Remembering the top 8 national heroes of Pakistan
Just like every other country, Pakistan is represented by its power icons who worked diligently to become the country’s true pride. Even if most of them are no longer among us, their contributions have remained valuable throughout the history of our nation.
As one article could not complete the list so we have a few icons listed among the shining stars who have made Pakistan proud by their devotion and loyalty.
Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah
It would have been impossible for Muslims of India to live in a free atmosphere had Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah not stood for an independent state. He fought for independence when the British were adamant that they would not divide one country into two, yet he achieved the mission with his will and determination. He not only battled his Hindu counterparts, Gandhi and Nehru, but also an illness that he kept secret from his friends so that Pakistan becomes a reality. He served as the first Governor-General of the newly created state before his death a month after the country’s first birthday. No prominent figure has ever held as much authority as the Quaid.
Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal
Long before the creation of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah left Indian National Congress and the Indian subcontinent for England, vowing never to come back. The one person who convinced him to return and shared his ‘dream’ of a separate Muslim state was Allama Iqbal. The renowned poet, intellectual and above all, a political leader not only motivated his fellow countrymen with his poems but also helped them understand why a separate country is better than living in a United India. Sadly, he passed away a decade before Pakistan’s creation, but his efforts resulted in the independence of both Pakistan and India, and we must thank him every time we breathe in a free environment.
Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan
It was because of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan that Pakistan is a nuclear power today. In 1976, he carried out a successful atomic experiment, which was a significant and crucial invention for Pakistan. He has also earned several honours and distinctions, the most famous of which is Pakistan’s highest civil award, the Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Crescent of Excellence), which he got twice, making him the first Pakistani to do so.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
We didn’t have a Bocelli or Pavarotti in Pakistan at the time, nor did we have our own Beatles or Led Zeppelin, but it didn’t matter because we had the legendary maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He inherited a 600-year-old Qawwali legacy from his forebears, eventually becoming the Shahanshah-e-Qawwali (The King of Qawwali). Fateh has won several awards, including the Pride of Performance (1987), the UNESCO Music Prize (1995), and the Grand Prix des Ameriques at the Montreal World Film Festival in 1996 for outstanding contributions to the art of film. In 2005, he received the Legends Award at the UK Asian Music Awards. Ustad Nusrat is undoubtedly the greatest qawwali singer in the world and has left his music as his legacy.
Abdus Sattar Edhi
A humanitarian and philanthropist from Pakistan, Abdul Sattar Edhi was one person who gathered love and respect from around the world. In a nation that is often divided by ethnic and religious strife, Edhi won hearts from every stratum of society. The late philanthropist founded the Edhi Foundation, which includes the world’s largest volunteer ambulance network, as well as shelters and orphanages. Known as the “Angel of Mercy”, he is regarded as the country’s most revered and legendary person.
Dr Abdus Salam
Abdus Salam was a Pakistani physicist who, along with Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg, got the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 for his contribution to the electroweak theory. He was a founding director of SUPARCO and worked as a science consultant to the Pakistani government. Addressed as one of the world’s best theoretical physicists of the 20th century, he is the recipient of several prizes and accolades and therefore is Pakistan’s very first Nobel Laureate. Dr Salam was the first Pakistani and the first from a Muslim nation who became a Fellow of the Royal Society London.
Liaquat Ali Khan
He was not just the trusted lieutenant of Mohammad Ali Jinnah but also served as the country’s first Prime Minister. He was one of the few prominent Muslim politicians who brought over their experience when they migrated to Pakistan and was instrumental in drafting the Objective Resolution that served as the basis of the country’s constitution. He was martyred on 16th October 1951 in Rawalpindi while addressing a public gathering, but not before steering the newly-created state in the right direction.
Widely regarded as the greatest squash player of all time, Khan set the bar so high that it’s almost impossible to suppress his achievements. Jahangir was the World No. 1 during his incredible career, winning the World Open six times and the British Open a record 10 times. He remained unbeaten from 1981 until 1986, winning 555 straight matches, He was nicknamed “The Conqueror” because of his total supremacy in squash. In 2005, Time magazine named Jahangir as one of their Asian Heroes of the last 60 years, and the accompanying article read, “If winning is everything, then Khan is the greatest. Period.”
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