Scientists not above state’s dignity, says Maqbool
LAHORE: Pakistan’s scientists are not more important than the nation’s dignity, and that cannot be put at risk for someone who violates the law, said Punjab Governor and former Lt Gen Khalid Maqbool on Wednesday.
Talking to reporters after Ibne Seena Education Movement’s (ISEM) prize distribution ceremony at the Darbar Hall in Governor’s House, Mr Maqbool said national integrity was above all considerations. Commenting on the recent debriefing of some nuclear scientists and the public reaction against it, the governor said, “No one is above the law.” He said Pakistan’s nuclear programme was not limited. “It was a split programme to be completed in different phases and at different places, and a large number of officials and scientists have been involved. So, there are chances of some irregularities,” he said.
Mr Maqbool said the security of the programme had not been that strict because of its secrecy. “Our programme was covert and some personnel were given freedom at a certain level to act,” he said. “Now, investigations are underway,” he said.
Mr Maqbool urged the public not to take the issue as “hero becoming zero”. “One should decide whether a scientist is superior to the state or the state is superior to the scientist,” he said, adding accountability was a tradition of the Islamic system.
Earlier, addressing the ceremony, the governor said Pakistan was facing a serious challenge in making the nation literate and educated. “No nation can develop without research, education and awareness,” he said. Mr Maqbool said that the provision of free education was the government’s responsibility, which it was trying to meet with limited resources. He urged the private sector to help the government make a literate society. He said the Punjab Literacy Department would start a ‘100 percent Literacy Project’ in four districts of the Punjab.
ISEM General Secretary Colonel Ikramullah Khan told the governor about the organisation’s problems. ISEM President Majeed Nizami and several ministers and senior government officials were also present on the occasion. Later, the governor distributed awards and shields to the students. —Staff Report