Salam - The First ****** Nobel Laureate (2018) - full transcript

"Salam" is a feature length documentary about the Nobel prize winning Pakistani physicist, Abdus Salam. The film reveals the extraordinary life of the charismatic Abdus Salam, in all its color, vitality and tragedy. It is the story of a man who traversed two worlds with ease: one of science and religion, modernity and tradition, war and peace and obscurity and celebrity. When he won the Nobel prize in 1979, he became the very first Pakistani to achieve this distinction, and only the fourth from the subcontinent. Born in 1926 in a remote village in Punjab, British India, Salam was a child prodigy. He came from humble beginnings, growing up in a small brick house with a large family of eleven. While Salam's legacy looms large in the world of physics, he is largely forgotten in Pakistan because of his faith. Children do not read about him and he is still vilified and maligned by right wing clerics for being a "Qadiani"-a derogatory term for someone belonging to the Ahmadiyya community. By telling this complex story of a man who due to extremism could not strengthen his people as he so deeply desired, the film draws attention to the state of affairs in the world today, where knowledge is sacrificed at the altar of ignorance and intolerance, depriving the coming generation of all that is precious.

I am the first Muslim
who has got the prize for science.

Abdus Salam...

the Pakistani scientist.

This footage is being aired live...

Breaking the barrier,
taking away that sense of inferiority

which over the centuries had come over

the Muslim youth.

This breaking the barrier
had been done by somebody,

who feels no conflict
between his religion,

his culture, and science.

This is the scientific age,
you cannot escape it.

No one in the East can,
no one in the West can.

This is the scientific age.

It became quite clear to me

that either I must leave my country,
or leave physics.

And with great anguish
I chose to leave my country.

When we knew he was dying…

that he no longer belongs to the family,

he belongs to the people of Pakistan.

So we bring him back home to you
and we hope that...

the inspiration he gave in his life,

will be an inspiration
for the people here.

Till his very end,

he wanted nothing more
than to return.

He had not just grown up over here,
but he had received

so much love and affection
from all those around him...

This feeling never went away.

It never went away,
even when...

that country turned against him.

He was extremely disappointed,

when Pakistan didn't support him.

He stayed loyal to Pakistan until the end.

He was offered UK nationality,
Italian nationality;

turned them all down.

Kept his Pakistani passport with pride.

Whatever he did,

first and foremost
was for the benefit of the people.

Lots of people, in the West,

who attack Islam, often say,

"You know, Islam is decaying,
it's atrophied.

How many Muslims have
won the Nobel Prize?"

So, in Britain we can say, one:
Abdus Salam.

In India we can say, Abdus Salam.

In Pakistan, where he was born,
we can't say that.

Because the government has
decreed that he is not a Muslim.

He's a very tragic figure.

But then, that is his greatness.

Abdus Salam,
Pakistan's only Nobel laureate,

the first Moslem to win the physics prize,

helped lay the groundwork that led
to the Higgs boson breakthrough.

And yet in Pakistani schools,

his name has been erased
from the textbooks.

That's because Abdus Salam,
who died in 1996,

was a member of the Ahmadi sect,

considered heretics by
the Sunni majority,

and barred by an act of Parliament,

from even calling themselves Moslems.

Physics prize went to
Harvard Professors

Steven Weinberg and
Sheldon Glashow, both 46,

and to Abdus Salam
a 53-year-old Pakistani.

They won for their work in trying
to discover a unified field theory,

which concerns forces which
hold matter together,

and which could lead to an explanation
of the creation of the universe.

Tonight's recipients have
taken a large step

toward achieving what Einstein attempted
but failed to accomplish.

He stood out
not only as compared to Glashow and me,

but compared to all the other laureates.

I mean, there were a bunch of people
looking like penguins,

and then there was Salam
looking like an oriental prince…

with slippers with curly toes, and...
He was gorgeous.

Next is Abdus Salam...

the Pakistani scientist.

This footage is being aired live,
via satellite to his country,

confirming that one of
their foremost scientists

has been awarded the
most prestigious award.

Pakistan has bought this satellite time...

How proud he was, he said,

to be the first Muslim Nobel laureate.

He was of course disappointed
that he missed out the first time.

Naturally, he would be.

Um, but also,
he was very aware of himself;

as coming from Pakistan, a Muslim.

Salam was very ambitious.

That's why I think he worked so hard.

You couldn't really work
for 15 hours a day...

unless you had something
driving you, really.

His work hadn't always been appreciated,

shall we say by,
the Western world.

He was different, he looked different.

And maybe that also was the reason

why he was so keen to get the Nobel Prize,

to show them that, you know,

to be a Pakistani or a Muslim
didn't mean that you were inferior,

that you were as good as anybody else.

So far...

I believe I am the first Muslim

who has got the prize for science...

breaking the barrier,

taking away that sense of inferiority...

which over the centuries
had come over the Muslim youth,

that they had left behind in science.

It's God's grace.

I came from humble beginnings.

Starting out from an ordinary village,
and then,

receiving this gift
from the Almighty...

Firstly, I am very grateful.

And secondly, I wish my
parents were here with me.

He came from a perfectly
ordinary middle-class background.

A village, which had very little
educational infrastructure.

So 2a is equal to thirteen.

Next, we'll divide it,
and here is the answer.

He came from an
Urdu-medium school.

Taught by a...
village schoolteacher, essentially.

