Pakistan university department named after country's first Nobel laureate Abdus Salam to be renamed
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in December 2016 had named the Physics centre as Professor Abdus Salam Centre for Physics to honour the only Pakistani scientist awarded Nobel Prize.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's parliament today adopted a resolution to rename a university department in Islamabad currently named after the country's first Nobel laureate Abdus Salam, a renowned physicist who belonged to the minority Ahamdiyya community.
The Physics department at the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) is renamed because Salam belonged to the Ahamdiyya community that was declared as non-Muslim in 1974 by the then parliament of Pakistan.
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in December 2016 had named the Physics centre as Professor Abdus Salam Centre for Physics to honour the only Pakistani scientist awarded Nobel Prize in any discipline of science.
But his son-in-law Muhammad Safdar who is also a lawmaker of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz today moved a resolution to rename the department after a Byzantine-origin astronomer Abu al-Fath Abd al-Rahman Mansur al-Khazini.
Safdar last year in an anti-Ahmadi tirade in the National Assembly heavily criticised the move by Sharif to name QAU physics centre after an Ahmadiyya follower.
Ahmadiyyas often face violence at the hands of extremists.
It was not known if the resolution reflected policy of the party or it was a move to attract voters from hardline groups ahead of elections due any time after June.
Salam shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics with Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg for helping to pave the way to the discovery of the "God particle", one of science's greatest achievements in the last 100 years.