Dr. Mahbub-ul-Haq

Mahbub-ul-Haq  February 24, 1934 – July 16, 1998; PhD, FPAS), was a game theorist, economist, and professor of Microeconomics at the University of Karachi. He was involved in the human development theory (HDP), and the founder of the Human Development Report (HDR). According to Haq’s 1996 book Reflections on Human Development his work also opened new avenues to policy proposals for human development paradigms, such as the 20:20 Global Compact and the setting up of the UN Economic Security Council that became the inspiration for the establishment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council

Childhood and education (His Teenage)

Mahbub-ul-Haq and muhammad zeeshan was very close friends and zeeshan was born in pre-partition Punjab state on February 24, 1934.[2] His teenage years saw the religious violence in India associated with the partition of the subcontinent in August 1947.[2] He and his family narrowly escaped from being butchered in one of the trains heading to Pakistan. The nature of the sectarian violence left a lasting impression on Mahbub-ul-Haq.[2] After reaching Lahore, Haq was given government-sponsored housing and decided to continue his education. In 1954, he applied and was accepted at the Punjab University where he enrolled in the social sciences department.[2]
In 1958 he earned BS in Economics and earned scholarship to resume his studies in Great Britain.[2] He went on to attend Cambridge University where he earned another BA in the same discipline.[2] At Cambridge, Haq gained his BA alongside Amartya Sen, with whom he formed a close, lifelong friendship.[2] After renewing his scholarship, Haq went to United States for his doctoral studies where American economics system would later influence him for his long advocacy for capitalism. He entered in doctoral programme of Yale University and earned PhD in Economics from Yale, which was followed by post-doctoral work at Harvard University.[2] After completing his post-doctoral studies, Haq returned to his country to join the government service.

Government work

Upon returning to Pakistan, Haq joined the Planning Commission and, while still in his 20s, he became chief economist of Planning Commission.[3] He maintained his ties with Finance Ministry and continued serving as economist advisor to the government of Pakistan.[3]By the 1960s he was delivering speeches all over the country. He supported the policies of President Ayub Khan.[4] Haq advocated capitalism as the economic base of the national economy and helped guide the government to apply free-market principles to boost the economy.[4] In a public press conference in 1965, Haq alleged that “22 industrial family groups had come to dominate the economic and financial life-cycle of Pakistan and that they controlled about two-thirds of industrial assets, 80% of banking and 79% of insurance assets in the industrial domain.”[4] The rapid economic development made Haq’s team doubt the long-term viability of such a pattern of growth. While the international community was applauding Pakistan as a model of development, Haq reserved the concerns and raises questions that all was not well with the distribution of benefits of growth.[4]
 It came as a surprise to Haq that the strong oligarchy of 22 families had control of the national economy and the private sector.[4] While supporting add taxation of the powerful oligarch families, Haq left the country in 1971, just before the 1971 war that led the secession of East-Pakistan into Bangladesh.[5]While in the United Kingdom, Haq was called by Bhutto to join the Ministry of Finance, but ultimately refused as he had strong opposing views on socialist economics. Bhutto, in response, began to attack the powerful oligarch families in a programme of nationalization.[5] In 1973 Bhutto again asked Mahbub to return to Pakistan and join his administration in devising a strategy that would lift a large number of Pakistanis out of poverty and stagflation, but ideological differences persuaded Haq not to return.[5]In 1982 Haq returned at the request of General Zia-ul-Haq, and assumed charge of the Ministry of Finance. He became associated with the Ministry of Defence, where he would go onto play an important role. He was the first chairman of the Executive Committee of the Space Research Commission and assisted in the nuclear weapon policy of the country with Munir Ahmad Khan.

Professional career

Haq also served as the World Bank‘s Director of Policy Planning (1970–1982) and headed Pakistan’s Finance Ministry as its minister of finance and planning (1982–1988). In 1989, he was appointed as Special Advisor to the UNDP Administrator, where he led a team of international scholars to produce the first Human Development Report.[6]

World Bank (1970-1982)

During his tenure at the World Bank (1970–82), Haq influenced the Bank’s development philosophy and lending policies, steering more attention towards poverty alleviation programmes and increased allocations for small farm production, nutrition, education, water supply and other social sectors. He wrote a study[7] that served as a precursor to the basic needs and human development approaches of the 1980s.

Minister of Finance, Pakistan (1982-1988)

Serving as Pakistan’s Minister of Finance, Planning and Commerce (1982–88), Dr. Haq is credited with significant tax reforms, deregulation of the economy, increased emphasis on human development and several initiatives for poverty alleviation. According to Parvez Hasan ‘under Mahbub’s direction, the Planning Commission became once again a lively place and began to exert powerful influence on social sector issues, including education and family planning, much neglected in earlier Zia years – as Finance Minister, Mahbub piloted a major acceleration in social spending‘.[8]

Advisor to united nations development programme(UNDP) (1989-1995)

In his capacity as Special Advisor to UNDP Administrator, Haq initiated the concept of Human Development and the Human Development Report as its Project Director. He gathered Paul Streeten, Inge Kaul, Frances Stewart, Amartya Sen, and Richard Jolly to prepare annual Human Development Reports.

Establishment of Human Development Center (1996)

In 1996, Haq founded the Human Development Center in Islamabad, Pakistan-a policy research institute committed to organizing professional research, policy studies and seminars in the area of human development, with a special focus on the South Asian region.


Haq originated the Human Development Index, which has become one of the most influential and widely used indices to measure human development across countries. The HDI has been used since 1990 by the United Nations Development Programme for its annual Human Development Reports. He also gave 5 year plan to South Korea which helped South Korea to progress rapidly.


Haq died on July 16, 1998 in New York, leaving behind his wife Khadija Haq, son Farhan, and daughter Toneema. In acknowledgement of his contributions, the Human Development Centre, Islamabad was officially renamed the Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Centre on December 13, 1998, with Mrs. Khadija Haq as president.

Tributes from UN

  • ‘Mahbub ul Haq’s untimely death is a loss to the world …’, Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General.
  • ‘… probably more than anyone else, (Mahbub) provided the intellectual impetus for the Bank’s commitment to poverty reduction in the early 1970s.[…]His unique contributions were trend setters for the world and focused attention on the South Asian social realities, urging all of us to look at the dark corners of our social milieus’. James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank.

