J.Salik was born in a
modest Christian home in Lahore in 1948, a year after Pakistan
had come into existence as a new country on the map of the
world. He has spent the last 30 years in his tireless sacrifice
for the peace and liberty. He has been struggling for the World
Minorities Alliance since long. About World Minorities Alliance
J.Salik said “After having given serious thought to problems of
the oppressed, helpless and downtrodden people particularly the
repressed minorities, I have reached the conclusion that they
need practical help. Kashmiri community is scattered all over
the world. Their status is that of minority in various
countries. They need to be united at one platform. Until the
oppressed are united, their problems cannot be earnestly
addressed. That is why I conceived an idea of World Minorities
Alliance 30 years back. To realize this dream I had to
consistently work hard.”
J.Salik has touched the top through sheer hard work. He has
struggled sincerely, selflessly and undauntingly to support the
weak and downtrodden, not in Pakistan alone. His passion for
peace transcends national frontier. His mission is humanitarian
rising above party politics or religious outfit and geographical
barrier. He seeks to serve humanity without discrimination.
More than once he had been elected to Pakistan parliament and
have had been a cabinet Minister. Despite that he is down to
earth commoner. He is a true representative of the poor. He
insists to remain poor himself. He has proved to be
incorruptible. He lives in a hired house. He owns no house, no
residential plot and no assets.
The secret of J.Salik success lay in his determination. In no
circumstances he loses hope. He has made people around him
believe that the rights do no accrue on their own. The rights
have to be won through struggle, sincere struggle and sometime
prolonged one J.Salik’s name is a symbol of honor and
respectability not only in the Christian community but among
Pakistan masses especially the labour class.
His life story is a legend, a message of hope and a role model
for anyone with any background anywhere in the world.
Rising from dust J.Salik has become a brilliant star. Benazir
Bhutto was probably right when she remarked that the flame of
liberty shines brightest in the dark. She had made this
observation while nominating J.Salik (after considering several
other dignitaries of Pakistan) for Nobel Peace Award in 1996 for
his “tireless CRUSADE for peace and liberty." Jameel-ul-Din Aali,
a poet laureate and former Pakistan senator is probably more
than right when he says that some persons do reach the peak
where award whether national or international is so small to
honor them. On the contrary the award bestowed on such a person
itself adds to the award’s credibility. J.Salik has touched that
He worked not only for the Christian community but also for the
fundamental rights of the people all over the world. He has been
a bridge between the minority and majority and strived hard to
minimize the irritants in Pakistan. His voice was heard loud and
clear whenever an act of hostility was committed against
humanity, be it in Bosnia, Kashmir and Palestine, Philippine,
Burma, Uganda or even the Iran Iraq war. His love for humanity
made him visit Bosnia to share grief and sorrow of the people
who were facing worse type of repression in 1994. He was Federal
Minister at that time and was enjoying all perks but his
commitment compelled him to choose to celebrate Christmas with
Bosnians. His entire family members put themselves on life risk,
wearing bullet proof jackets conducted a peace prayer mission to
Bosnia with an aim to console and share their sufferings. His
bold decision to celebrate Christmas with Bosnian Muslims
averted Christian-Muslim clash in Pakistan feared at that time.
During the hostage crisis between US and Iran, he made a fervent
appeal to Imam Khomeni, the Iranian religious leader and
requested for the release of 72 diplomatic hostages on the
occasion of Christmas so that they could celebrate it with their
He always raised voice for the rights of minorities, liberty and
human rights. He struggled for the rights of the oppressed
throughout his life. He supported all movements the world over
for freedom and justice through innovative protests and
demonstration. In this struggle he suffered and made numerous
He wore coarse jute clothes for twelve years to protest massacre
of Muslim minority in India. The National Assembly of Pakistan
in a unanimous resolution recognize his services and he was
requested to give up that extraordinary dress. In extreme cold
he trekked 2000 kilometers to raise voice against Iran-Iraq war.
He spent two years in tents, giving up family life, to agitate
against Iran-Iraq conflict.
During his thirty year struggle he put ash on his head,
torched his domestic belongings, underwent imprisonment and
reached war-tom Bosnia along with his family members. When his
only son pointed the life hazard, J. Salik silenced him saying
that the dead bodies of father, mother and son reaching Pakistan
on Christmas would not only help arouse world conscience but
also enhance Pakistan’s prestige and boost up morale of the
minorities in the world.
J. Salik owned the life risk in writing and donning bulletproof
jacket and riding army tank left the airport to express
solidarity with the oppressed Muslims in the city.