And yet,

just because he had
that enormous amount of

intelligence and capacity...

he was able to make it big.

Salam was clearly a prodigy.

He had never even studied
under an electric light.

He didn't know what an electric light was
until he went to Lahore.

He was excused
any household chores.

He didn't have to milk the cow,

he didn't have to go out
and empty the toilet area at all.

He didn't have to clean any of that up,
that was all down to his brothers.

When the candles ran out,

he didn't have to go and make new candles,

his brothers all did that.

Everything was secondary
to his benefit, effectively.

My grandmother would always
take out the best piece of meat,

so the best three pieces of meat
were put out for Salam.

And then everything that
Abdus Salam grew up with...

he was the favorite son.

Which all stems back to the

original vision that my
grandfather had.

If you go back to his dreams...

From the boy disappearing up
into the tree...

and my grandfather saying,
"Come down, come down."

The little boy up in the tree saying,

"Don't worry, I'm fine.
I can see everything up here."

Um... those early signs,

and of course, the dream of the
naming of him as Abdus Salam,

which came in a vision
to my grandfather...

All those things showed that...

he was a very special being.
A gift from the Almighty.

Salam was
only sixteen years old

when he went to Government College.

That's where he came across

the work of this famous
Indian mathematician

Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Ramanujan was considered a genius
in the world of mathematics.

He was an absolute phenomenon,
he went to Cambridge...

And when Salam saw, uh...
a certain calculation

that Ramanujan had done and attempted,

he thought of a better way
of doing it himself.

And he found this way of solving it
and that became his very first paper.

But his talent didn't come out
until he went to Cambridge.

I'm not quite sure
how you got to Cambridge.

There was a small
peasants welfare fund,

which was set up by

the Prime Minister of the
State of Punjab at that time.

And I was fortunate to get
one of those scholarships.

My father got here in 1946-47,

which was the coldest winter on record.

Uh, the Cam was frozen over.

...the worst blizzard in 24 years.

After a fall of 18 inches,

traffic was at a standstill.

Even snowplows were snowbound.
Trains often had to be dug out.

Britain was on its knees,
post-war austerity.

There was no food.
You could not get any meat.

The only meat you could
get was Spam,

which comes from pork,
and is therefore, forbidden for him.

So the only alternative to
Spam was macaroni cheese

which he ate every day, for...

...a very long time.

As the new dominions
of Pakistan and India

take over their own affairs,

communal hatred
flares up in the Punjab.

He left India.

Uh, partition had not happened
at that point.

My family were in the Punjab
for the most part.

And so...

the news from back home which was
all communicated by letters...

my father and his father
wrote to each other,

would have been
of the most dramatic nature.

...carrying their few possessions,

they flee from savagery and butchery
that has never been exceeded

even in India's stormy history.

One million people become
refugees overnight.

I think that my father in that sense

had a burden or a weight or a concern,

that other students would not have had.

He was competing against people who had,

had very privileged educations.

Who had come to Cambridge

with a sense of entitlement
and expectation,

whereas he had none of that.

There must have been very few

South Asian faces
in Cambridge at that time.

Cambridge made him see,
that you could do a lot.

This was when he really started to
work hard, and for a purpose.

So, this is St. John's College Hall.

And, um... here we have,

William Wilberforce, the abolitionist,
anti-slavery campaigner.

And, the poet William Wordsworth.

Here we have Paul Dirac.

He was regarded by my father,
as the supreme physicist.

And then, finally...

my father.

It was extremely unusual
to put a portrait in the Hall,

of a 20th century figure.

At the time, my father and Dirac

were the only 20th century figures
to have that honor.

I can remember being in this
Hall with him

in 1995, which was...

the year that I graduated from St. John's.

The pride that he felt
in accompanying me was nothing,

to the pride that I feel
in seeing him here.

When Salam was overseas

he dreamed of coming back because...

Well, England's a nice place, of course.
But home is home.

It was the place that
had given him everything.

He felt that he had to return
what he had been given.

The creation of the new State has
placed a tremendous responsibility

on the citizens of Pakistan.

It gives them an opportunity

to demonstrate to the world

how a nation,
containing many elements,

can live in peace and amity,

and work for the betterment
of all its citizens,

irrespective of caste or creed.

How are you? All good?

Don't you feel great that

you are one of the successors of Salam?

We are very proud, sir.

This is a matter of great pride.


There you see
Professor Salam's name

from 1951 to 1952.

He stayed here, from '51 to '54,

but maybe after '52,
he was saturated with chairmanship

and he must have left it, I don't know.

He was not a, uh...

run-of-the-mill, you know, sort of...

college professor and faculty member.

With the result,
the administration of the college...

They were not particularly
happy with him.

He was professor of mathematics.
He was told,

"You have to do some extracurricular
activities also, for the college.

And you have a choice,
you can be a football team manager.

You can be an accounts chief
of the office."

Salam didn't like it, but of course,
he had no choice.

His real inclination was
towards science and physics.

And he could never find...

a single person in the entire university

to discuss his ideas with.

Let's remember,
this wasn't the age of the internet.

There was no way of even
looking at a journal,

anywhere in Pakistan.

You were sitting on an island.

1953 was the year I spent with him

in Lahore.

In those days, riots happened
against our community in Pakistan.

There was widespread
propaganda by Muslim extremists

to declare the Ahmadis
a non-Muslim minority.