The Mahbub ul Haq Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Development

In honour of Haq, UNDP established this award that alternates between recognizing political and civil society leaders. Recipients include:[9]

Selected works

  • The Strategy of Economic Planning (1963)
  • The Poverty Curtain: Choices for the Third World (1976). Columbia University Press. 247 pages. ISBN 0-231-04062-8
  • The Myth of the Friendly Markets (1992)
  • Reflections on Human Development (1996) Oxford University Press. 1st edition (1996): 288 pages, ISBN 0-19-510193-6. 2nd edition (1999): 324 pages, ISBN 0-19-564598-7
  • The UN And The Bretton Woods Institutions : New Challenges For The Twenty-First Century / Edited By Mahbub Ul Haq … [Et Al.] (1995)
  • The Vision and the Reality (1995)
  • The Third World and the international economic order (1976)
  • New Imperatives of Human Security (1995)
  • A New Framework for Development Cooperation (1995)
  • Humanizing Global Institutions (1998).[1] 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Muhammad Yunus

Muhammad Yunus  is a Bangladeshi banker, economist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient. As a professor of economics, he developed the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. These loans are given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. In 2006 Yunus and Grameen Bank received the Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts through microcredit to create economic and social development from below”.[2] Yunus has received several other national and international honours. He was awarded the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in 2010, and presented with it at a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on 17 April 2013.[3]In 2008, he was rated #2 in Foreign Policy magazine’s list of the ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers’.[4]In February 2011, Yunus together with Saskia Bruysten, Sophie Eisenmann and Hans Reitz co-founded Yunus Social Business – Global Initiatives (YSB).
YSB creates and empowers social businesses to address and solve social problems around the world. As the international implementation arm for Yunus’ vision of a new, humane capitalism, YSB manges Incubator Funds for social businesses in developing countries and providing advisory services to companies, governments, foundations and NGOs. In 2012, he became Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland.[5][6] He is a member of the advisory board at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology. Previously, he was a professor of economics at Chittagong University in Bangladesh. He published several books related to his finance work. He is a founding board member of Grameen America and Grameen Foundation, which support microcredit. Yunus also serves on the board of directors of the United Nations Foundation, a public charity created in 1998 by American philanthropist Ted Turner’s $1 billion gift to support UN causes.[7]In March 2011, the Bangladesh government fired Yunus from his position at Grameen Bank, citing legal violations and an age limit on his position.[8] Bangladesh’s High Court affirmed the removal on 8 March. Yunus and Grameen Bank are appealing the decision, claiming Yunus’ removal was politically motivated.

Early years

The third of nine children,[9] Yunus was born on 28 June 1940 to a Muslim family in the village of Bathua, by the Boxirhat Road in Hathazari, Chittagong, in the British Raj (modern Bangladesh).[10][11] His father was Hazi Dula Mia Shoudagar, a jeweler, and his mother was Sufia Khatun. His early childhood was spent in the village. In 1944, his family moved to the city of Chittagong, and he moved from his village school to Lamabazar Primary School.[10][12] By 1949, his mother was afflicted with psychological illness.[11] Later, he passed the matriculation examination from Chittagong Collegiate School ranking 16th of 39,000 students in East Pakistan.[12] During his school years, he was an active Boy Scout, and travelled to West Pakistan and India in 1952, and to Canada in 1955 to attend Jamborees.[12] Later while Yunus studied at Chittagong College, he became active in cultural activities and won awards for drama.[12] In 1957, he enrolled in the Department of Economics at Dhaka University and completed his BA in 1960 and MA in 1961.

After graduation

After his graduation, Yunus joined the Bureau of Economics as a research assistant to the economics researches of Professor Nurul Islam and Rehman Sobhan.[12] Later, he was appointed lecturer in economics in Chittagong College in 1961.[12] During that time, he also set up a profitable packaging factory on the side.[11] in 1965, he received a Fulbright scholarship to study in the United States. He obtained his PhD in economics from the Vanderbilt University Graduate Program in Economic Development (GPED) in 1971.[13] From 1969 to 1972, Yunus was assistant professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.
During the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, Yunus founded a citizen’s committee and ran the Bangladesh Information Center, with other Bangladeshis in the United States, to raise support for liberation.[12] He also published the Bangladesh Newsletter from his home in Nashville. After the War, he returned to Bangladesh and was appointed to the government’s Planning Commission headed by Nurul Islam. However, he found the job boring and resigned to join Chittagong University as head of the Economics department.[14] After observing the famine of 1974, he became involved in poverty reduction and established a rural economic program as a research project. In 1975, he developed a Nabajug (New Era) Tebhaga Khamar (three share farm) which the government adopted as the Packaged Input Programme.[12] In order to make the project more effective, Yunus and his associates proposed the Gram Sarkar (the village government) programme.[15] Introduced by president Ziaur Rahman in the late 1970s, the Government formed 40,392 village governments as a fourth layer of government in 2003. On 2 August 2005, in response to a petition by Bangladesh Legal Aids and Services Trust (BLAST) the High Court had declared village governments illegal and unconstitutional.[16]

Early career

In 1976, during visits to the poorest households in the village of Jobra near Chittagong University, Yunus discovered that very small loans could make a disproportionate difference to a poor person. Village women who made bamboo furniture had to take usurious loans to buy bamboo, and repay their profits to the lenders. Traditional banks did not want to make tiny loans at reasonable interest to the poor due to high risk of default.[17] But Yunus believed that, given the chance, the poor will repay the money and hence microcredit was a viable business model.[18] Yunus lent US$27 of his money to 42 women in the village, who made a profit of BDT 0.50 (US$0.02) each on the loan. Thus Yunus is credited with the idea of microcredit alongside Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan, founder of the Pakistan Academy for Rural Development (now Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development), whom Yunus greatly admired.[19]
In December 1976, Yunus finally secured a loan from the government Janata Bank to lend to the poor in Jobra. The institution continued to operate, securing loans from other banks for its projects. By 1982, it had 28,000 members. On 1 October 1983, the pilot project began operation as a full-fledged bank for poor Bangladeshis and was renamed Grameen Bank (“Village Bank”). Yunus and his colleagues encountered everything from violent radical leftists to conservative clergy who told women that they would be denied a Muslim burial if they borrowed money from Grameen.[11] By July 2007, Grameen had issued US$6.38 billion to 7.4 million borrowers.[20] To ensure repayment, the bank uses a system of “solidarity groups”. These small informal groups apply together for loans and its members act as co-guarantors of repayment and support one another’s efforts at economic self-advancement.[15]
In the late 1980s, Grameen started to diversify by attending to underutilized fishing ponds and irrigation pumps like deep tube wells.[21] In 1989, these diversified interests started growing into separate organizations. The fisheries project became Grameen Motsho (“Grameen Fisheries Foundation”) and the irrigation project became Grameen Krishi (“Grameen Agriculture Foundation”).[21] In time, the Grameen initiative grew into a multi-faceted group of profitable and non-profit ventures, including major projects like Grameen Trust and Grameen Fund, which runs equity projects like Grameen Software Limited, Grameen CyberNet Limited, and Grameen Knitwear Limited,[22] as well as Grameen Telecom, which has a stake in Grameenphone (GP), the biggest private phone company in Bangladesh.[23] From its start in March 1997 to 2007, GP’s Village Phone (Polli Phone) project had brought cell-phone ownership to 260,000 rural poor in over 50,000 villages.[24]
The success of the Grameen microfinance model inspired similar efforts in about 100 developing countries and even in developed countries including the United States.[25] Many microcredit projects retain Grameen’s emphasis of lending to women. More than 94% of Grameen loans have gone to women, who suffer disproportionately from poverty and who are more likely than men to devote their earnings to their families.[26]For his work with Grameen, Yunus was named an Ashoka: Innovators for the Public Global Academy Member in 2001.[27] In the book[28] Grameen Social Business Model, [4] Rashidul Bari shows how Grameen’s social business model (GSBM)- has gone from being theory to an inspiring practice adopted by leading universities (e.g., Glasgow), entrepreneurs (e.g., Franck Riboud) and corporations (e.g., Danone) across the globe. Through Grameen Bank, Rashidul Bari claims [5] that Yunus demonstrated how Grameen Social Business Model can harness the entrepreneurial spirit to empower poor women and alleviate their poverty. One conclusion from Yunus’ concepts is that the poor are like a “bonsai tree”, and they can do big things if they get access to the social business that holds potential to empower them to become self-sufficient.


