weakness. They should learn to respect people on account of their merit and tree worth,


  • Mahmood Saeed
    Jul 8, 2012 - 2:21AM


    It was in Bhutto’s time that Qadiyanis were maligned and made a minority.


  • Rafi Ka Deewana
    Jul 8, 2012 - 3:56AM

    Wikipedia: “In 1974 the Pakistan Parliament passed a parliamentary bill declaring the Ahmadiyya denomination as non-Islamic. Abdus Salam, being an Ahmadi Muslim, subsequently left the country in protest.”


  • Truthbetold
    Jul 8, 2012 - 4:49AM


    “I pitty ths Zia influanced nation :(“

    Why blame Zia?Recommend

  • Arif Humayun
    Jul 8, 2012 - 6:04AM

    @Dr. M A Hussain:
    Name at least one of the same calibre


  • Sajida
    Jul 8, 2012 - 10:47AM

    Ahmedis are to Islam what Mormons are to Christinaity.
    Many Christians still do not accept Mormons. and religion’s founder was actually killed in US and rest of the believers were hounded out. They fled to Western US and ended up in Utah.


  • Jul 8, 2012 - 12:46PM

    I salute the mighty Pakistani Physicist for his contribution not only while he was alive but will extend far beyond future to come.I also regret to express my concern over the treatment he had been subject to during his life time….If a man like him heads the beautiful Pakistani nation along with her resources, material as well as mental , the Nation no doubt could lead lead the community of nations rather than led by other nations…


  • Sami
    Jul 8, 2012 - 2:47PM

    A very well-written and timely piece. Thank you, Mr. Farooq.Recommend

    Jul 8, 2012 - 2:53PM

    Sadly this article has not made reference to places from where the original matter was lifted or used. I heard one interview on BBC Worldservice that mentioned about the benefits of the research in Cern on the Collidor, mentioning the Internet and the industry that sprang around it.


  • Junaid
    Jul 8, 2012 - 5:36PM

    Whats has he done for Pakistan?? Do you not know that the foundations of SUPARCO were laid down by him, and he also wanted to start the theoretical physics institute here in Pakistan, but the politicians were not willing to fund for it. How limited you are in your knowledge and yet still want to speak out on forums. The west supported him for his ingenuity and not because he was an Ahmadi.


  • nasr
    Jul 9, 2012 - 1:07AM

    Excellent Article. Dr Salam is a true Hero of all those eras who love wisdom and intellects. Great Person Great son of Soil and a Great Hero of our land…Dr Abdus Salam we love you. You are pride of Pakistan


  • Jinn
    Jul 9, 2012 - 2:14AM

    I am a Pakistani and I think Pakistan cannot claim any of the achievement made by Abdus Salam or other Pakistani scientists. The work was not done in Pakistan, in a Pakistani lab funded by entities within Pakistan. Its also true for scientists from India. Until scientists from our countries make achievements while working in their respective countries with the support of their government, our countries cannot claim any responsibility for their success. Our scientist would keep flocking to countries that provide finances and support for scientific research.


  • Imtiaz Ahmad
    Jul 9, 2012 - 4:08AM

    @Qaisar jan:
    What do you mean by not Muslim scientist? He is a Muslim and he recite the two kalimah the Q is are you a Muslim? Do you have a decree by Allah swt that your embracement as a Muslim has been accepted by Him? NOBODY knows ones Islamity has been accepted or not except he/she perform one as required and right or wrong is not your progative to decide.


  • abdul quddus
    Jul 10, 2012 - 6:45PM

    Even though, Pakistan disowned him and would not even accept his proposals for a theoretical physics institutions where he offered to pay nearly all of his money to set up; He did not accept any other country’s Citizenship because of his love of Pakistan.

    I remember a young Pakistani physicist meeting him on stage in Trieste, Italy and he held the young man’s hand and started sobbing in front of entire audience and the distinguished panel of physicists just because someone came to meet him from Pakistan.


  • minority
    Jul 12, 2012 - 4:33PM

    This shows your ignorance Inzimam. He was the Chief Scientific Advise to the President of Pakistan.He set up our Space Programme, SUPARCO, he founded with Dr I H Usmani the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Technology, and realised Pakistans biggest problem was its lack of power with which to build an industrial base, and so to avoid power cuts he advocated nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, for power generation. He wrote a whole paper on how to set up and run education, science and technology programme and how to fund it. In the 60s he did work on irrigation issues which allowed Pakistan to develop such a strong agricultural base. He gave all the money from the Nobel Prize to deserving students in Pakistanand elsewhere and set up a fund to do so.
    He declined UK, Italian and Indian offers of citizenship to be loyal to Pakistan and its people.
    Do you want me to go on?
    Get your facts straight first before you put up such mindless remarks.