When I was a young schoolboy,
and my father told me,

pointing to a shop,
not far from where we lived,

that the reason they
are burning this shop,

is because the proprietors
are Ahmadiyyas.

That was my first experience

of watching discrimination in action.

Innocent people were killed,

there were anti-Ahmadi riots
organized by the Jamaat-e-Islami.

When Ahmadi Muslims

were being the victims of persecution,

Salam had had to go into hiding.

Salam never underlined this situation,

he always maintained
he had come from Lahore...

to Britain,

primarily, because he had been
intellectually isolated.

He wanted to stay in Pakistan

and do something for the country.

But he was compelled to take this step.

He decided to move abroad
for the time being.

How extremely honored we are here,
at Imperial College,

to have as a professor, a citizen,

of the great subcontinent
of India-Pakistan,

which has already supplied
so many great scientists to the world.

When my father was finally
offered the professorship,

he didn't have a proper suit to wear.

So he went to Gieves & Hawkes,

which is a tailor in Savile Row,
and it's still there today.

When he was being measured
for the suit,

he asked the tailor,
"When can I have the suit for?"

And the tailor said,

"It'd be about four weeks
for your first fitting, sir.

Then about another
three or four weeks thereafter.

So, assume eight weeks."

He said,
"I need it next week.

I am going to receive my professorship
at Imperial next week."

And the tailor said,
"Oh, in that case,

I will have it ready for you
for next week."

And to that day he stayed
loyal to Gieves & Hawkes.

Even a tailor, here,

recognized the importance
of academic achievement.

I'd just got my first
lectureship at Imperial College.

I was very junior.

Working with him
was quite an experience.

And he used to work for 15 hours a day.

I'm not exaggerating.

He expected me to do the same.

'Cause you have to sleep
during that time.

Salam particularly, had a very
scatter-brained approach to research.

And he used to come up with
some very bizarre ideas.

As well as, of course,
some very good ones.

And he could never tell
the difference between them.

When I was at Grammar School
in Manchester,

Salam was...

I won't say a household name,

but he was well-known amongst

those of us who were
interested in physics.

Being a student of Salam
was something of a mixed blessing

because he was brimming with ideas.

Ninety percent of them were nonsense,
but the ten percent were...

Nobel-Prize-winning ideas.

I am a theoretical physicist,

and we theoretical physicists are
engaged on the following problem:

We would like to understand the
entire complexity of inanimate matter,

in terms of as few
fundamental concepts as possible.

The task which we are engaged on,
is to try to reduce this...

seeming complexity to something
which is simple and elementary.

To do this,

what we shall most certainly need,

a complete break from the past...

and a sort of new and audacious idea,

of the type which Einstein has had,

in the beginning of this century.

There is a quantity called
parity, which is unchanging.

Briefly, what that means,

is that if you were to look in the mirror

you would see a universe that is

indistinguishable from the universe
that we live in.

Although, nobody
had ever questioned this...

but Salam had this idea that...

well, maybe there is a way
to test parity violation.

So he wrote up this paper,

and he was very proud of it,

but he sent it to Pauli.

He replied back.

He said,
"Give my regards to my friend Salam

and tell him to
think of something better."

For this work...

Lee and Yang,
these were two Chinese physicists,

published it first,
they got the Nobel Prize.

Whenever you have a good idea,

don't send it for approval to a big man.

He may have more power to keep it back.

If it's a good idea, let it be published.

If Salam had
published his paper,

it is quite possible that...

he would have received the Nobel Prize.

And so, he used to say to us students,

"Give you some good advice:

Never listen to grand old men."

Many years later,

Wolfgang Pauli apologized.

But then, that's after the fact.

If you're a particle physicist

you would like to have just one
fundamental force and not four.

That's the real unity, between the forces.

If you're a Muslim particle physicist,
of course you'll believe in this

very, very strongly,
because unity is an idea which is

very attractive to you, culturally.

I would never have started to work
on the subject if I was not a Muslim.

In those days,
there was only one mosque,

Ahmadi mosque, The Fazl Mosque.

He was very regular
in offering his prayers.

He would always be very early
and sit in the first row.

I used to deliver the sermon
because I was the Imam.

But while I would be giving my sermon,

sometimes, he would take his
notebook out of his pocket,

and write something,
a little, then put it back.

He said, "While I'm sitting,
or whatever I'm doing...

I sometimes receive flashes.

My attention is diverted,

to some scientific phenomenon,

which later on when expanded,
becomes a great thing.

So if I don't take the
note immediately, I forget."

You know, I can't explain it
what those flashes would mean,

and how it came to him,

but one can say that it was God-given.

It was always very
difficult to fathom his genius and...

try to figure out
where he was getting his ideas from.

You have to have a nose for
what's a good idea and what isn't,

and Salam was the master of...

sensing where the next development
was going to come from.

He very often would sort of
come along to our offices with a document…

Just an introduction and
conclusions of a paper,

and, "There you are," he'd say.

We hadn't done the research for it.

I used to say,
"How do you know it's true?"

And he, uh, he might give some reasons

but in the end, he'd just go...

"Dr. Salam, so you are saying,

that the only reason you developed

these breakthroughs in physics
is because you were a Muslim?

And if you had been
a Punjabi, non-Muslim,

a Christian or whatever,

you don't think you could
have developed them?"

