When he was born in Hyderabad, Deccan to a conservative Muslim family, nothing heralded his career in Mathematics and science. But after a successful bachelors in physics at Peshawar University he began to make his way in to the profession.
Dr. Raziuddin Siddiqui went to Leipzig, Germany to do his PhD in theoretical physics under the famous Heisenberg, known for the uncertainty principle he formulated. World War II broke out while he was there and Dr. Siddiqui left Germany and went to England.
He worked there at the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University carrying out breakthrough researches in the field of nuclear energy development. His tireless work finally paid off when, in 1941, the British decided to put him in their team of nuclear scientists working for the British nuclear program codenamed “Tube Alloys”. The team later nominated him and some other researchers to work for the US nuclear program (Manhattan Project).
This shows how capable and responsible he was that he was easily given access to classified information. Indeed, he, himself, was the author of numerous classified papers both for the US and the UK. Thus, he gained a lot of experience in the development of nuclear weapons and this could be regarded as the turning point for the Pakistan nuclear program because Dr. Siddiqui was to later become its spearhead. Sadly, he couldn’t see it culminate in to the tests of Chagai because he passed on the 2nd of January 1998.
Dr. Raziuddin’s legacy is all but forgotten today. For someone who worked under the great Albert Einstein and the innovative Heisenberg, you’d think his name would be chanted as much as any other scientist in Pakistan. Alas his name is only found in obscure passages and lectures on the Internet.
And apart from the Raziuddin Siddiqui Memorial Library at Quaid-e-Azam University (of which he happened to be the first Vice Chancellor), his name is never mentioned in our textbooks or our history.
Of course he was decorated with the Sitar-e-Imtiaz and the Hilal-e-Imtiaz but what do those honours matter when his own nation doesn’t remember him.
By Zarrar Salahuddin