Pakistan needs a true democracy for progress: Prof. Atta

KARACHI: International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (UoK) organized several science events to observe “Science Day” at the University of Karachi here on Friday.

The science day was held in connection with the 75th birthday of Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, former Federal Minister for Science & Technology and ex Chairman Higher Education Commission Pakistan. The science day included speech of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman, lectures, interactive scientific exhibition, visit to the science labs, easy to understand chemistry and biology videos.

Delivering a special lecture, held in the Prof. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium, Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman said that a true democracy has never existed in the country owing to the low level of literacy, the feudal stranglehold and the corrupt election process. It is a sad reality that the worst military regimes in Pakistan have fared better in terms of economic growth than the best democracies that we have witnessed, he pointed out.

He said that in this knowledge-driven world, it is only those countries that are investing in their real wealth (their children) that are moving forward, while others are being left far, far behind.

He asked the students to create real thirst for knowledge, and try to live for others. There is a dire need to create a sprit among the students to take stand if they see any wrongdoing, he said.

He also delivered a lecture entitled “the Wondrous World of Science” in the lawns of Prof Atta-ur-Rahman Laboratories, ICCBS, UoK.

Earlier, paying tribute to the services of Prof. Rahman, Director ICCBS Prof. Dr. Mohammad Iqbal Choudhary said, “Prof. Rahman is a great son of Pakistan who is a glimpse of hope to many more who have been trying to change the fate of Pakistan through bringing about an education, science and technology revolution.”

Prof. Rahman’s scientific contribution are internationally recognized and widely appreciated, he said, adding that he has been actively involved in the development of new medicinal agents, isolation and structure elucidation and synthesis of several hundred natural products. As a minister he made great efforts for the development of major sectors, including higher education, IT and telecom, he said.

With over 1,000 research publications in top international science journals and 250 books published and circulated internationally, Prof. Rahman is well known in his field for his prolific and excellent research publications, he said. “Some 100 scholars have completed their PhD studies under his dynamic supervision,” he mentioned.

Hundreds of people, largely students, teachers and researchers, attended the science event. International students, especially from Cameron, Nigeria, Nepal, Iran, Turkey, Sri Lanka etc. have shown great interest in the science day which was programmed with science lectures, interactive scientific exhibition, visit to the science labs, easy to understand chemistry and biology videos, and setup of stalls with different names including Dice Project, Regeneration Center, EUREKA (Celebrating Discovery and Invention) Microbiology, Pakistan Biotechnolgy Information Center (PABIC), Biotechnology Wing ICCBS, Molecular View of Life, Genome Center, Gene Knockout, Books of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman, Robotics/ workshop and Science is Fun.