It would have been an
interesting debate with him...

to you know, just sort of
explore his own contradictions.

The 1600 scientists
from over 70 countries,

gather in Geneva to discuss
the peaceful uses of atomic energy.

And the conference president,
Professor Bhabha of India,

and United Nations...

There were two conferences
held in '55 and '58

of which I was scientific secretary.

The '55 conference in particular, was a...
very crucial conference

in the sense of declassifying and
demystifying nuclear energy.

And it was so hush-hush.

Pakistan was one of the spectators,

like all the most of the nations were.

The four or five nations
which had the nuclear data,

they were the ones
which were putting it out.

Salam had mingled with all the
top physicists of the world.

He knew Oppenheimer.

Salam's knowledge and his intelligence

was pretty crucial
to setting up the whole...

sort of peaceful nuclear energy program
in the country.

Well, I am a particle physicist

which is the nearest branch
to nuclear physics.

And clearly, I was the only...

Pakistani scientist
who was in the public eye.

Well, it was quite clear to us

that we had to think
of nuclear power right away.

Salam effectively created the

scientific infrastructure of the country,

which barely existed before him.

Atomic energy was likely
to get monies.

We were going to exploit that, and we did,
very successfully.

The second achievement was,
to get a nuclear reactor.

Mr. Bhutto reached an agreement

with France to buy a reprocessing plant.

America put pressure on Pakistan
to end its peaceful atomic program.

Pakistan agreed to furnish assurances
from foreign countries.

Salam was not so naive

as to think that a reprocessing plant,

whose only purpose is to extract plutonium
for use in a bomb.

If he had suggested this,

and if he had actually, uh,

helped people along on this path,
it is very clear that

he was very much for Pakistan
making its own atomic bomb.

India had an ongoing bomb project,

beginning 1948.

As a nationalist,

probably without thinking
too deeply on this matter,

engaged in this program.

My government policy,
is not to have a nuclear bomb.

We want to make advances,

in nuclear technology...

for peaceful purposes,
and not for purposes of war.

Salam was present at the 1972 meeting

which Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had held
in the city of Multan,

where Bhutto had thrown
down the challenge,

"How long will it take for you
to make the bomb?"

Present were
Professor Abdus Salam,

later to win a Nobel Prize,

Ishrat Usmani, head of the
Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission,

and Munir Khan, who was to succeed him.

So, he got all these boys together.
And they were senior people,

very senior people, and junior people,

youngsters, and he said,
"Look, you know...

we're going to have a bomb."

Like, we're going to have a party.

"So, can you do it?"

And they said,
"We can do it, given the resources."

And then Salam was
putting together that...

theoretical physics group
that would look at

such things as implosions,
plasma shock waves.

He knew the essentials that were needed

for making of the bomb.

Were you surprised
at the Indian tests,

with the timing of that?

I was.

Pakistan said today that

India's atomic explosion last Saturday

has opened the way for nuclear tests by
other countries.

Pakistan hinted it may now be forced to
explode its own nuclear device.

There is no God but Allah!

There is no God but Allah!

-He is the one!
-He is the one!

He has no partner...

I was born a Muslim.

I will die a Muslim.

I was born with the faith-proclamation,

I will die with the faith-proclamation.

But the decision has been made.

A Muslim is the one who believes
in the finality of Prophethood.

That is the final decision.

And whoever does not subscribe to it,
whoever does not believe in it,

whoever does not acknowledge it,
is not a Muslim.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
had secular pretensions,

but not just pretensions,

he actually was a man
with no deep level of faith.

He banned alcohol,

he declared that from now on,
Friday would be the weekly holiday.

See for yourself...

Hosting the Islamic Summit Conference,

declaring Friday a weekly holiday,
expanding the Hajj policy,

implementing the Islamic Sharia...

And the third thing,
which he thought was his trump card,

was to declare the Ahmadiyyas
as a sect outside Islam.

The Ahmadi issue,
during this tenure...

It's a 90-year-old issue.

And the final decision,
regarding this issue

has been taken
by the National Assembly.

An issue that was pending
for the last 90 years,

was resolved in this tenure.

The day that you declared me
to be a non-Muslim,

and since Pakistan was
created for Muslims,

you made me a second-class citizen.

The Jamati theologians

were always hostile to the Ahmadiyyas,

not regarding them as part of Islam.

Largely, because of the view

that the founder of the
Ahmadiyya sect was a prophet.

This was a controversial point
within Islam.

The awaited Messiah has come,
so we have accepted him.

They have not accepted him.

And because of that, they persecute us,
they class us as heretics.

It is only up to Allah to decide
who is a Muslim, and who is not.

If they indeed are Pakistanis
and choose to live

in accordance with the
Constitution of Pakistan...

they may do so.

But they will not be allowed
to preach their faith.

They will not be allowed to
call their place of worship a "mosque."

They will not be allowed to
call themselves Muslims.

You might say that Hindus and Christians
live here as well.

However, they are honest with regards
to who they are.

Those people are not Muslims,
but they say that they are.

And the one who is not a Muslim,

can he stay here,
and call himself a Muslim?


Pakistan was made by the Sunnis.

And if God permits,
the Sunnis shall save it.

No parliament,
anywhere in the world,

has the power,

to either excommunicate you,

or to accept you, or...

Whatever you say your religion is,
that is your religion.

It's the first country
of its type which has

legislated against its own citizens.