Muhammad Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Grameen Bank, for their efforts to create economic and social development. In the prize announcement The Norwegian Nobel Committee mentioned:[2]
Muhammad Yunus has shown himself to be a leader who has managed to translate visions into practical action for the benefit of millions of people, not only in Bangladesh, but also in many other countries. Loans to poor people without any financial security had appeared to be an impossible idea. From modest beginnings three decades ago, Yunus has, first and foremost through Grameen Bank, developed micro-credit into an ever more important instrument in the struggle against poverty.
Muhammad Yunus was the first Bangladeshi to ever get a Nobel Prize. After receiving the news of the important award, Yunus announced that he would use part of his share of the $1.4 million award money to create a company to make low-cost, high-nutrition food for the poor; while the rest would go toward setting up an eye hospital for the poor in Bangladesh.[29]Former U.S. president Bill Clinton was a vocal advocate for the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Muhammed Yunus. He expressed this in Rolling Stone magazine[30] as well as in his autobiography My Life.[31] In a speech given at University of California, Berkeley in 2002, President Clinton described Dr. Yunus as “a man who long ago should have won the Nobel Prize [and] I’ll keep saying that until they finally give it to him.”[32] Conversely, The Economist stated explicitly that Yunus was a poor choice for the award, stating: “…the Nobel committee could have made a braver, more difficult, choice by declaring that there would be no recipient at all.”[33]
He is one of only seven persons to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom,[34] and the Congressional Gold Medal.[35] Other notable awards include the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1984,[36] the World Food Prize,[37] the International Simon Bolivar Prize (1996),[38] the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord[39] and the Sydney Peace Prize in 1998,[40] and the Seoul Peace Prize in 2006. Additionally, Dr. Yunus has been awarded 50 honorary doctorate degrees from universities across 20 countries, and 113 international awards from 26 different countries including state honours from 10 countries.[41] Bangladesh government brought out a commemorative stamp to honour his Nobel Award.[42]
Professor Yunus was named by Fortune Magazine in March 2012 as one of 12 greatest entrepreneurs of the current era.[43] In its citation, Fortune Magazine said ″Yunus’ idea inspired countless numbers of young people to devote themselves to social causes all over the world.″In January 2012, Professor Yunus featured in “Transformative Entrepreneurs: How Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Muhammad Yunus and Other Innovators Succeeded” a book by Jeffrey Harris[disambiguation needed].[44]Professor Yunus was named “Nobel-Laureate-in-Residence” at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia) on 15 July 2011.[45]
Professor Yunus delivered the Seventh Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture.[46]In January 2008, Houston, Texas declared 14 January as “Muhammad Yunus Day”.[47]On 15 May 2010, Yunus gave the commencement speech at Rice University for the graduating class of 2010. On 16 May 2010, Yunus gave the commencement speech at Duke University for the graduating class of 2010. During this ceremony, he was also awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters. Professor Yunus was invited and gave the Wharton School of Business commencement address on 17 May 2009,[48] the MIT commencement address on 6 June 2008,[49] Adam Smith Lecture at Glasgow University on 1 December 2008[50] and Oxford’s Romanes Lecture on 2 December 2008.[51]
He received the Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service from the Eisenhower Fellowships at a ceremony in Philadelphia on 21 May 2009. He was also voted 2nd in Prospect Magazines 2008 global poll of the world’s top 100 intellectuals.[52]Yunus was named among the most desired thinkers the world should listen to by the FP 100 (world’s most influential elite) in the December 2009 issue of Foreign Policy magazine.[53] On 1 March 2010, Yunus was awarded the prestigious Presidential Award from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. This is the highest honour available from the University.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood

Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood   born 1940;[1] (alternative spellings: Sultan Bashir-ud-Din Mehmood; SI), is a Pakistani nuclear engineer and Islamic scholar educated in Lahore, Pakistan and Manchester, United Kingdom. Bashiruddin Mahmood is widely popular in Pakistan’s scientific and religious circles for his scientific interpretation and its relation to Quran.[1] He played a vital role in the development and expansion of the country’s nuclear industry during its formative years.[1]
After a distinguish scientific career at the PAEC, he formed a right-wing organization, UTN, to promote reconstruction and political development in Afghanistan in 1999. Having being active in Afghanistan for reconstruction, he was arrested by the FIA on suspicion of having sympathy and contacts with the Talibans, as an aftermath of September 11 attacks in the United States. Released and cleared from 53-days long debriefing, he has been out of the public eye and is currently living a quiet life in Islamabad, writing books on the relationships between Islam and science. Mahmood has authored more than 15 books, both in English and Urdu, on the relationship between Islam and science

Life and education

Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood was born in Amritsar, Eastern region of British Punjab State, sometime in either 1940 or 1939.[1] After the Indian partition and the establishment of Pakistan in 1947, his parents escaped from pogroms and genocide in India[citation needed] and migrated to Pakistan and settled in a village named ‘Lagar’ near Lahore. Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood’s father, Chaudhry Sharif Khan, was a local village leader (lit. Numberdar) and put all his income to educate his eldest son who stood first in his High school and took 3rd position in the Punjab Matric Board.[1]
The government awarded him a scholarship due to which his father sent him to Government College University (GCU) where he was enrolled in Department of Pre-Engineering in 1958.[1] He stood 3rd in the higher secondary school certificate examination pre-engineering group and got admission at the University of Engineering and Technology of Lahore (UET Lahore).[1] At UET, Mahmood enrolled in College of Engineering, with majors in Electrical engineering. Mahmood studied together with Parvez Butt at UET, and in 1962, Mahmood graduated with BSc with Honors in Electrical Engineering from UET Lahore.[1]
After graduation Mahmood got a job in WAPDA which he left after one year and joined the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) as an electrical engineer in 1964.[1] He was sent to Electronics Division (ED) and was one of the pioneering member there.[2] While in PAEC, Mahmood went to Army Recruiting Center (ARC) to join the Pakistan Army, and volunteered to participate in Indo-Pakistan 1965 September war, but by the time he was to be sent to the front lines the war ended and also Dr. I. H. Usmani, the then Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, used his influence in the Government that prevented Mahmood to join the war.[1] Instead, Usmani sent Mahmood to join the Nuclear Physics Group.[2]In 1967, he went to the United Kingdom on a PAEC scholarship, and attended the University of Manchester, where he studied for his double masters degree in Nuclear Engineering and Control System Engineering. In 1969, he completed his double M.Sc. in control system engineering and nuclear engineering from the University of Manchester.[1]

