ISLAMABAD - MNA captain (r) Muhammad Safdar speech in the National Assembly in which he demanded that the varsity’s Dr Abdus Salam Centre for Physics name be changed, the reason being the country’s only Nobel laureate’s Ahmedi faith has been slammed across the country.
On Tuesday, Capt Safdar termed the members of the Ahmedi faith group a “threat to the country’s sovereignty” and demanded a complete ban on their recruitment in the Pakistan Army, judiciary and other services.
Safdar referred to Dr Salam as “a controversial figure that has been termed an infidel in light of the Constitution”.
Students and alumni of the QAU in a post on Facebook termed Safdar’s demand “obtuse” and “brainless” and added that they cherish the Nobel laureate’s achievements and are honoured to host the centre at the QAU.
QAU Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Ashraf said that the renaming of the centre had been approved by Nawaz Sharif in December 2016.
“I feel every Pakistani should honour top intellectuals — regardless of their caste, colour and creed,” Dr Ashraf said. “Every Pakistani should be equally honoured for their achievements.”
Meanwhile, human rights lawyer and activist Asma Jahangir demanded Nawaz Sharif take notice of Capt Safdar’s tirade against Pakistan’s persecuted Ahmadiyya community and urged all the political parties to condemn the speech.
She said that Safdar’s hate speech was unacceptable and “highly discriminatory”.
“Such words are spoken by those who we consider to be extremists; such remarks being made by a member of the NA is shocking,” she said.
“I believe Capt Safdar tried to incite [hatred]. While speaking in the NA, one must maintain respect.”
Voicing her concern that such incidents are not even condemned by the civil society anymore, she said, “around the world, nobody can speak about their minority populations in such a manner”.
“If we do not raise our voice against this incident today, people like this (who make such remarks against minorities), will form a majority.”
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in a tweet on Wednesday, condemned the speech, but chose not to mention Safdar’s name.