You have employment,
you have school segregation...

All parts of their life are caught.

Now I cannot go there and say,
"Assalamu alaikum."

I say that, I get three years in prison.

Salam was absolutely outraged.

He was just shattered.

Immediately, he resigned his position
as advisor on scientific matters.

That's when the
radical transformation happened,

in his personality and in his faith.

Initially, I believed that
he was a cultural Muslim.

He now develops this affinity to his...

not just his old culture,
but also to his faith.

You could see that he was
asserting his Muslim identity.

He grew a beard.

Him not being able to do,

what he wanted to, for his country

had an adverse effect
on his being and health.

The people of Pakistan
didn't allow him to.


It was a huge tragedy,
and it was the result

of political opportunism.

This was the city of Karachi

during rioting nearly two years ago

that led to the military overthrow

of Pakistan's former prime minister
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

The generals who took over
from Bhutto,

like to call that event the first
Islamic Revolution in this region.

Now Bhutto is on
death row of this prison,

pending a final appeal
on his conviction of

ordering the murder of a political rival
while he was in power.

I think the question on
everyone's minds is:

Will Mr. Bhutto be hanged?

All I will stress on is,
that justice must be done.

This is Radio Pakistan.

The news:

Following conviction
by the Lahore High Court,

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged to death

at two o'clock this morning,
in Rawalpindi District Jail.

General Zia-ul-Haq
completely turned the country around

from being a moderate,
liberal country

into one that became
a fanatically religious one.

We want Islamic laws.

We want to lead our life
according to Islamic tenets.

And it is the duty of the government,

that they must establish the Islamic law.

And he believes no one
can be above the law.

Floggings and amputations for crimes
have all been reintroduced.

Some reports say that your country

can do an atomic bomb.

And it's true or not?

Pakistan is not interested,

and is not capable,
of making a nuclear bomb.

That's not what's happening
here at PINSTECH,

the Pakistan Institute of Technology,

where scientists are
determined to produce plutonium,

as the vital core of a nuclear weapon.


1974 when the Indians
tested their weapon,

and the few months later when
the Ahmadis were declared heretics,

he was actually quite active.

After 1974,

he started seeing things
in a wider perspective,

in a subcontinental,

and then in a global perspective.

He had better things to work on,
I mean, that physics is old hat.

He ultimately turned against the bomb

and thought, and wrote that,
the world should not have it.

Do you have any message
for the politicians?

Well, first of all they should get rid
of nuclear weapons, I think.

He understood,

deeper than anyone, the perils...

of developing nuclear weapons.

And ultimately,
his departure from the government,

is strongly connected
with that conviction,

that the uses of science,
are and should always be peaceful.

That doesn't in any way,
diminish from his patriotism,

his concern for Pakistan,

or his understanding of the realpolitik
of what was going on at that time.

It makes sense...

to think that he was involved.

Someone will know.

Whether we will ever get
convincing evidence...

Who knows?

I mean, if the Ahmadiyyas
had not been declared a...

heretical sect,
we might have found out by now.

Now it is in no one's interest
to say he was involved.

Either his side or the Government's side.

"We did it on our own, you know.
We didn't need him."

We traveled to Pakistan...

for my first visit in 1983.

And this was really the...

lowest point of the political situation
concerning the Ahmadis.

And we traveled there in December...

for the Jalsa, in Rabwah.

It was the last Jalsa
to be held in Pakistan.

And I remember it vividly.

We were given seats near the front
so I was listening,

my father was listening,

and I didn't know what was being said,

but I could see my father's reaction.

And my father sat there,

in floods of tears,
really, floods of tears,

and I was shocked.

And later of course, I learned that

what was being discussed,
was the deaths by persecution,

acts of violence committed
against the community,

and fears for the future.

Another important step has been taken

with regards to the Islamic System.

Which is the implementation
of the Anti-Qadiani Ordinance.

Although the Ahmadis were
declared a non-Muslim minority,

no law had been passed
to enforce this decision.

I am pleased that
on the issue of finality of Prophethood,

our government was able to render
this humble service.

There are at least 2000 people in there.

I cannot find my son.
I am extremely worried.

I was at the gate when the firing began.
Two of my companions were killed.

My next-door neighbor, Dr. Naseem Babar,

who happened to be earlier on my student,

and then later my colleague...

was shot and killed in cold blood,
by masked gunmen,

and there was no motive other than,
that he belonged to the Ahmadi community.

Had I not taken him to the hospital...

Well, he would have just
died over there instead of...

in my car.

I'm so sad to say that...

my university's community...

Most of them didn't even turn up
for the funeral prayers.

I cannot understand this inhumanity
that has visited our country.

The Soviets for the very first time
today admitted intervening in Afghanistan,

saying they did so because
Afghanistan was threatened by quote,

"American financed counter
revolutionary gangs."

So Bhutto is hanged,

about six to seven months before
the Russians enter Afghanistan.

Which transforms Zia's
standing in the world.

He becomes a very crucial player
for the United States,

and he says he's a soldier of Islam,

and this war can only be fought

by hardcore religious elements.

That land over there, is yours,

and you'll go back to it one day,
because your fight will prevail.

And you'll have your homes,
and your mosques back again.

Let's remember here...

the people we are fighting today,
we funded 20 years ago.

Let's go recruit these
mujahideen and... That's great.