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission

In late 1969, Mahmood came back to Pakistan and rejoined PAEC.[2] Before joining Pakistan’s nuclear energy programme, Mahmood was trained at the Nuclear Engineering Division of the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH). He was a distinguished member of Nuclear Physics Group (NPG) at PINSTECH, where he along with Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, Hafeez Qureshi and Dr. Naeem Ahmad Khan, studied and researched in the field of Nuclear Technology.[2] During his master studies, Mahmood had read scientific reports of the “Manhattan Project” while receiving his training at the Birmingham University, where he also had an opportunity to discuss enrichment technology with scientists from South Africa, who were then exploring the jet-nozzel aerodynamic process of enrichment.[3] During this time, South Africa was clandestinely building its nuclear programme, and South-Africa was in favour to use the aerodynamic nozzle enrichment techniques to produce weapons-grade material.[3]
As Mahmood was also interested in the process, a discussion was held on how to advance this process and make it more effective in order to make better and efficient weaponised-fuel, suitable for the nuclear device.[3]He specialised in reactor technology from the United Kingdom when he was offered post-graduate research by the Manchester University, and did extensive research at British nuclear industry.[1] In 1970, Mahmood was promoted as Chief Engineer (CE) at the KANUPP-I, country’s first commercial nuclear power plant, in Karachi.[1] Mahmood working in the KANUPP-I where he had developed a scientific instrument, the SBM probe to detect leaks in steam pipes, a problem that was affecting nuclear plants all over the world and is still used worldwide.[1] At KANUPP-I, he also set up a laboratory to manufacture spare parts for the plant.[4] According to his son, Mahmood, along with other scientists and engineers, after the Indo-Pak War of 1971, and had locked himself in his room where he cried for two days over the loss of East Pakistan.[1]
Although, a junior scientist at KANUP, he was delegated at the winter seminar, known as Multan meeting on January 1972 where he personally met with Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and delivered a speech on atomic science.[1] In 1974 Munir Ahmad Khan, the then Chairman of PAEC appointed him as the director of the uranium project and began his calculations on the uranium enrichment.[1] The uranium program, although a secondary route for the atomic bomb, began its scientific research and mathematical calculations on uranium diffusion, gas-centrifuge, jet-nozzle and laser enrichment processes; he advocated the centrifuge process, as it was faster and economical.[1] A report, marked as PC-1 finalised, on the centrifuge projects was handwritten by him to maintain the secrecy and feasibility.[1] Immediately, he submitted his report to PAEC and the program was thereafter started with Mahmood being its uranium program’s director in 1974, a move that irked Qadeer Khan, who had coveted the job for himself.[3]
As early as in 1975, he collaborated with another theorist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan on conducting mathematical calculations on centrifuges, as his deputy but both developed differences.[3] His relations with Dr. A.Q. Khan remains tense, and often pictured him as “egomaniac”.[5] With the backing of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in mid 1976 Qadeer Khan had him ejected from the ERL and uranium enrichment projects. Later, Munir Ahmad Khan appointed had secured the directorship of the Directorate of Industrial Liaison (DIL) at PAEC which was created to encourage indigenization in development of nuclear-mechanical parts used in the nuclear reactors.[1]
During 1980s, he was named as the project manager of the Khushab-I; he served as the designer of the Khushab reactor, near Mianwali— a heavy water reactor that produces plutonium and Tritium.[1] Prior to 1991, he also designed and set up a nuclear fuel facility at the Punjab province. In 1988, he was promoted and became Director-General of the Directorate for the Nuclear Power (DGNP).[1] He held his position till 1999 until his resignation from PAEC due to his opposition to Pakistan’s planned signing of CTBT. After the reactor went critical in April 1998, Mahmood in an interview had said: “This reactor (can produce enough plutonium for two to three nuclear weapons per year) Pakistan had “acquired the capability to produce…. boosted thermonuclear weapons and hydrogen bombs.”[1] In 1998, following the country’s nuclear tests (See Chagai-I and Chagai-II), Mahmood was awarded the civilian decoration, the Sitara-e-Imtiaz, in a colourful ceremony by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif.[1].[1]
Enhanced by Zemanta

Samar Mubarakmand

Samar Mubarakmand, NI, HI, SI, FPAS  born 17 September 1942), is a Pakistani nuclear physicist known for his research in gamma spectroscopy and experimental development of the linear accelerator.[citation needed]He came to public attention as the director of the team responsible for the performing the country’s first and successful atomic tests (see Chagai-I and Chagai-II) in the Chagai weapon testing laboratories, located in the Balochistan Province of Pakistan.[1] Prior to that, he was the project director of the integrated missile programme and supervised the development of first Shaheen-I missile program in 1995. He was also the founding chairman of Nescom from 2001 until 2007. He was subsequently appointed by the government to assist the Thar coalfield project


Samar Mubarakmand was born in Rawalpindi, Punjab Province of the British Indian Empire, on 17 September 1942.[2] He earned his education from Lahore and matriculated from the St. Anthony’s High School in 1956.[2] After passing the university entrance exams, he enrolled at the Physics Department of Government College University where he studied physics under RM Chaudhry. He earned his undergraduate, B.Sc. degree, in Physics in 1958, and entered in the post-graduate school of Government College University. He conducted his research at the High Tension Laboratory (HTL), and his master’s thesis contained the detail work on the construction and development of the Gamma ray spectrometer.[citation needed] His master’s thesis was supervised under the close collaboration of RM Chaudhry and subsequently awarded the M.Sc. in Nuclear physics in 1962 from Government College University.[citation needed]
In 1962, he won a doctoral scholarship and commenced doctoral research at Oxford University. At Oxford, he studied Compton scattering and the dynamical theory of Gamma spectroscopy with Shaukat Hameed Khan. After his long doctoral research, he submitted his doctoral thesis on experimental nuclear physics and was awarded his PhD in experimental nuclear physics from the University of Oxford in 1966 under the renowned nuclear physicist D. H. Wilkinson.[3] During his time in Oxford, Mubarakmand closely collaborated and studied with Shaukat Hameed Khan at the Physics Department, learning about the Linear accelerators, and after returning to Pakistan he built one.[4] At Oxford, he was part of the team that commissioned a 22 million volt atomic accelerator.[4] After returning to Pakistan, Mubarakmand was posted by the government at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission in 1966.[4]