  • Imtiaz Ahmad
    Jul 13, 2012 - 6:07AM


    Well said Anas the BIG BUT is a lot of Pakistanis do not think like you. Just because of his belief they denounce him the truth is are they actually correct just because his belief of interpretation of “ayat in Al-Quran” and “Hadith” differs makes them wrong? Anybody ever do a search on the truth of Islam? But normally they will follow blindly on what the ulemas are saying when even they are wrong and who could question them. I declared myself as a Muslim and recite the 2 kalima syahadah of “laila haillallah MuhammadarRasullullah” and practices what Islam preaches BUT I do not know whether my Islam had been accepted by Allah swt or not. I guess the same goes to every Muslim but how could they declared other who recite the same kalimah syahadah non-Musllim when they themselves are not yet been given any decree by Allah swt as Muslim as merely they just practicing the religion. As a notation acceptance lies in the hand of Allah swt and not by any human, government, group or parties etc etc.


  • Imtiaz Ahmad
    Jul 13, 2012 - 6:23AM

    Are you a true Muslim? My question to you “Is your Islamity being as a Muslim whom I presumed after diligently practices all required being a Muslim i.e. recite the 2 kalimah syahadah, pray 5 times a day, perform fast, perform the haj, pay the zakat, perform all the nafal prayers plus all others what required by Islam etc etc is your conversion and belief to Islam had been accepted, reaffirmed and decreed by Allah swt?” If not how could you blasphemy condemned others as non-Muslim when he practices what had been preached under Islam. His belief you thought wrong but did your belief is right? Do you have confirmation on the matter from Allah swt? Please think deeply before you said of others and remember “fitna” is a very serious offence in Islam and you are actually fighting with Allah Himself on this “fitna” matters. Do not decree others just by following what the uleamas are saying and do you know in 1 Hadith mentioned ‘that uleamas are the worst & baddest people who ever live on this earth and all their fitnas will go back to them’ please do not be like one of them.


  • Imtiaz Ahmad
    Jul 13, 2012 - 6:29AM

    I guess you have contributed really a lot for Pakistan and deserved national recognitions BUT what is your significant contribution that can be recognized, forget worldwide, just in Pakistan alone. Just because he is an Ahmedi you hated him but you purchasing goods produced by and from non-Muslim is OK. You are very hypocrite.


  • Imtiaz Ahmad
    Jul 13, 2012 - 6:49AM

    Well written and good work. I salute what mentioned to this deserving and highly respected personnel from Pakistan and truly a Pakistani.


  • cocoocoo
    Aug 2, 2012 - 6:31PM

    science is as less about being at the frontier, in an adventurous way, than about disciplined, boring, repeated, experiments and number-crunching that are also routinely documented. This too requires a culture and environment of logical thinking in which it can happen, as a first requirement. we can work on that .. and of course this is a newspaper article.


  • Baseer Hai
    Aug 5, 2012 - 5:28PM

    I am confused.
    Your invective rant did not clearly tell me which side of the fence you are on, until I read the latter part of your mini tirade. It is ignorant and prejudiced people like you who have their head buried in the sand. I am absolutely sure that you don’t know what abdus salam did and achieved. This is the man who even after being disowned by his own nation, went on to help and facilitate hundreds of aspiring and deserving Pakistani students by establishing a scholarship for quality education in Trieste.
    It is people like you who are the losers, not him. Also, you have the audacity to ask what Salam did for Pakistan. The world knows and appreciates what he did. You should be reversing the question and ask, What Pakistan did for Salam.


  • minority
    Aug 6, 2012 - 3:11PM

    A lot of questions have been asked about what Salam did for Pakistan.
    1. He developed an irrigation scheme in the 1960s when he was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser to the President.
    2. He was responsible for and encouraged the setting up of Pakistans Space Programme when he saw Satellites were the future for communications.
    3. He was responsible for PINSTECH, the Nuclear Institute, not to creat weapons but because he saw Pakistan needing to develop alternative power sources to prevent power cuts as industry grew.
    4. He wrote a full education programme based for the whole country based on raising education spending from .25% of GDP to 1% which would have taken Pakistan away from poverty and illiteracy
    5. He personally funded hundreds of young Pakistani students to further education
    6. He set up a charity with all his Nobel Prize money to fund further education for the best students who could not afford education
    7. He flew the flag for Pakistan everywhere he went. he was one of Paksitans greatest suporters anc champions.
    8. He advised Ministers and Heads of Departments whenever he was asked, even though he was not recognised officially, these people flew to meet him and take his advice.

    Do you need more?



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