Let's get some to come from
Saudi Arabia and other places,

importing their Wahhabi brand of Islam

so that we can go beat the Soviet Union.

And guess what? They retreated.

So we then left Pakistan.

Let's be careful what we sow,
because we will harvest.

And that is till now
haunting the country.

They had come to
church to pray, on a day of rest.

They became victims of one
of the deadliest attacks ever

on the Christian community in Pakistan.

Police and hospital officials say

most of the dead and injured are
women and children.

The assailants boarded the bus

and executed the victims.

This is a brutal attack,

a mass shooting,
against a group of Ismaili Muslims.

The Sunni extremist group

which is linked to the Pakistani Taliban,

admitted that it had
targeted the country's tiny,

Hazara Shia minority.

I spoke to a Muslim man, who told me,

in fact, he feels
like a minority in Pakistan,

because if you're not
the right sect of Islam,

you could be targeted too.

What they did to the Ahmadiyyas
was a fatal scratch,

which is now turning to gangrene,

and infecting the whole of
Pakistani society.

And many people
still don't understand that.

We, the present generation
seem to have inherited...

a house, which has no windows.

And its walls are very high.

And it's very difficult to know,

whether we have inherited a house,
or a prison.

This is my father's room,

pretty much as he left it.

Great memory I have of this room.

So you have, the incense sticks,
they were always lit in here

so it's a very warm room,
very heavily scented.

He rarely worked on the table,

but typically he'd be sitting,

with his legs up underneath him
like this, with his books.

He'd have a cup of tea here,

and while he'd be writing away,
working away,

the Quran would be playing
in the background.

The lighting would be low,

and he'd have nothing to interrupt him.

No external interruption of
any sort, other than...

the inspiration he got from
the Holy Quran itself,

playing in the background.

And whenever he was in the house
he would always be wearing,

his favorite army surplus hat.

So this is one of the ones we have here,

which is a green one,

but he had a blue one
and a black one as well.

And wherever he went,
in all the pictures you see of him,

his head is virtually always covered.

Even in the middle of summer
in Pakistan when it was

a 100 degrees Fahrenheit plus,

he'd still have his head covered.

His favorite collection of books
was P.G. Wodehouse,

and we've got them somewhere over here,

like this one, for example.

So his favorite comedy,
Something Fishy by P.G. Wodehouse.

Literature was his real passion.

People said he had the mind of
a scientist but the heart of a poet.

He would always want to listen to
Radio Pakistan every night,

and pick up on the news
directly from Pakistan.

It is one of the few radios
that could genuinely

pick up a good signal from Pakistan

once you put the aerial up
and extended it.

Assalamu alaikum.

Pakistan Broadcasting Service.

We are broadcasting from Lahore.

Just here we have
some of his musings

that he's written over the years.

"Treat people as if they were flowers,
and you will have a happy life."

"In the present,
there can be no reason for fatigue."

"Organizational ability
is an asset in life.

For great enterprise, it is a necessity."

And I remember, again,
sometimes coming to the room and hearing

Strauss being played
or Gilbert and Sullivan.

But his music collection, he was...

He was never close-minded to anything,

so here is something he must have
picked up from China.

So, he could be

very traditional, very Victorian
as a father, in many ways.

Children should be seen but not heard,

speak when they're spoken to, not before.

But equally he had this amazing vision,

this amazing ability to think forward.

He's not somebody you can pin down.

He was an incredibly complex character.

When he took the medal
to his teacher in India,

they'd managed to find him.

'Cause he was a very old teacher by then.

And he was lying flat on his back,
he couldn't get out of bed.

And there's a picture
of my father standing next to him

and putting the Nobel medal
into his hands.

And he told him,
"This is your prize, sir. It's not mine."

He was very idealistic.

He donated his Nobel Prize.

I didn't give away
my Nobel Prize money.

I put it in the bank.

General Zia-ul-Haq,
who was a committed Islamist

and who had set Pakistan on
the road to Islamization

saw a certain advantage in decorating...

Professor Salam with
the highest civilian award.

It gave him a liberal image in the West.

And, of course, Zia-ul-Haq was the man
who had hanged Bhutto.

So Zia doing it was,
you know, opportunism.

But, he could have,
as a military dictator said,

that this was an unjust
amendment to the constitution.

But he was in alliance
with the Jamaat-e-Islami.

The Government of Pakistan was
always scared,

not to take an action

which would show some kind of
inclination towards Salam.

There was an issue
of the right wing book.

And inside is...

Salam at that time was discussing...

uh, nuclear secrets,
with a Hindu, and with an Israeli...

That-- That that kind of
just absolute nonsense.

The Nobel Prize...

that Dr. Abdus Salam Qadiani received...

is neither an extraordinary occurrence...

nor a miraculous feat,

in the history of mankind.

There are Nobel Prizes and
there are Nobel Prizes.

But those that shape a paradigm,

that create a paradigm...

Well, the standard model
of particle physics,

which owes to Salam, Weinberg and Glashow;

that has shaped elementary
particle physics,

our basic understanding of nature.

So far, in spite of...

I'd say thousands of experiments
that have been carried out to test it,

not one of them has been
found in contradiction.

Now, we were at Quaid-i-Azam University.

The Physics Department,
the only department in Pakistan

that could have possibly understood what
he had achieved in the world of physics.

And so many of his students
were at this university.

"We must,
must have him on campus."

