BBC; October 16, 2020: BBC Urdu reported and commented upon a recent incident and video of blackening Dr. Salam’s picture displayed in public in Gujranwala.
This happened outside the National Science College. The portrait of Dr. Salam was put up outside the college, along with other renowned national luminaries. A group of youth who claimed to be members of some State Youth Parliament came over to the site with black paint and sprayer and blackened Dr. Salam’s portrait. The activity was recorded and its video was posted on social media. The youth shouted anti-Ahmadi slogans, as well.
The video invited numerous comments on the media. In a lighter tone, Dr. Arif Hameed tweeted @Arif Hameed on October 15: Dr. Abdul Salam’s portrait should be replaced by that of Dr. Aamar Liaquat; this nation deserves doctors only of Liaquat type. (Translation)
Mr. Bilal Farooqui was more serious in his tweet @bilalfqi: This sickening act by the Gujranwala team of the so-called State Youth Parliament would have no effect on Nobel laureate Dr Abdul Salam’s contribution to science and Pakistan. It is, unfortunately, a smear on the face of our nation, literally the darkness that lies ahead….
The BBC interviewed a number of people to record their views on the incident. Dr. Mubarak Ali, a renowned Pakistani historian was quoted as: Abdus Salam was a great scientist, but the youth are ignorant of that. As such, they act as religious extremists, and express their sentiments through riots or such incidents.
A few days later the social media showed that the damaged portrait was replaced by that of Maulana Shah Ahmad Noorani, Mujahid Khatme Nabuwwat.
The trend among a section of the Pakistani youth to consider a Maulvi as their icon, and their total rejection of a great scientist for his faith is worth serious consideration of the Pakistani society.