OPINION

Dr Abdul Hafeez
Pakistan’s unsung, uncared for and unused scientist

POF Veteran Muhammad YUSUF MOHSIN gives further information about Dr Hafeez and his Austrian wife.

“I was introduced to the leaders and I was given political job related with Jobin Ghazi and was told this will be for a few months. After this I was recalled to Armoury Factory at Austria. To do my job I was made Captain of the Army and I was associated with supply of ammunition till the end of World War I. British had withheld two ships for their own use but ultimately, gave it over to Turkey. Dr Hafeez viewed that after the war situation will change”. He tried to go back to ISTANBUL from VIENNA but did not make it as the Director of Armoury Factory was also changed. He was again posted as Chief Chemist conditionally that I should not be in the factory coming Saturday when the government Inspector was due.

In the meantime he was married. Two children were born from this wedlock - Arif who joined the Foreign Service and Hamida married Nasiruddin the leading Architect of Turkistan. Later he went to Turkey to establish Arms and Ammunition Factory in the capacity of Chief Chemist during the regime of Kamal Ataturk. There was some movement in Turkey to disconnect from Khilafat Movement which was opposed by Anwer Pasha.

Ataturk was against the Khilafat and as such the Resolution of ‘Irrevocation of Khilafat’ was approved. Others who supported Khilafat left Turkey but Anwer Pasha stayed on but when Turkey conceded unnecessary favours to  Britain Anwer Pasha left Turkey. Dr Hafeez also left Turkey and was called by Amir Amanullah Khan in Afghanistan to establish factory of Arms and Ammunition. Because of Afghanistan’s internal politics he left for Turkey again. Dr Hafeez ardently believed that deliverance of Turks was only through Islam and Islamic World.

When Dr Hafeez came to Pakistan he met GHULAM Muhammad, then Finance Minister who invited him to join the Commission for the establishment of Arms Factory. He accepted the offer but later he was disappointed and resigned. After leaving the government job he joined Punjab University as Turkish language teacher. After a while his wife joined him who was suffering from acute cancer. He then took his wife to Vienna and Munich for treatment. In this process Dr Hafeez became a pauper. His student Hakim Nayyar Wasti took him under his treatment - the sickness continued which made him very weak and he took to quiet life. To clear certain doubts I visited his sister.

Government of India collected all activities of Dr Hafeez and at the end Director General CID and termed them as ‘anti-government’ activities. When first government of Post-Independence was established he wrote to Sardar Patel but received no response.

AYNMAR RISHTA MEHRUN NISA. Her childhood passed in Vienna. When she grew she was affected by the revolutionary spirit within her family. She married Dr Abdul Hafeez, leading politician of Pakistan Movement. I am submitting few observations about this loyal woman. I had visited Dr Hafeez when he was sick, there I had the opportunity to meet this lady.

When Dr Hafeez was working as Chief Chemist in a Arms Factory at Vienna, he was also supporting and working for the Islamic Movement. In the meantime, Aynmar’s father contacted Dr Hafeez, her father who had abandoned the Church. Mrs Hafeez (Aynmar Rishta Mehrun Nisa) in her childhood was not allowed to wear ‘skirt,’ brothers did not smoke in front of parents. Mrs Hafeez said that, our home culture was also ‘eastern’.

Mrs Hafeez was very much affected by Dr Hafeez’s health. After World War I she shifted to Turkey with her husband. She participated all the activities of her husband. When I asked her about her husband, she said, that ‘he is great but he is not great in Pakistan, he is great in Germany, Austria and Turkey’. She felt great inconvenience due to sickness of Dr Hafeez. He never stayed away from his duties, never ignoring his responsibilities towards his family. After eight years of marriage Mrs Hafeez became a Muslim on her own, previously she was a Christian with the name of Aynmer Rishta - her husband never gave an impression that he disliked her religion. She was of the opinion that some principles to be left and to apply some principal in life, she also believed that woman is more loyal than a man, both in West and in the East. Husband is the head of the family and she had no hesitation to accept it. She knew German and English language - German was spoken at home and English in presence of guests.

Writer’s Profile

Inducted in the Pakistan Ordnance Factories in the year 1954, for training in the manufacture & testing of chemical explosives and allied products. Received initial training in Ordnance Training Laboratory, Punjab University Institute of Chemistry, Lahore, followed by practical training in the Royal Ordnance Factory, Penury, UK later our, Served in various capacities in the Pakistan Ordnance Factories, Wah Cantt. Wherefrom he retired as General Manager in the year 1991. During his tenure, he was instrumental in installation and moderrnisation of ballistic and chemical laboratories and establishment of modern facilities for testing of munitions, propellants and explosives. He was the first general secretary of POF safety committee. He was depended to serve in the Military Industries of Saudi Arabia for five years where has was entrusted to establish Chemical Laboratories in the industrial research Centre, Alkhary.

Mr. Mohsin authored many technical papers and participated in many seminars. He holds M.Sc. degree in Chemistry from Punjab University. He widely travelled in connection with his official duties.

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