The Jamaat-e-Islami,

the radical right-wing Islamist group
on campus,

wouldn't even tolerate the thought
of his setting foot on campus.

The Jamaat said,
"If he comes, we shall break his legs."

If any Muslim TV anchor believes,

that Dr. Abdus Salam be made
a symbol of pride for Pakistan,

worthy of respect,

or deem him to be a hero of Pakistan;

they should seek psychiatric help.

Pakistan never stopped
communicating with him.

They just didn't want him
to come to Pakistan.

They would travel to see him.

Not out of respect,

but, "We don't want to be
seen with you in Pakistan."

To hell with the politicians,

to hell with the games
they wanted to play.

It was the people who he was there for

and they never turned their back on him,

and he never turned his back on them.

Salam is nowhere to be found
in children's books.

There is no building
that is named after him.

There is no institution
except for a small one in Lahore.

Only a few have heard of his name.

All I know about
Dr. Abdus Salam is that

he is the guy who won the
Nobel Peace Prize laureate for Pakistan.

Uh, Nobel Prize for Pakistan,
Nobel Prize...

And he was this cute white guy,
white-bearded guy.

Do you know

what he won the Nobel Prize for?

Nobel Prize...

Sorry, no idea.

He used to...

study in this university
and teach here as well.

He was working here when he
received the Nobel Prize.

I do not know, I'm gonna be honest,

I don't know what he got
the Nobel Prize for.

But it was in physics,

and that he is an inspiration to all
of us studying at GCU at the moment.

It's such a sad accident
of history that...

Salam should have belonged to a section

which then was declared
as heretical and...

And then his professional achievements
were then swept into the dustbin.

There is a verse of
the Quran which says...

"We have created everything
living out of water."

There are words about
how heaven and earth were united together,

and we split them apart.

A man who believes in the big bang
will perhaps read the Big Bang.

I do not.

I do not believe that the big bang

may last forever,
by our scientific thinking.

It would be absolutely stupid to try
to connect the science of today,

to what is essentially...

allegorical, religious,
spiritual experience,

which I think is a totally
different dimension.

He saw a problem between
science and Islam...

and I remember
he once said to me that, uh,

he tried to get the oil-rich
countries of the Persian Gulf

uh, to put money into the universities.

They felt that...
scientific research is corrosive of faith,

and I think in a sense they were right.

I think scientific discoveries

historically have tended to...

weaken religious faith.

Uh, from my point of view,
that's a good thing.

Salam would've felt that

there was no conflict
between Islam and science,

just as in the golden age,

when the greatest science in the world
was done in Baghdad.

There couldn't again be a revival of
basic science in the Islamic world.

And in his Nobel Prize speech

he quoted a line from the Quran,

which he said encouraged science,

which, very few people who denigrate him,

would even know that this line existed.

It's been 100 years since
the formation of Punjab University.

And in these 100 years,

the Mathematics Department
of Punjab University,

which I was the head of,

has not produced even a single PhD.

I mean, it would be nice
to see his dream of

Muslims taking over their proper role
in intellectual matters.

Their scientists are
few and far between.

When I was teaching in Pakistan,
it became quite clear to me...

that either I must leave my country,
or leave physics.

And since then I resolved
that if I could help it,

I would try to make it possible
for others in my situation

that they are able to work
in their own countries

while still have access
to the newest ideas.

I remember when I was proposing

the creation of the centre at Trieste,

which is meant for
developing countries,

I believe one of the
illustrious delegates

from one of the rich countries, he said,

"Professor Salam, physics is the
Rolls-Royce of sciences.

What your country needs
is a bullock cart."

As long as we have bullock carts,
we will get nowhere in the world.

Developing countries need science
as much or more

than those in the western countries.

The centre was created in 1964...

- Mm-hmm.
- ...against the opposition

of USA, USSR, UK, France, Germany...

All the rich countries of
the world were against it,

because they didn't understand
what I was talking about.

In the end, the money was voted
by the board of governors.

And the board of governors was again,

packed with the same
set of rich countries.

So we got $55,000 net for a year...

...from the agency, atomic agency.

So we had to go around,
and ask for money, and...

So the Italian government
produced $350,000, plus 55,

and that with $400,000, we started.

People sometimes don't realize,

but he started it when
he was relatively young.

Thirty-something, probably.

So he was thinking about
the whole world in the 1960s

when the world was very split
because of the Cold War.

Now everybody says,
"Global and global..."

But at that time, saying global
in the 60s, was a big vision.

What Trieste is
trying to provide is...

the possibility,

that the man can still
remain in his own country,

work there the bulk of the year,

come to Trieste for three months,

attend one of the workshops
or one of the research sessions,

meet the people in his subject.

He has to go back
charged with a mission,

to try to change the image

of science and technology
in his own country.

I'm sure of it,

he would have always considered ICTP
his greatest achievement.

And the opposition
that he had to overcome

29 يناير 1926 - 21 نوفمبر 1996"

and providing the energy...

I mean, that's more of a
full-time job in itself.

Salam sacrificed a lot of

possible scientific productivity by taking
on that responsibility.

It's a sacrifice I would not make.

When I was around anyway,

the place was not held in high regard.

People said lots of
negative things about it.

I honestly do believe that was partly
because of racism, I'm afraid.

And Salam knew this, of course.

And he was always very anxious to

develop the reputation of ICTP.

It wasn't just a place for, you know,
useless people from wherever, to work.