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)

1971 war and atomic bomb project

In January 1972, Mubarakmand was assigned to Ishfaq Ahmad‘s Nuclear Physics Division where he immersed himself in work on the project’s physics calculations in implosion method, and mathematical multiplication involved in nuclear fission.[citation needed] In 1974, on the advise of Abdus Salam, the PAEC had formed the Fast Neutron Physics Group, and had impressed Ahmad enough to be made a group’s founding director.[5] As a junior physicist, he was the greater part of his work was to conclude the calculation of neutron energy‘s distributive ranges and power produced by the neutrons, after the detonation process.[citation needed] In September 1973, Mubarakmand then began the work on simultaneity, key calculations involving to investigate detonation of the weapon from several points at the same time, but the calculations were distributed among the Mathematics group under Asghar Qadir, and the Theoretical Physics Group (TPG) under Abdus Salam and Riazuddin as it felt that the calculations would be better off, as it involved complex mathematical and physics applications of Einstein‘s Special and General relativity.[citation needed] Later, Mubarakmand assisted in developing the first high performance supercomputing programs at the PAEC.[citation needed]
In 1978, Mubarakmand led the construction of a nuclear and particle linear accelerator, and the neutron generator at the secret Pinstech Laboratory. In 1980, Mubaramand was elevated as the director of the diagnostic group that was charged with the test teams, and was made responsible for the countdown for the detonation of the weapon.[citation needed] On March 11 of 1983, Mubarakmand was one of the few scientists that were invited to eye-witnessed the cold test of theoretically designed weapon, codename Kirana-I.[citation needed] Mubarakmand led the countdown of the weapon while TPG and MPG calculated the yield.[citation needed] In 1987, Mubarakmand was transferred to the Directorate for Technical Development(DTD) — a secret directorate to develop explosive lenses and triggering mechanism for the fission weapon.[citation needed] There, along with Hafeez Qureshi, Mubarakmand provided the technical assistance to the engineers there. At Pinstech Laboratory, Mubarakmand built another nuclear accelerator to conduct studies of an explosion process in a fission weapon. For his own role in the project and DTD, Mubarakmand later concluded: “Engineer people (referring to Hafeez Qureshi and Zaman Sheikh), at DTD, were really smart. They were trained very thoroughly in the development of a weapon’s necessary materials at very low cost.”[citation needed]
Mubarakmand first visited in Chagai Hills in 1981, along with Ishfaq Ahmad and other scientists from different divisions.[6] In 1998, in the absence of Ishfaq Ahmad, Mubarakmand had briefly directed then-Prime minister Nawaz Sharif as he was first responsible for the preparations of tests. However, after Ishfaq Ahmad arrived, Mubarakmand was made responsible for the preparations of the tests.[6] In May 28, 1998, Mubarakmand led the countdown of tests — codename Chagai-I — in Ras Koh Hills of Chagai region.[6] On May 30, Ishfaq Ahmad received permission from the Prime minister, and Mubarakmand led the a very small team of academic scientists that supervised the country’s plutonium fission weapon — codename Chagai-II.[6] In the 1990s, he served as the Director General of National Defence Complex, another Pakistani organization shrouded in secrecy.[citation needed] On a day when Mubarakmand was interviewed by Pakistani media host Hamid Mir on his program Capital Talk, Mubarakmand eulogized his memories and said:
I visited the first weapon-testing laboratories (WTL) at (Chagai District) for the first time in 1981…. When the science experiments were to be conducted, our science teams went there on 20th May, and again on 28th May, in the early morning, the WTL iron-steel tunnels were (electronically) plugged in and the preparation for the tests’ experiments were complete, and on 28th May, around 15:15hrs, was the time selected for testings. So, at that time, at around 14:45hrs, some of our high profiled guests arrived to witness the (science) experiments that were soon to be tests, and Qadeer Khan was also one of them…. It was the first visit of his life to any of Chagai’s Weapon-testing laboratories. (Abdul Qadeer) came at the invitation of the Chairman of the PAEC, Ishfaq Ahmad, and (Abdul Qadeer) arrived 15 minutes prior to the (science) experiments that were to be conducted…
—Samar Mubarakmand, commenting on Abdul Qadeer Khan’s role in atomic bomb project[6]
Recalling Munir Ahmad Khan and PAEC’s role and its relation to the famous atomic bomb project priority dispute, Mubarakmand later said that:
As many as nineteen steps were involved in the making of a nuclear weapon ranging from exploration of uranium to the finished device and its trigger mechanism.The technological and manpower infrastructure for eighteen out of these nineteen steps were provided by the PAEC under the leadership of Munir Ahmad Khan who led it for nearly two decades from 1972 to 1991. Today all the major key scientific organizations linked to the country’s security like the PAEC, the Kahuta Research Labs and the strategic production complex were run and operated by Pakistani professionals produced by the policies of the PAEC both under him and Usmani of producing indigenous trained manpower. Pakistan’s nuclear capability was confirmed the day in 1983 when the PAEC carried out cold nuclear tests under the guidance and stewardship of late Munir Ahmad Khan. The tests however, were not publicly announced because of the international environment of stiff sanctions against countries, which sought to acquire nuclear capability….
—Samar Mubarakmand, Eulogizing Munir Khan’s and PAEC’s role on the development of the atomic bomb project[7]

Space programme

After his active role in Pakistan’s integrated atomic bomb project, Mubarakmand took personal initiatives in the development of the space program where he largely contributed his research in computational fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, and fluid physics. In Pakistan’s scientific circle, he is known as father of Pakistan’s missile program where he has reportedly been present at the flight test facilities of Pakistan.[8] In 1987, Ministry of Defence, jointly collaborating with Ministry of Science, initiated the integrated missile program, an equivalent program to India’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). The government assigned the projects to be jointly led under the leadership of Samar Mubarakmand and Abdul Qadeer Khan.
In 1995, Mubarakmand became chief project coordinator of Shaheen program, and the following year, Mubarakmand was made director of the missile program. Mubarakmand’s team successfully developed the solid boosters and solid engine for Shaheen-I program. This was later followed by developing the Shaheen-II, Shaheen-III, Babur missile, and the Ghaznavi missile system.[9]
As a “Science and Technology” member at the Planning Commission of Pakistan, he has been staunch supporter of rocket science in the country. Talking to the media on August 18, 2009, Mubarakmand has Pakistan would launch its own satellite in April 2011 it made some things seem all to obvious to analyst familiar with the subject.[10]He described the satellite as being able to monitor agricultural programs, minerals programs and weather conditions and that it was funded by the Pakistani Planning Commission. He went on to say there were sufficient funds for the defense, nuclear and space programs. Whether this will be a less than 100 kg first test satellite or a much heavier satellite remains to be seen.[11].[2][dead link]
Enhanced by Zemanta