He took to khaki dress after being sworn as Federal Minister to
demonstrate austerity and simplicity. He declared his minister
bungalow in the ministers' enclave in Islamabad as orphan house
where the destitutes were being reared along with his son so
that the poor children and the minister’s son slept under the
same roof. Symbolically this may end discrimination. Security
guard was removed from his minister’s house. His gunman was
re-designated as a clerk, so that the wall of weapon separating
the minister from common man may demolish.
Immediately after taking oath as minister, he announced
abstinence from meat eating. According to him it did not behove
a minister to indulge in chicken “charga” luxury while the
common man could hardly afford “dal roti”.
J. Salik’s only son got married when Salik was a minister. The
bridegroom’s natural wish was to invite dignitaries to partake
in wedding ceremonies. J. Salik refused on the plea that the
country was already debt ridden, the protocol in connection with
participation of Prime Minister and others may involve wastage
of vast national wealth while the poor remained deprived of
basic facilities like education and health. Thus marriage
festivities were confined to feeding seventy orphan children and
playing national anthem.
As a Minister he ordered that the daily work might start with
recitation from the Holy Quran. During the recitation all
functionaries from secretary to messenger stood in a single row.
The attendance and dedication to duty were also monitored. To
put an end to class division it was mandatory for the seniors
including the secretary to mister all personnel including peons.
During his tenure as a minister J. Salik’s father was on
deathbed in the United States and the government sanctioned
$8000 plus air ticket and other expenses to make his official
trip to the States. He refused to go to inquire after his
father’s health on official account.
In 1990 he was elected to the National Assembly as an
independent candidate. The then government tried to purchase his
loyalties for RS 20 million. He contemptuously turned down the
He polled the highest number of votes, the record yet to be
beaten in Pakistan, individually in each province namely Punjab,
Sindh, N.W.F.P., Balochistan and federal capital. His election
was without any investment which too is a record in Pakistan
In 1995 residential plots were being allotted to members of
Parliament under a parliamentary housing scheme. The allottee
was to pay only Rs. 0.6 million while the plot could earn a
profit of Rs. 17.75 million on open market. At the outset J.
Salik announced at a press conference that he would not accept
an official plot until each and every poor man in Pakistan owned
a house. J. Salik takes pride that neither he nor any member of
his family owns even an inch of land anywhere in the world. He
lives in a hired house in Islamabad. It has been an article of
faith for him to attain distinction and to bring glory to his
country while remaining materially poor.
Not only in Pakistan but millions of people living abroad are
aware of the epic struggle of J. Salik spread over twenty-five
years and acknowledge that he never attained any personal gain.
In this vast world J. Salik does not own an inch of land. He
never obtains any permit/license of any sort. His entire life is
like an open book. His office cum residence in Islamabad has
been provided by renowned and benevolent nuclear scientist Dr.
A.Q. Khan. At one stage Dr. Qadeer Khan had placed his personal
car at Salik’s disposal to enable him to carry on his
As a Minister, his doors were open to all and sundry. He removed
police security from his gate. Even the door of his minister’s
room was ordered to be kept open.
At the end of his tenure as a minister he left his bungalow in
the ministers' enclave, which he had declared as a national
orphanage, with fanfare. National anthem was played on the
occasion. He transported his belongings on slow moving camel
carts. The slow motion aimed at presenting his possessions for
open scrutiny and project that he discharged his cabinet
functions dutifully and to promote mutual brotherhood. The camel
carts carrying his luggage took ten days to reach Lahore.
On his departure he spilt a syringefull of his blood on the soil
of Islamabad to renew his pledge that he would remain loyal to
his homeland whether he remained cabinet minister or not. The
pledge was not to betray the country which had come into
existence as result of limitless sacrifices laid down in shape
of martyrdom of millions of people and dishonoring of a large
number of womenfolk. For him loot and plunder, corruption,
obtaining loans and acquisition of licenses and permits was
tantamount to betrayal of national interests.
After the termination of minister’s oath he took public oath to
uphold the national interests.
Afrad ke hathon men ha aqwam ki taqdeer
Har fard ha millat ke muqadar ka sitara
(The nations’ destiny lay in hands of individuals;
Each individual is the star commanding the fate of the nation)
Instances of Pakistani Christian-Muslim co-operation
A foundation was laid for the first time in the history of
Pakistan to jointly celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ on
25th December 1981 at Wapda Auditorium Lahore to express
solidarity on behalf of Pakistani Muslims particularly Ulema.
Maulana Abdul Qadir Azad, Khatib of historic Badshahi mosque of
Lahore and other Ulema were in the forefront.
