Once a hero, always a hero
23 February, 2006
By Dr M.N. Qadri
An article titled `The Fallen Angel` published in Paktribune by Sohail Iqbal was highly commendable and timely. This brought to mind an excellent article by Roedad Khan (The Daily Mail : 13.3.2004) in which he exposed the mischief of the government and General Musharraf against our national hero, saviour and benefactor of Pakistan. To put the record straight, Dr Khan never ever admitted or confessed that he sold nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya or North Korea. He might have helped those countries, but definitely not on his own and without the consent of higher authorities and responsible people. As Roedad Khan explained Dr Khan was threatened, blackmailed, given all kinds of promises and given a paper to read before a television team set up for the job. Two words were crucial in his statement (which we all believe he himself added at the last moment to convey the truth) admitting that what he had done and his colleagues had done, was done in good faith. You do not sell national secrets in good faith. Nobody ever questioned Dr Khan`s integrity and despite the efforts of the state machinery and the statement made by General Musharraf, Khurshid Kasuri, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, Maj-Gen Shaukat Sultan and Masood Khan, nobody gives a damn about the lies and character assassination directed at Dr Khan. He was our hero, (the only one after Quaid-i-Azam) he is our national hero and he will always be our national hero.
Dictators (Ghulam Mohammad, Gen Ayub Khan, Iskandar Mirza, Gen Yahya Khan, Gen Ziaul Haq) came and went and nobody has a good word to say about them. But even today, after two years of house arrest, character assassination by the government agencies and government-paid journalists, Dr Khan is still much loved by hundreds of millions of Pakistanis and also by many other Muslims all over the world. Nobody, least of all some self-proclaimed heroes and saviours of Pakistan, can take that away from him. His name has been inscribed in golden letters in the history of Pakistan and will stay there forever. Please not what Gen Musharraf said in Auckland, New Zealand (News : 19.6.2005) `DR. KHAN WAS PARDONED BECAUSE HE GAVE SECURITY TO THE COUNTRY WHEN IT WAS FACING A SITUATION OF NEAR EXTINCTION. THIS IS THE REASON WHY DR A.Q.KHAN, DESPITE THE CHARGES OF PROLIFERATION LEVELLED AGAINST HIM, IS STILL A NATIONAL HERO. HE GAVE US SECURITY WHEN WE WERE THREATENED WITH EXTINCTION. THAT IS WHY HE IS A HERO.`
It is disgusting and most unfortunate that our leaders and our media adopted the same nasty and insulting language that western leaders and mass media used against our national hero. They never stopped to look back to see what that same western press had been writing about our God, our Prophet, our religion and our scholars. Some of our newspapers and journalists were even proud to be toeing the western line in reproducing their dirty and nasty language and false allegations against Dr Khan.
We would like to let Dr Khan know that, no matter what the western leaders and their media say against him, and what ever the local coteries do to please their masters to hurt him, he is in the true sense our national hero. It was through his devotion, hard work, dedication single-mindedness, persistence and continuous struggle and untiring efforts that Pakistan emerged as a powerful nuclear nation. Dr Khan is a top-notch scientist (see what he achieved in their country of bullock and donkey carts) in such a short span of time with untrained and mostly locally educated people. He is our national hero and is worth his weight in gold and diamonds.
It is most unfortunate that the reward he received for all his services is insult, character assassination, false and concocted accusations, humiliation, forced confession and only God knows what more is to come. He should never have migrated to Pakistan in the first place and then should never have come back from Europe leaving excellent employ, facilities and prospects. He was not wanting financially so to accuse him of selling his own knowledge is a low and degrading lie against a person of his character and calibre. He could ask for, and receive, millions of dollars from grateful people and admirers, which he often did to finance his various charities. He has been most unlucky to work for a ungrateful and thankless regime.
I can confidently state that, but for Dr khan`s hard work and achievement, we would have seen a paltan-maidan type scenario at fortress stadium, Lahore or at Gaddafi stadium, Lahore and the actors would have been Gen. Joginder Singh, Chief of the Indian army and Gen. Musharraf. It would have been a befitting and well-deserved reward for the mischief and ill-treatment meted out to our one and only national hero.
I am sure you will agree with me in saying that even the former Israeli prime minister, Sharon, was more generous to late Yasir Arafat than General Musharraf has been to our country`s benefactor and protector. Mr Arafat was allowed to receive foreign visitors, family members, friends and doctors. Dr Khan is not allowed to see any of his personal friends, family doctors and many family members. The whole country and the whole world knows what is happening and whose agenda is being pursued for self-perseverance and self-continuity. But let us not forget divine accountability and divine retribution. It invariably comes often much sooner than anticipated and from an unexpected source.
Musharraf`s promise of pardon has tuned out to be the same big lie as that of doffing his uniform. That was also a solemn promise made to 150 million people on television.
Another unfortunate and ironic development, which must be very painful to Dr Khan is the fact that the person and the organization that became the sole beneficiary of his hard work and achievement`s turned out to be the most ungrateful, treacherous and untrustworthy one. History will not forget or forgive!