By: Murtaza Khokhar
Once, Calvin Coolidge said that “a nation that forgets its heroes will itself soon be forgotten”, Pakistan is such one nation that has forgotten its heroes on religious grounds. The forgotten heroes of Pakistan are some of the Ahmadis like Dr. Abdus Salam, Sir Zafarullah Khan and many more who are castoff by the motherland on religious bases. The constitution of Pakistan has declared them non-Muslims so some of the hard liners in the education sector have rubbed off their names from the history books so the upcoming generations of the state do not know about them. Apart from Ahmadis the motherland has also forgotten some of its Christian heroes who did tremendous work for their country. The states around the world cherish their heroes but tragically in Pakistan they are cast aside due to their different religious beliefs. Thus, a hero is a champion of a state who made sacrifices and faced hardships while in the line of duty for his motherland and the state should be proud of them rather than dismissing them just because they have different religious believes. It is believed that a heroes’ tale inspires the formation of other stars.Thus, here are some of the forgotten champions of Pakistan.
Firstly, Dr. Abdus Salam as an unwanted hero was the first Pakistani who got a Nobel Prize on his contribution to landmark electroweak unification. Besides this he was the science advisor to the government and played a pivotal role in developing the states science infrastructure as well as developed Pakistan’s nuclear energy. He was also the founding director of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission.
Secondly, Sir Zafarullah Khan was the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan and represented Pakistan in various forums and conferences. He was also the first Pakistani who tried to make his motherland proud by becoming not only the President of UN General Assembly but also of International Court of Justice. He had done a lot for his motherland but tragically his name has been wiped off just because he was an Ahmadi.
Moreover, Lieutenant General Abdul Ali Malik was an Ahmadi and was a hero of the 1965 Chawinda tank battle which was the world’s second largest tank battle. Similarly, Major General Iftikhar Khan Janjua also known as the hero of Rann of Kutch was an Ahmadi and like others his name has also been rubbed off from the olden days. In 1971 he captured an important city of Kashmir called Chamb during this operation he was martyred. On the other hand, Air Commodore Nazir Latif was a Christian pilot and fought bravely in the 1965 war with India. He was the leader of Pakistan’s bombing wing and kept the Indian Air force bases under attack. He was twice awarded Sitar e Jurat.
Lastly, a notable Christian, Justice Alvin Robert Cornelius was the 4thChief Justice of Pakistan. He was a very close companion of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and was an activist for Pakistan Movement. He assisted Jinnah in drafting the Pakistan Resolution.
To sum up, the heroes stated above are just a glimpse of the vast amount of heroes that Pakistan has and the state fails to cherish them due to their different religious believes. Pakistan is a lucky state as it has brave and courageous heroes. It is tragic though that the policy makers fail to cherish their long gone heroes because of their difference in faith. Surely, Pakistan used to be a country where an Ahmadi was a Foreign Minister and a Christian the Chief Justice, those were the times when we judged and cherished people because of their services and not on religious grounds. Thus, the state leader need to learn from countries like England who have a Muslim Mayor in the Christian State and are far more developed than us perhaps because they still judge a person by his service and not religion.