They’re labelled as the “white” in the Pakistani flag. Here are some extraordinary Pakistanis who aren’t Muslim and making Pakistan proud:
1. Cecil Chaudhry
Group Captain Cecil Chaudhry was a Pakistani Christian, academic, human rights activist, and veteran fighter pilot. As a Flight Lieutenant, he fought in the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965 and later, as a Squadron Leader, in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat (Star of Courage) for his actions during that mission.
2. Deena M. Mistri
Deena M. Mistri was an educationist from Pakistan. She started teaching English to the secondary classes at the B.V.S. in 1951. She was the first lady teacher to teach the secondary classes during those days. She completed her B.Ed. with Honors in 1958 from the University of Karachi. While she was teaching at the B.V.S. she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship from the US in 1961, where she completed her Diploma in Education.
Bapsi Sidhwa is a renowned novelist and published author of Pakistani origin who writes in English and is resident in America. She is best known for her collaborative work with Indo-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta: Sidhwa wrote both the 1991 novel Ice Candy Man which served as the basis for Mehta’s 1998 film Earth as well as the 2006 novel Water: A Novel which is based upon Mehta’s 2005 film Water. She has previously taught at the University of Houston, Rice University, Columbia University, Mount Holyoke College, and Brandeis University.
4. Danish Prabha Shanker Kaneria
Danish Prabha Shanker Kaneria is a Pakistani cricketer. He has continued the tradition of great Pakistani leg spin bowlers and possesses a very well disguised googly. In Test matches, Kaneria holds the record for most wickets by any Pakistani spin bowler and fourth on the list of most Test wickets over all, only behind Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Imran Khan.
5. Jamsheed Kaikobad Ardeshir Marker
Jamsheed Kaikobad Ardeshir Marker, Hilal-e-Imtiaz is a veteran Pakistani diplomat. He is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having been ambassador to more countries than any other person. He speaks English, Urdu, Gujarati, French,German, and Russian and was Pakistan’s top envoy to the United States and more than a dozen other countries for more than three decades and earned the distinction as the world’s longest-serving ambassador.
6. Julius Salik
Julius Salik is a Pakistani Christian and activist for minority rights based in Islamabad. In 1996, he founded the World Minorities Alliance to advocate for the social status of minorities, initially religious minorities in Pakistan – including Buddhism, Christians
, Hindus, and Sikhs. That same year, he was nominated by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto for the Nobel Peace Prize.
7. Mr. Justice Retired Rana Bhagwandas
Mr. Justice Retired Rana Bhagwandas a highly respected name of the Pakistani judiciary was a senior judge and former acting chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (CJP). He remained the acting CJP during the 2007 judicial crisis in Pakistan and also briefly became the acting Chief Justice of Pakistan when the incumbent Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry went on foreign tours in 2005 and 2006.
8. Salman Albert
The One Man Army. The man behind many big songs and artists. Band member (Guitarist/Vocalist) @ Entity Paradigm. Previous bands include Eastern Boyz (Drums, Guitars, Bass and Vocals), Bluebuzz (Drums), Incision (Drums), Noori (Drums) and Entity(Drums/Backing Vocals). Have played live as a session player with Junoon (Drums), Mekaal Hasan Band (Drums,Guitars,Bass), Jal (Drums,Guitars, Backing Vocals), The Trip (Drums), Noori (Drums), Zeb and Haniya (Guitars).
9. Jharna Basak(Shabnam)
Jharna Basak, known as Shabnam, is one of Pakistan’s most famous film actresses. Shabnam was active in the Pakistanifilm industry, Lollywood in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and in the Bangladeshi film industry in the 1990s. Born in Dhaka, formerly a part of Pakistan called East Pakistan, she was considered a versatile, romantic and most popular actress in both West Pakistan andEast Pakistan in her time. Shabnam worked in total 160 films, including 152 Urdu films, 4 Bengali and 4 Punjabi films.
10. Sister Gertrude
Sister Gertrude is the founder of the famously known, Darul Sukun. In 1970 Sister Gertrude traveled back to Holland and made TV appearances and newspaper appeals for aid for the struggling home. With help from philanthropists and Dutch companies like KLM, they managed to scrape by. The home continues to be supported by the Dutch people with approximately half a million euro being collected to finance the project between 2004 and 2008. In time, Sister Gertrude came to be described as the “Mother Teresa of Pakistan.” In recognition of her work for the homeless, the needy and the handicapped, on March 23, 1989 she received the Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam (Order of the Great Leader) from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
11. Suneeta Marshall
Suneeta Marshall is a Pakistani model and television actress. Marshall was introduced into the modeling world by her aunt. She made her first appearance in a Garnier Fructis commercial and other hair products such as Pantene, Head and Shoulders and Kuene. She was also in a drama tair-e-lahoti as Mahnoor in 2008. Marshall returned as a model for Gul Ahmed. She worked with fashion designers such as Deepak Perwani, HSY, Bunto Kazmi and Nilofer Shahid. Marshall was chosen by Bunto Kazmi to model her clothes in 2000 for a Milan fashion show and later modeled for Dior and Gucci.