On behalf of Muslim-Christian unity forum it was announced that
in future Eid Millad-un-Nabi (Birthday of Holy Prophet of Islam)
would be jointly celebrated. For the first time in the history
of Pakistan Christians jointed in the festivities of their
Muslim brethren and felicitated them.
To express solidarity with Muslim brethren J. Salik took to jute
dress in 1981 for 12 years to register protest over the massacre
of 300 Muslim minority members on the occasion of Eid in India.
The gesture of expression of solidarity by J. Salik was
unanimously commended by 207 members of Pakistan National
Christmas Tree was installed at the Charring Cross (opposite
Punjab Assembly Hall) on behalf of Christian-Muslim forum.
Christmas Tree stands for end of Autumn and advent of spring
which is celebrated on the occasion of Christmas. The Christmas
tree at the Charring Cross was auspiciously inaugurated by
To protest against desecration of a mosque and the Holy Quran in
Britain on behalf of World Minorities Alliance, J. Salik
blackened his face. The objective was two fold. Firstly to
demonstrate that the tragic incident had blackened the face of
the entire humanity and secondly the express solidarity with the
Muslim brethren of London.
During Zia-ul-Haq martial law days it was announced that schools
would remain open on 25th December, the Christmas day. It was
purported to celebrate in schools the Quaid-i-Azam birthday
which synchronizes with Christmas. The decision was apparently
wrong since the Christian teachers and students could not forgo
their Christmas rites to come to schools. Muslim Ulema and other
leaders supported the Christian demand to withdraw the decision.
During martial law days Matriculation examination continued for
three consecutive years on the holy Easter day. The protest was
lodged to attract government attention toward this anomaly in
1980. The government was reminded in 1981 that scheduling matric
science paper on Easter day was total injustice to Christian
candidates. To drop and pick children form the examination
center disturbed the Easter service for the entire family. J.
Salik went on hunger strike which continued for 35 days. A
general strike for 7 days and blockade of the civil secretariat
by a rally was threatened. Muslim brethren fully support the
To express solidarity with the Muslim world J. Salik undertook a
2000 KM peace march in extremely cold weather to lodge protest
and express grief over loss of several hundred thousand innocent
live and colossal material damage during the Iran-Iraq war. As a
mark of protest J. Salik along with 25 other donned the coarse
J. Salik expressed jubilation over the construction of first
mosque in Rome. At a ceremony at Taj Hotel, President of Italy
and Ruler of Oman, Sultan Qabus were presented golden crowns.
The Sultan had been honored on the completion of 100 years of
Church in Oman.
J. Salik organized 70 big conventions at the national level on
Muslim-Christian unity. His tireless efforts to bring Muslim
Ulema near the Christian community was publicly acknowledged by
Maulana Abudl Qadir Azad, Khatib of historic Badshahi mosque in
Lahore. Maulana Abdul Qadir Azad had stated “Suddenly I received
a telephone call form J. Salik, this call aroused in me the
feeling of a father who had lost his son and Allah reunited
them. J. Salik sold twice his households for the sake of the
nation. He relentlessly fought for the security and promotions
of the rights of the Christian community. The Christian
community would be ungrateful if they don’t recognize his
greatness. I would also consider Pakistanis as ungrateful if
they don’t laud his services. A person sacrifices all what he
has, for the land he lives in because he loves that land for J.
Salik is Pakistan. Besides J. Salik has a mission to forge unity
among minorities of the world which may have representation at
the United Nations through a special seat. He also proposes to
convene a world conference of the minorities, institute a world
fund for them and bring out a journal of their own".
J. Salik protested over massacre of Muslims in the Philippine
and as a mark of protest he wore black robes for 40 days.
J. Salik lent support to 8 point peace program in 1982 of Prince
Fahd for the Middle East.
J. Salik burnt and buried the effigy of Christian militia over
brutal Muslim massacre in Palestine.
J. Salik organized hoisting of black flags over the houses of
Christian community to protest against over violence against
Muslim minority in Burma.
J. Salik organized a joint Christian-Muslim Ulema conference to
press the release of 72 American hostages by Iran.
J. Salik appealed to internationalize the city of Bait-ul-Maqdus
so that Pakistani Christians could also visit their sacred
places in that city.
J. Salik along with his family members reached Bosnia to express
solidarity with the oppressed Muslims while the was at its peak
in that land. J. Salik’s only son perceived that visit as a life
risk. J. Salik replied that “if the bodies of mother, father and
son arrived back in Pakistan on the occasion of Christmas, this
may help awake the world conscience and arise Pakistan prestige
in the comity of nations.”
Despite being a Christian J. Salik was nominated on behalf of
Islamic Republic of Pakistan for Noble Peace Prize. What else
could be a better instance of Christian-Muslim amity in