It was a genuine scientific institute.

So, yes, he was proud of the place
and rightfully so.

He was always very early
in the office,

and he stayed in the office till--
till late in the evening.

If he buzzed once,
it meant you had to pick up the phone,

and that could be, maybe,

"Can you go and get me a black coffee?"

If he buzzed twice,
it meant you had to go inside,

and if you went inside,

you had to go inside
with your shorthand notebook,

and at least 20 pencils, because... didn't know
if you would go in for one minute,

or you would go in for five hours.

He was very charismatic,

he was very humane,
he was also very difficult.

He lost his patience if he wasn't
able to get his message across.

He shouted, shouted...
Sometimes he made you really miserable.

Yes, he wasn't an
easy person to live with.

He was impatient and, uh...

Uh, perhaps, that was the only
way he could, he could work,

that he would do his best work
at three o'clock in the morning.

And the little niceties of social life

were not something that
he would participate in.

He always used to say that,

"My work will always take precedence."

And I too thought it was only fair.

So I tried my best to take on and fulfill
all the household responsibilities.

An "ordinary family life"
was not something we had.

I still have this at home.

It was a mug which he'd picked up
in the Heathrow Airport.

A plastic mug...

And with a little note saying,
"Would you like to have this?"

And that was his way of saying

that he was sorry
for having shouted at you.

He didn't actually say
to you "I'm sorry."

If he didn't have time for a person,
he could be dismissive.

One of the negative things about him

is that he did use people.

I don't mean it in a really bad sense but,

he didn't have respect for everybody.

Um, the people he didn't respect,
he used to use.

He could pretend to be sometimes,
but he wasn't really pompous.

He was a sensitive man, actually.

He was a religious man.
Genuinely so.

It makes a big difference.

I sacrificed my family life when
my children were small,

because I-- I wasn't spending weekends

or even very much time
in the evenings with them.

But I know--
I know that he respected it.

He had two families.

In the latter years, his second wife
came with the two younger children.

Every now and then, his first wife came.

He was based in ICTP,

so he would fly back,
we would drive to Heathrow,

collect him, spend the weekend with him,

he would go into Imperial,
sort out his mail, talk to people.

Every minute of every day
was accounted for.

And we never knew quite
what we were going to get.

I spent most of my holidays in Trieste,

so we would go and visit him.

And... yeah, we did lots of things
together then.

Yeah, we took what we could.

He lived,
for the major part of his time,

by himself, without his family.

So, I-- I think...
I think he definitely would've

and did experience periods of loneliness.

He was never around,
while I was growing up.

Because I gave up part of my life,

when I gave up my father,
for the sake of ICTP.

He wanted to be a candidate
for the position of...

Director General in UNESCO.

And unfortunately,

the Pakistan government
didn't back his candidature.

They put up another candidate

which really blocked his chances.

That was a real rejection
by his own country.

He was extremely
disappointed at Pakistan.

That was really when his
illness really started, I think.

It first started with his thumb.

He was finding difficulty
in writing and holding pens.

He went to the United States
several times.

He went to doctors in the United Kingdom.

They first diagnosed it as Parkinson's.

His disease was one of those
neurodegenerative diseases.

We realized that some of his symptoms
were not those of Parkinson's,

and that the medication for Parkinson's
was not being effective.

And finally a specialist
diagnosed him as having this...

rarer disease of
progressive supranuclear palsy, PSP.

There's no known cause for the disease...

and there's no known cure.

His handwriting actually
became completely illegible.

I literally had to
translate his handwriting.

Well, actually I'd forge his signature,
it was quite...

a regular occurrence.

I even forged his signature
on some certificates.

I could still do it to this day,
if I have to.

And because he had
a lot of difficulty walking,

we placed these mats, made of carpet,

and they were placed at equal distances,

so that he could focus and
maintain his balance.

Otherwise he had a tendency to fall down.

But since the mats were
glued to the marble

we couldn't...
get rid of the stains.

So you can still actually see...

the imprints,
where all the marks were.

These mats went right down
to the end of this corridor.

It's almost like people are still
walking in Professor Salam's footsteps

when they walk along this corridor.

He suffered many falls,
many falls in public.

These falls couldn't be predicted,

you know, they could come at any time.

He would just literally
collapse on the floor.

Sometimes we had to go and help him.

I imagine that it was probably
quite humiliating also for him.

It was a kind of celebration
for his 65th birthday,

and I remember he cried,
he cried through most of that.

When I went to see him in Oxford,
he cried the whole time.

I visited him a few times toward the end,

not because...
of any scientific reason

but simply because I thought

it would be one of the
last times I could see him.

But it was...

you know, very depressing to,

um, see someone you had known as...

a very bright, charming person,
so debilitated by disease.


In the worst years,
he was largely cared for

in Oxford, at my mother's house.

Mother dealt
with my father's illness,

with incredible stoicism.

And then cared for him in the
most difficult situation.

He belonged to Pakistan.

He always wanted to be buried here.

This was so important for him.

And I like to think of the young people
who were lining the street.

And like to think that
they will remember,

"Yes, I was there.

I was there when they welcomed
Abdus Salam home."

I've been working
here for about 13 to 14 years.

My job is to keep the graves clean.

I also restore the graves
that get damaged because of the rains.

His is a famous name:
Dr. Abdus Salam, Nobel Prize winner.