12. Mr. Geoffery D. Langlands
Mr. Geoffery D. Langlands, a former British colonial officer and a lifelong educationist has rendered countless services to education for well over six decades. For the past quarter-century, his home and work have been in Chitral, a sweeping district of snow-dusted peaks at the northern tip of Pakistan. The institution he ran here, the Langlands School and College, has become a watchword for excellence; each year, the best of the school’s 1,000-plus students, one-third of them girls, go on to universities in bigger cities, the United States or the United Kingdom. After the other British left, Mr. Langlands stayed on, taking a teaching job at Aitchison College in Lahore, Pakistan’s most prestigious boarding school. At the age of 94, he chose to retire and settle in Lahore, where his former students have arranged a small apartment for him on the magnificent grounds of his old school, Aitchison College. He has also, quietly, chosen his spot in one of the city’s Christian cemeteries: near the gate, he says, so friends can visit.
13. Shallum Asher Xavier
Shallum Asher Xavier is a Pakistani guitarist, composer and music producer. He has been recording professionally for 15 years, and has played as a session musician and recorded with most of the renowned Pakistani mainstream artists including Ali Haider, Najam Shiraz, Zeb and Haniya,Hadiqa Kiyani, and Strings. He was one of the founding members of famous band, Fuzon. Xavier fas been awarded Best Guitarist of Pakistan 2 years running, as well as an award for Best South Asian Band and Best Composer for his composition of Khamaj. He has collaborated independently with Ingrid Kindem, Hildegun and Mocci (Fryd), and has performed with them on a number of occasions in both Pakistan and Norway.
14. Dr Alexander John Malik
Dr Alexander John Malik, is the longest-serving Bishop in the history of the Anglican Church of the Subcontinent. After serving for 32 years as Bishop of Lahore, he retired in Sept 2014. Dr Malik got his Master’s degree from McGill University, Canada, and his Doctorate of Divinity from Wheaton College, USA. While studying at the Islamic Research Center in McGill University, he worked on his PhD thesis based on the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He is a strong advocate of interfaith harmony and has devoted his life to the cause.
15. Louis John Pinto
Louis John Pinto, better known to all as ‘Gumby’, is one of the most recognized, accomplished, and respected music artists in the Pakistani music industry. Gumby is perhaps the most recorded musician in the country, considering he sits in on recording sessions with a wide range of bands and artists evidenced in the fact that he has been recorded on at least seven different artists’ albums over the span of this past year. Bands such as Kaavish, Jal, Mekaal Hasan Band, Ali Azmat and Zeb & Haniya are just to name a few.
16. Iqbal Masih
Iqbal Masih was a Pakistani child who became a symbol of abusive child labor in the developing world. During the 1980’s, at the age of 4, Iqbal’s father sold him to a carpet weaver to pay off a $12 debt owed by his family. He spent 6 years chained to a carpet-weaving loom. He was made to work six days a week, at least 14 hours a day, tying millions of knots to make the intricate carpet designs. When he was 10 years old, Iqbal was freed by the Bonded Labor Liberation Front. He then went to school, and completed four years of work in just two years. Iqbal became an outspoken advocate for other child slaves, becoming involved in demonstrations and speaking at meetings all over the world about his experiences as a child laborer. He even went undercover, pretending to be a factory worker, so he could interview children about their working conditions. In 1994, Iqbal won the Reebok Human Rights Award for his efforts to help free other bonded child laborers. His growing popularity and influence caused him to receive numerous death threats. In 1995, when he was just 13 years old, Iqbal was shot dead by unknown assailants.
17. Deepak Perwani
Deepak Perwani is an internationally acclaimed Pakistani fashion designer. Recipient of several awards, Deepak is recognized as one of the top designers. He recently created the world’s largest kurta. The Guinness World Records later certified the entry based on a rigorous documentation process. The kurta weighs 800kg, is 101 feet tall and 59 feet 3inches wide. Each sleeve is almost 57 feet long. It took a team of 50 hardworking professional tailors a period of 30 days to make the kurta. The huge kurta is made of 800 yards of cotton blend fabric. The world’s largest designer kurta will later be used to create smaller kurtas that will be donated to children’s homes run by the Edhi Foundation, a Pakistani NGO. The fashion designer Deepak runs his own boutique in Pakistan.