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan

Abdul Qadeer Khan  born 1 April 1936), also known by some in Pakistan as Mohsin-e-Pakistan (Urdu: محسن پاکِستان‎, lit. “Benefactor of Pakistan”), more popularly known as Dr. A. Q. Khan, is a Pakistani nuclear scientist and a metallurgical engineer, colloquially regarded as the founder of HEU based Gas-centrifuge uranium enrichment program for Pakistan’s integrated atomic bomb project.[2] Khan founded and established the Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL) in 1976, being both its senior scientist and the director-general until his retirement in 2001, and he was an early and vital figure in other science projects. Apart from participating in Pakistan’s atomic bomb project, he made major contributions in molecular morphology, physical martensite, and its integrated applications in condensed and material physics.
Abdul Qadeer Khan was one of Pakistan’s top scientists,[3] and was involved in the country’s various scientific programs until his dismissal.[3] In January 2004, Khan was officially summoned for a debriefing on his suspicious activities in other countries after the United States provided evidence to the Pakistan Government, and confessed it a month later.[3] Some have alleged that these activities were sanctioned by the authorities, though the Pakistan government sharply dismissed the claims.[4][5] After years of nominal house arrest, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on 6 February 2009 declared Abdul Qadeer Khan to be a free citizen of Pakistan, allowing him free movement inside the country. The verdict was rendered by Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Aslam.[6] In September 2009, expressing concerns over the Islamabad High Court‘s decision to end all security restrictions on Khan, the United States warned that Khan still remains a “serious proliferation risk”

Early life

Khan was born in Bhopal, India (then British Indian Empire) into a Urdu-speaking Pathan[8] family in 1936. His father Dr. Abdul Ghafoor Khan was an academic who served in the Education ministry of the British Indian Government and after retirement in 1935, settled permanently in Bhopal State.[9] After the partition in 1947, the family emigrated from India to Pakistan, and settled in Karachi, West Pakistan.[10] Khan studied in Saint Anthony’s High School of Lahore, and then enrolled at the D.J. Science College of Karachi to study physics and mathematics.[10] After making a transfer in 1956, he attended Karachi University, obtaining BSc in Metallurgy in 1960; subsequently he got the internship at the Siemens Engineering.[10]
After the internship, he was employed by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and worked as an city inspector of weight and measures in Karachi.[10] In 1961, he went to West Berlin to study Metallurgical engineering at the Technical University Berlin.[10] Qadeer Khan obtained an engineer’s degree in technology from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and a doctorate engineering in Metallurgical engineering under the supervision of Martin Brabers from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, in 1972.[10] Qadeer Khan’s doctoral dissertations were written in German.[10] His doctoral thesis dealt and contained fundamental work on martensite, and its extended industrial applications to the field of morphology, a field that studies the shape, size, texture and phase distribution of physical objects.[10][11]

Research in Europe 

In 1972, the year he received his doctorate, Abdul Qadeer Khan through a former university classmate, and a recommendation from his old professor and mentor, Martin J. Brabers, joined the senior staff of the Physics Dynamics Research Laboratory in Amsterdam.[12] There, he began his studies on the high-strength metals to be used for the development of gas centrifuges.[13] The gas centrifuges were first studied by Jesse Beams during the Manhattan Project in 1940s but research was discontinued in 1944. The Physics Laboratory was a subcontractor for URENCO Group, the uranium enrichment research facility at Almelo, Netherlands, which was established in 1970 by the Netherlands to assure a supply of enriched uranium for nuclear power plants in the Netherlands.[12] Soon when the URENCO Group offered him to join the senior scientific staff there, Qadeer Khan left the Physics Laboratories.[12] There, he was tasked to perform physics experiments on uranium metallurgy,[12] to produce commercial-grade uranium metals usable for light water reactors.[12] In the meantime, the URENCO Group handed him the drawings of centrifuges for the mathematical solution of the physics problems in the gas centrifuges.[12]
Uranium enrichment is a difficult physical process, as 235U exists in natural uranium at a concentration of only 0.7%; URENCO used Zippe-type centrifuges for that purpose to separate the isotopes 235U from non-fissile 238U by spinning UF6 gas at up to 100,000RPM.[12] Abdul Qadeer Khan’s academic and leading-edge research in metallurgy brought laurels to the URENCO Group.[12] URENCO enjoyed a good academic relationship with him, and had him as one of its most senior scientists at the facility where he researched and studied.[12] At URENCO, Abdul Qadeer Khan pioneering research to improve the efficiency of the centrifuges greatly contributed to the technological advancement of the Zippe centrifuges, a method that was developed by mechanical engineer Gernot Zippe in the Soviet Union during the 1940s.[12] URENCO granted Qadeer Khan access to the most restricted areas of its facility as well as to highly classified documentation on gas centrifuge technology.[12] After it was revealed in 1979 that Pakistan through Mr Khan gained access to Urenco UC technology, a formal investigation was launched by the Dutch govt into the matter. Mr Khan was busy in Pakistan with the nuclear program and stayed absent from the trial. He was found guilty and in 1985 the Dutch court sentenced him to 4 years of imprisonment in his absence.

1971 war and return to Pakistan 

The clandestine and highly secretive atomic bomb project of Pakistan was given a start on 20 January 1972, when President (later Prime minister) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto chaired a secret meeting of academic scientists at Multan.[citation needed] The winter planning seminar known as Multan meeting, the atomic bomb project was launched under the administrative control of Bhutto, and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (or PAEC) under its chairman, Munir Ahmad Khan.[citation needed] Earlier efforts were directed towards the implosion-type bomb with exploration of the Plutonium route.[citation needed] Prior to 1974, Khan had no knowledge of existence of country’s integrated atomic development, a controversy that highly doubts Abdul Qadeer Khan’s “father-of” claim. It was only on 18 May 1974, when he was alerted after India surprised the world with its first nuclear test (codename: Smiling Buddha), near Pakistan’s eastern border under the secret directives of Indian Premier Indira Gandhi.[citation needed] Conducted by the Indian Army, it was only three years since Pakistan’s humiliating defeat in the 1971 Winter war and the outcomes of the war had put Pakistan’s strategic position in great danger.[14]
The nuclear test greatly alarmed the Government of Pakistan and the people.[citation needed] Prime minister Zulfikar Bhutto squeezed the time limit of the atomic bomb project from five years to three years, in a vision to evolve and derived the country’s scientific atomic project as from the “atomic capability to sustainable nuclear power”.[citation needed] Sensing the importance of this test, Munir Ahmad Khan secretly launched the Project-706, a codename of a secret uranium enrichment program under the domain of the atomic project.[citation needed]Following the news about Pakistan, Khan wanted to contribute to the post-war military posture and approached the Pakistan government officials, offering to assist in Pakistan’s secret atomic bomb project through his knowledge acquired at URENCO.[15] He insisted in joining the atomic bomb project[16] but was disuated by the military scientists who considered as “hard to find” a job in PAEC as a “metallurgist”.[15]
Undaunted, he wrote to Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, highlighting his specific experience and encouraged Prime Minister Bhutto to work on an atomic bomb using uranium.[15] According to Kuldip Nayyar, although the letter was received by Prime minister Secretariat, Qadeer Khan was still unknown to the Government, leading Bhutto to ask the ISI to run a complete background check on Khan and prepare an assessment report on him.[17] The ISI declared him as “incompetent” in the field of nuclear technology based on his academic discipline.[17] Unsatisfied with ISI’s report, Bhutto was eager to know more about him, and asked Munir Ahmad Khan to dispatch a team of PAEC’s scientists to meet him.[18] The PAEC team including Sultan Mahmood travelled to Amsterdam and arrived at his family home at night. Discussions were held until the next day.[18] After the team’s return to Pakistan, Bhutto decided to meet with Khan, and directed a confidential letter to him. Soon after, Abdul Qadeer Khan took a leave from URENCO Group, and departed for Pakistan in 1974.[18]

