“Truth has to be repeated. It doesn’t just become stale because it has been told once.”

-Eqbal Ahmad

Great minds never find appreciation in their own countries. Many a time we have seen this phenomenon repeating itself in one country after another. This is what happened to Eqbal Ahmad, who was one of the finest minds that Pakistan ever exported to the United States (US). Eqbal Ahmad was born in Bihar, India in 1933. He chose to migrate to Pakistan and make it his homeland. After graduating from Forman Christian College in Lahore, he went to the US to pursue higher studies. From 1960 to 1963, Ahmad lived in North Africa, working primarily in Algeria, where he joined the National Liberation Front and worked with Frantz Fanon. He was a member of the Algerian delegation to peace talks at Evian.

In 1971, an interesting event emerged when Ahmad was indicted with the anti-war Catholic priests, Daniel and Phillip Berrigan, along with four other Catholic pacifists, on charges of conspiracy to kidnap Henry Kissinger. After fifty-nine hours of deliberations, the jury declared a mistrial.

A prolific writer and journalist, Eqbal was widely consulted by revolutionaries, journalists, activist leaders and policymakers around the world. He left this mortal world on May 11, 1999, in Islamabad. While he is no more with us, his commentary on global politics, especially, the Middle East (ME) is more relevant now than ever.