18. Zoe Viccaji
Pop sensation Zoe Viccaji has been playing guitar and writing her own music since the age of fifteen. She has written mostly English songs during her career, but is now shifting her attention to Eastern and Urdu material. Zoe spent the early part of her career as a painter, but soon realized that music was her true calling. She also acted in a few musicals abroad and two musicals ‘Mama Mia’ and ‘Chicago’ in Pakistan, soon after which she was asked to come on board COKEStudio (House band) as a supporting vocalist. She has been part of season 3 and 4 so far. She has set up her own home studio where she continues to record her own music, and collaborate with various producers.
19. Benjamin Sisters
Benjamin Sisters were a Pakistani singing group of three sisters, Nerissa, Beena and Shabana Benjamin. They participated in various music learning programs aired on Pakisan Television from 1968 to 1987. These programs were conducted by Sohail Rana; a prominent music director of Pakistan, and they were aimed at educating children about music. The sisters usually sang Punjabi and Urdu songs, and tended to initially provide new renderings of songs sung by other artists as opposed to developing their own material. This was partially because the sisters initially appeared in the TV talk show Silver Jubilee (1983), where old artistes were often the invited guests whose songs the sisters would perform as a mark of honor. The three sang in a synchronized way, in a single voice. The sisters later achieved further fame after the release of the patriotic national songs of Pakistan.
20. Florence Villiers
Florence Villiers is a celebrated chef and owner of Cafe Flo, which is perhaps Karachi’s best known and most frequented French restaurant. Florence was responsible for introducing Karachiites to authentic French cuisine. With Cafe Flo, she set new standards of fine dining that resulted in establishing Florence as one of the best chefs in town. Since its inception in 1990s, Cafe Flo has not just maintained its quality but improved it. Florence’s other claim to fame is that she’s Malika-e-Tarannum Noorjehan’s former daughter-in-law. She was married to Noorjehan’s eldest son Akbar Rizvi with whom she has two children, Sonya Jahan, model and bollywood actress and Alexander Sikandar Rizvi, a brilliant Chef and owner of Xander’s, an upscale cafe in Karachi.
Roger David better known by his stage names Bohemia, Raja and The Punjabi Rapper is a Pakistani American Rapper and music producer from California. He Raps in Punjabi and describes himself as “The King of Punjabi Rapper” and “the pioneer of Desi Hip Hop” and the “creator of Punjabi rap”.
22. Mary Emily Gonsalves
Mary Emily Gonsalves is a Roman Catholic nun from Karachi, Pakistan. From 1972 to 1982 Sister Mary Emily FC of the Daughters of the Cross religious order, was the Principal of the St. Joseph’s College (Karachi), Pakistan. In 2005, when St. Joseph’s College was returned to the Catholic Board of Education, Sr Emily was again appointed the principal. On the 23 March 2009 the Government of Pakistan awarded Sr. Emily the Sitara-e-Imtiaz which she received from the Governor of Sindh. This was in recognition of her services to education.
23. Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora
Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora became the first Sikh in close to 67 years who entered into Pakistan’s biggest provincial assembly and took oath as a parliamentarian. Arora and his family stayed on in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad) and then moved to Nankana Sahib, a holy city for Sikhs, in 1965. Ramesh spent his childhood there and was educated there. He received his master’s degree from Lahore’s Punjab University in 1997, and then started working with the World Bank as a microfinance and institutional development specialist.
24. William Desmond Harney
William Desmond Harney was born in Chittagong in 1937. He received early education at St. Placids. Afterwards he joined Pakistan Air Force (PAF) academy in 1957 and graduated in 1960. Flight Lieutenant William D. Harney’s daring performance and professional ability during the indo-pak wars 1965 and 1971 has been of the highest order. Despite his hand injury, the officer voluntarily carried out all available bombing missions and particularly the most risky ones to Ambala, Pathankot, Adampur, Halwara and Jodhpur.Flight Lieutenant William D. Harney was awarded Sitara-i-Jura for his courage and dedication to duty. Squadron Leader W.D. Harney also took part enthusiastically in the 1971 war and commenced a number of daring missions. In 1974, he retired from duty.
25. Lynette Viccaji
Lynette Viccaji teaches English Literature at Cedar College and she is a lecturer at the Notre Dame Institute of Education. Lynette has taught at The Lyceum School where she served as the Head of Department for English Literature. In addition, she has worked at the Convent of Jesus and Mary and St. Michael’s Convent School as an O’Level English Language and Literature teacher and coordinator. Shehas also served as consultant for the Oxford University Press. Lynette has been involved in and remains active with various workshops and programs related to teacher training and professional development. She has been a regular participant in numerous literary events hosted by The British Council, Oxford University Press and SPELT across Pakistan.Lynette has a B.A Honours and Masters in English from The Karachi University and a B.Ed from the Notre Dame Institute of Education.
The article has been inspired by the Facebook album of Junaid Zuberi