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Senior scientist Viqar Ahmed passes away


KARACHI: Prominent Pakistani senior scientist Prof. Dr. Viqar Uddin Ahmed, who served science and research in Pakistan for more than 50 years, died at the age of 79 in Karachi on Saturday morning, says a Press release.
He had been unwell for the last one month mainly because of old age and weakness. The funeral prayers of the deceased professor will be held after Aser prayers at the Moti Mosque, situated in Kehkashan, Clifton Block-8. He leaves behind three daughters, a wife and grandchildren.
He was born in Allahabad, India, July 6, 1940. He passed his M.Sc. examination in 1959 from Allahabad University. He also stood first in his class for which he was awarded a gold medal by his Alma Mater. Prof. Ahmad was the first person to be awarded Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Karachi University in 1966 under supervision of the legendary Pakistani scientist Prof. Dr. Saleemuzzaman Siddiqu. Later, he was awarded the doctorate degree from the University of Bonn in West Germany in 1968. He was awarded D.Sc. degree by the University of Karachi in1992.
In his condolence message, Prof. Dr. Khalid Iraqi, Vice Chancellor University of Karachi, expressed grief over the death of leading Pakistani scientist, and termed the demise a national loss not only for the University but also for the nation.
Paying tribute to the remarkable services of the late scientist, Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman, Chairman of Prime Minister’s Task Force on Science and Technology, and ICCBS Patron-in-Chief, said that Prof. Ahmed was an outstanding scientist who made tremendous contributions in the field of natural product chemistry.
“We spent about 50 years together as colleagues and published many important research papers together,” he said.
Prof. Ahmed contributed to the development of alkaloid, terpenoid and carbohydrate chemistry. His services for the promotion of science and research for the country would always be remembered, Prof. Atta said, and prayed for the peace of his departed soul
In his message, Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Director, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, said that Prof. Ahmed was a truly great scientist whose contributions in the field of chemistry will ever be remembered.
Prof. Iqbal Choudhary prayed for a special place in heaven to the soul of the late professor. He also prayed for patience to the members of bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss with calmness.
Prof. Viqar Uddin Ahmad had been awarded various national and international awards in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the field of chemistry. He was awarded two gold medals by the Pakistan Academy of Sciences for his outstanding work in the chemistry of natural products. Furthermore he received the much coveted “Scientist of the Year” cash award and the Prime Minister Gold Medal for the year 1986, and first prize in Chemistry by the National Book Council of the Govt. of Pakistan in 1990.
He also received Sitara-i-Imtiaz from the President of Pakistan on 23th March, 1996. He was also awarded with the Kharazmi Prize by the President of Iran on the 4th February, 1998 in Tehran, Iran. He has been awarded DuPont Science Cash Award in Chemistry, 2003 and was also appointed “Distinguished National Professor” by the Higher Education Commission, Islamabad in March, 2004. The civil award Hilal-i-Imtiaz was also awarded to him by the President of Pakistan on 23rd March, 2006. He was also awarded HEC Outstanding Research Award for the year 2005-06.
He had been elected as a Fellow of various organization including, the Third World Academy of Sciences, Pakistan Academy of Sciences and Chemical Society of Pakistan. He held the charge of Co-Director of HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry from 1990 to 1999. On the 19th March, 1994, he was appointed Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Karachi, a post which he held until his retirement on the 5th July, 2000. On 12th July, 2000 he was reappointed as Professor in HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry of the University of Karachi. According to the booklet “Productive Scientists of Pakistan”, published by Pakistan Council for Science & Technology (2011) Prof. Viqar Uddin Ahmad has been ranked third most productive scientist of Pakistan.