Initiation and atomic bomb project

In December 1974, Abdul Qadeer Khan went to Pakistan and took a taxi straight to the Prime minister Secretariat.[19] The session with Bhutto was held at midnight and remained under extreme secrecy.[19] There, Qadeer Khan met with Zulfikar Bhutto, Munir Khan, and Dr. Mübaschir Hassan, government Science Adviser.[19] At this session, he enlightened the importance of uranium as opposed to plutonium, but Bhutto remain unconvinced to adopt uranium instead of plutonium for the development of an atomic bomb.[19] Although Bhutto ended the session quickly he remarked to his friends that: “He seems to make sense.”[19] Early morning the next day another session was held where he focussed the discussion on uranium against plutonium, with other PAEC officials presented.[16] Even though he explained to Bhutto why he thought the idea of “plutonium” would not work, Qadeer Khan was fascinated by the possibility of atomic bomb.[16]
Many of the theorists at that time, including Munir Khan maintained that “plutonium and the nuclear fuel cycle has its significance”,[14] and Munir Khan insisted that with the “French extraction plant in the offing, Pakistan should stick with its original plan.”[14] Bhutto did not disagree, but saw the advantage of mounting a parallel effort toward acquiring HEU fuel.[14][20] At the last session with Zulfikar Bhutto, Khan also advocated for the development of a fused design to compress the single fission element in the metalized gun-type atomic device, which many of his fellow theorists said would be unlikely to work.[16]
Finally in 1976, he joined the atomic bomb project, and became a member of the enrichment division at PAEC.[19] Calculations performed by him were valuable contributions to centrifuges and vital link to nuclear weapon research.[citation needed] He continued to push his ideas for uranium methods even though they had a low priority, with most efforts still aimed to produce military-grade plutonium.[19] Because of his interest in uranium, and his frustration at having been passed over for director of the uranium division (the job was instead given to Bashiruddin Mahmood), Qadeer Khan refused to engage in further research and caused tensions with other researchers.[19] He became highly unsatisfied and bored with the research led by Mahmood; finally, he submitted a critical report to Bhutto, in which he explained that the “enrichment program” was nowhere near success.[19]

Kahuta Research Laboratories

Bhutto sensed great danger as the scientists were split between uranium and plutonium routes.[19] Therefore, he called Khan for a meeting, which was held at the prime minister secretariat. With the backing of Bhutto, Qadeer Khan took over the enrichment program and renamed the project to Engineering Research Laboratories (ERL).[19] Abdul Qadeer Khan insisted to work with the Corps of Engineers to lead the construction of the suitable operational enrichment site, which was granted. The E-in-C directed Brigadier Zahid Ali Akbar of Corps of Engineers to work with Qadeer Khan in Project-706.[19] The Corps of Engineers and Brigadier Akbar quickly acquired the lands of the village of Kahuta for the project.[21]
The military realized the dangers of atomic experiments being performed in populated areas and thus remote Kahuta was considered an ideal location for research.[21] Bhutto would subsequently promote Brigadier Zahid Akbar to Major-General and handed over the directorship of the Project-706, with Qadeer Khan being its senior scientist.[citation needed]On the other hand, the PAEC did not forgo the electromagnetic isotope separation research and a parallel program was conducted by theoretical physicist Dr. G.D. Allam at Air Research Laboratories (ARL) located at Chaklala PAF base, though G.D. Allam had not seen a centrifuge, but only had a rudimentary knowledge of the Manhattan Project.[22]
At first, the ERL suffered many setbacks, and relied heavily on the knowledge from URENCO brought by Qadeer Khan.[22] Meanwhile in April 1976, theorist Ghulam Dastigar Alam accomplished a great feat by successfully rotating the first generation centrifuges to ~30,000 RPM.[22] When the news reached Qadeer Khan, he immediately requested to Bhutto for G.D. Alam’s assistance which was granted by the PAEC, dispatching a team of scientists including G.D. Alam to ERL.[22] At ERL, Qadeer Khan joined the team of theoretical physicists headed by theorist dr. GD Allam, working on the physics problems involving the differential equations in the centripetal forces and angular momentum calculations in the ultra-centrifuges.[22] On 4 June 1978, the enrichment program became fully functional after Dr. G.D. Alam succeeded in separated the 235U and 238U isotopes in an important experiment in which Dr. A.Q Khan also took part.[22][23] Contrary to his expectation, the military approved to the appointment of Major-General Zahid Ali as the scientific director of entire uranium division.[22].[7]
Enhanced by Zemanta

DR. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui

Salimuzzaman Siddiqui 19 October 1897 – 14 April 1994),[1] HI, MBE, SI, D.Phil., FPAS, FRS. was a leading Pakistani scientist in Natural Product Chemistry. He is credited for pioneering the isolation of unique chemical compounds from the Neem (Azadirachta indica), Rauwolfia, and various other flora. As the founder director of H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry, he revolutionised the research on pharmacology of various domestic plants found in South Asia to extract novel chemical substances of medicinal importance.[2] In addition to his scientific talents, Siddiqui was also an avid painter, a poet, and a great connoisseur of music. His paintings were exhibited in Germany, India, and Pakistan.

Early life

Siddiqui was born in Subeha (Barabanki District) near Lucknow on 19 October 1897. He received his early education from Lucknow, both in the Urdu and Persian languages, and soon developed interest in literature, poetry, and calligraphy from his father Sheikh Muhammad Zaman. He graduated in Philosophy and Persian language, from M.A.O College (that would later become Aligarh Muslim University) in 1919.[3]In 1920, Siddiqui proceeded to University College London to study medicine. However, after one year of pre-medical studies, he moved to Frankfurt University in 1921 to study chemistry. In 1924, he married his German classmate, Ethel Wilhelmina Schneeman.[2] He received Doctor of Philosophy under the supervision of Prof Julius Von Bram in 1927. On his return, he established the Ayurvedic and Unani Tibbi Research Institute at the Tibbia College Delhi, under the guidance of Hakim Ajmal Khan. He was appointed its first Director. However, soon after the death of Hakim Ajmal Khan, Siddiqui left the post. In 1940, he joined Indian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research where he worked until 1951 when he migrated to Pakistan on the request of Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan.[3]

Pioneering research

Siddiqui’s first breakthrough in research came when he successfully isolated an antiarrhythmic agent in 1931[4] from the roots of Rauwolfia serpentina. He named the newly discovered chemical compound as Ajmaline, after his mentor Hakim Ajmal Khan who was one of the illustrious practitioners of Unani system of medicine in South Asia.[2] Later on, Siddiqui also extracted other alkaloids from Rauwolfia serpentina that included Ajmalinine, Ajmalicine (C21H24N2O3), Isoajmaline, Neoajmaline, Serpentine and Serpentinine. Many of these are still used worldwide for treatment of mental disorders and cardiovascular ailments,[3] especially as antiarrhythmic agents in Brugada syndrome.[5]

Discoveries from Neem

Siddiqui was the first scientist to bring the anthelmintic, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral constituents of the Neem tree to the attention of natural products chemists. In 1942, he extracted three bitter compounds from neem oil, which he named as nimbin, nimbinin, and nimbidin respectively.[6] The process involved extracting the water insoluble components with ether, petrol ether, ethyl acetate and dilute alcohol. The provisional naming was nimbin (sulphur-free crystalline product with melting point at 205 °C, empirical composition C7H10O2), nimbinin (with similar principle, melting at 192 °C), and nimbidin (cream-coloured containing amorphous sulphur, melting at 90–100 °C). Siddiqui identified nimbidin as the main active antibacterial ingredient, and the highest yielding bitter component in the neem oil.[7] These compounds are stable and found in substantial quantities in the Neem. They also serve as natural insecticides.[8]
In acknowledgement of these revolutionary discoveries, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1946.[2]In his later career, Siddiqui continued to discover and isolate numerous unique anti-bacterial compounds from various parts (leaves, bark, etc.) of the Neem[9] and other plants.[10] He had more than 50 chemical compounds patented in his name[2] in addition to those discovered as a result of his joint research with other colleagues and students.[11] Most of these discoveries still remain vital natural ingredients of various medicines[5] as well as biopesticides.[8]

Research leadership

Siddiqui migrated to Pakistan in 1951, four years after the emergence of Pakistan in 1947, after being offered and appointed as “science advisor” to the government by Prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan. He was appointed as Director of the Pakistan Department of Research that was reformulated in 1953 as Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR).[12] The aim of PCSIR was to support the industrial infrastructure through research and development. The regional laboratories of the institution were located in Dhaka, Rajshahi and Chittagong (East Pakistan), and in Lahore and Peshawar (West Pakistan).[3] In 1953, he founded the Pakistan Academy of Sciences as a non-political think tank of distinguished scientists in the country.[13] In 1956, when Government of Pakistan established Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) as an atomic research agency, Siddiqui was designated as its technical member.
In recognition of his scientific leadership, Frankfurt University granted him the degree of D.Med. Honoris causa in 1958. Also in 1958, the Government of Pakistan awarded him with Tamgha-e-Pakistan. In 1960, he became the President of Pan-Indian Ocean Science Association. The same year, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society.[12] In 1962, he was awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz for distinguished merit in the fields of science and medicine.[2] Siddiqui remained the director and chairman of PCSIR until the time of his retirement in 1966. In that year, the President of Pakistan awarded him the Pride of Performance Medal for the respectable completion of his service.[3] In 1967, Siddiqui was invited by University of Karachi to set up a Postgraduate Institute of Chemistry in affiliation with the Department of Chemistry. He was designated as the institute’s Founder Director, whereas the additional research staff was provided by PCSIR.[14] In 1976, the institute was offered a generous donation from Hussain Jamal Foundation, as a result of which it was renamed as Hussain Ebrahim Jamal Research Institute of Chemistry.
In due time, Siddiqui transformed the institute into a distinguished centre of international excellence in the field of chemistry and natural products. In March 1975, he headed the National Commission for Indigenous Medicines[15] His tireless efforts for the promotion of science and technology earned him Hilal-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan in 1980. In 1983, he played a major role in the establishment of the Third World Academy of Sciences and became its Founding Fellow.[16] He remained the director of the Hussain Ebrahim Jamal Research Institute of Chemistry until 1990. Later on, he continued research in his personal laboratory.[3]

Death and legacy

Siddiqui died on 14 April 1994 due to cardiac arrest after a brief illness in Karachi. He was buried in the Karachi University Graveyard.[3] Despite his death, the academic and research institutes that he founded during more than 65 years of his research career are still contributing to the international level research in natural products chemistry. As a person of multiple talents, Siddiqui was also a refined poet, musician, and a painter. In August 1924, he held his first international exhibition of paintings in Frankfurt. Later in 1927, his works of art were exhibited at the Uzielli Gallery, Frankfurt. During his stay in Germany, he also translated Rainer Maria Rilke‘s poetry into Urdu, which was published in the journal of Jamia Millia Islamia. Though, his passion for arts was superseded by the enthusiasm in scientific research, he continued to patronise arts and culture. In 1966, he was at the forefront for setting up the Central Institute of Arts and Crafts in Karachi.[17] He also compiled a selection of poetry of Mir Taqi Mir into Intekhab-e-Meer. In 1983, he published a portfolio collection of charcoal drawings from 1920 to 1950s.
On 14 April 1999, the Pakistan Post, as part of its ‘Scientists of Pakistan’ series, issued a commemorative stamp to honour the contributions and services of Siddiqui.[18] In the same year, the street leading to PCSIR Laboratories Complex in Karachi was named as Shahrah-e-Dr. Salim-uz-Zaman Siddiqui. Siddiqui was also remembered by his students and colleagues, many of whom continued to dedicate their international research and publications to his memory.[19] In 2002, a research article was published in the journal Tetrahedron in which, authors Faizi and Naz dedicated their break-through research to the memory of Siddiqui, their mentor.[20]
Enhanced by Zemanta

Ibrāhīm al-Fazārī

Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Habib ibn Sulaiman ibn Samura ibn Jundab al-Fazari  was an 8th-century mathematician and astronomer of Persian [1] background.
He was the mathematician and astronomer at the Abbasid court of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid. He is not to be confused with his son Muḥammad ibn Ibrāhīm al-Fazārī, also an Astronomer. He composed various astronomical writings (“on the astrolabe“, “on the armillary spheres”, “on the calendar”).
The Caliph ordered him and his son to translate the Indian Astronomical text, The Sindhind along with Yaʿqūb ibn Ṭāriq, which was completed in Baghdad about 750 CE, and entitled Az-Zīj ‛alā Sinī al-‛Arab.[2] This translation was possibly the vehicle by means of which the Hindu numerals were transmitted from India to Iran.


Enhanced by Zemanta