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List of Pakistani inventions and discoveries

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This article lists inventions and discoveries made by scientists with Pakistani nationality within Pakistan and outside the country, as well as those made in the territorial area of what is now Pakistan prior to the independence of Pakistan in 1947.

Indus Valley civilisation

Computer-aided reconstruction of Harappan coastal settlement in Pakistan on the westernmost outreaches of the civilization
  • Button, ornamental: Buttons—made from seashell—were used in the Indus Valley Civilization for ornamental purposes by 2000 BCE.[1] Some buttons were carved into geometric shapes and had holes pieced into them so that they could attached to clothing by using a thread.[1] Ian McNeil (1990) holds that: "The button, in fact, was originally used more as an ornament than as a fastening, the earliest known being found at Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley. It is made of a curved shell and about 5000 years old."[2]
  • Cockfighting: Cockfighting was a pastime in the Indus Valley Civilization in what today is Pakistan by 2000 BCE[3] and one of the uses of the fighting cock. The Encyclopædia Britannica (2008)—on the origins of cockfighting—holds: "The game fowl is probably the nearest to the Indian red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus), from which all domestic chickens are believed to be descended...The sport was popular in ancient times in the Indian subcontinent, China, the Persian Empire, and other Eastern countries and was introduced into Greece in the time of Themistocles (c. 524–460 BCE). The sport spread throughout Asia Minor and Sicily. For a long time the Romans affected to despise this "Greek diversion," but they ended up adopting it so enthusiastically that the agricultural writer Columella (1st century CE) complained that its devotees often spent their whole patrimony in betting at the side of the pit."[4]
  • Furnace: The earliest furnace was excavated at Balakot, a site of the Indus Valley Civilization in the Mansehra District in the Hazara Province of Pakistan, dating back to its mature phase (c. 2500-1900 BCE). The furnace was most likely used for the manufacturing of ceramic objects.[5]
  • Plough, animal-drawn: The earliest archeological evidence of an animal-drawn plough dates back to 2500 BCE in the Indus Valley Civilization in Pakistan.[6]
  • Ruler: Rulers made from ivory were in use by the Indus Valley Civilization in what today is Pakistan and some parts of Western India prior to 1500 BCE.[7] Excavations at Lothal (2400 BCE) have yielded one such ruler calibrated to about 1/16 of an inch—less than 2 millimeters.[7] Ian Whitelaw (2007) holds that 'The Mohenjo-Daro ruler is divided into units corresponding to 1.32 inches (33.5 mm) and these are marked out in decimal subdivisions with amazing accuracy—to within 0.005 of an inch. Ancient bricks found throughout the region have dimensions that correspond to these units.'[8] Shigeo Iwata (2008) further writes 'The minimum division of graduation found in the segment of an ivory-made linear measure excavated in Lothal was 1.79 mm (that corresponds to 1/940 of a fathom), while that of the fragment of a shell-made one from Mohenjo-daro was 6.72 mm (1/250 of a fathom), and that of bronze-made one from Harapa was 9.33 mm (1/180 of a fathom).'[9] The weights and measures of the Indus civilization also reached Persia and Central Asia, where they were further modified.[9]
  • Stepwell: Earliest clear evidence of the origins of the stepwell is found in the Indus Valley Civilization's archaeological site at Mohenjodaro in Pakistan.[10] The three features of stepwells in the subcontinent are evident from one particular site, abandoned by 2500 BCE, which combines a bathing pool, steps leading down to water, and figures of some religious importance into one structure.[10] The early centuries immediately before the common era saw the Buddhists and the Jains of India adapt the stepwells into their architecture.[10] Both the wells and the form of ritual bathing reached other parts of the world with Buddhism.[10] Rock-cut step wells in the subcontinent date from 200-400 CE.[11] Subsequently, the wells at Dhank (550-625 CE) and stepped ponds at Bhinmal (850-950 CE) were constructed.[11]

Centers of ancient learning in Pakistan

The Ancient University of Taxila in Pakistan.

Pakistan was the seat of ancient learning and some consider Taxila to be an early university [12] [13] [14] or centre of higher education,[15] others do not consider it a university in the modern sense, [16] [17] [18] in contrast to the later Nalanda University.[18][19][20]

Takshashila is described in some detail in later Jātaka tales, written in Sri Lanka around the 5th century CE.[21] Generally, a student entered Taxila at the age of sixteen. The Vedas and the Eighteen Arts, which included skills such as archery, hunting, and elephant lore, were taught, in addition to its law school, medical school, and school of military science.[22]



  • In 2013, a Pakistani firm invented a new formula to make fertilizers that cannot be converted into bomb-making materials. The firm, Fatima Fertilizer, had succeeded in making non-lethal alternatives to ammonium nitrate, a key ingredient in the fertilizers it makes. Fertilizers with ammonium nitrate, however, can easily be converted into bomb-making ingredients. This invention was praised by the Pentagon. “Such a long-term solution would be a true scientific breakthrough,” US Army Lieutenant General Michael Barbero, the head of the Pentagon's Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, said in a statement. After this invention, CNN reported that the United States and Pakistan reached an agreement to jointly make fertilizers with non-explosive materials. But diplomatic sources told Dawn that an agreement could only be reached after the new material is tested. The sources said that US experts would soon visit Pakistan for testing the new material with experts from the Fatima Group, Pakistan's major fertilizer manufacturer.[23]


  • Dr. Naweed Syed, a specialist in the field of biomedical engineering and member of the medicine faculty at the University of Calgary, became the first scientist who managed to "connect brain cells to a silicon chip". The discovery is a major step in the research of integrating computers with human brains to help people control artificial limbs, monitor people's vital signs, correct memory loss or impaired vision.[24]
  • Dr Samir Iqbal, an associate professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Arlington, developed a novel cancer cell detection method that improves early diagnosis through a tool that tracks cellular behavior in real time using nanotextured walls that mimic layers of body tissue.[25]


  • Development of the world's first workable plastic magnet at room temperature by organic chemist and polymer scientist Naveed Zaidi.[26][27][28]


Standard model of Electroweak Interaction.
  • Development of the SMB probe to detect heavy water leaks in nuclear power plants by Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood[37]
  • In 2015 Pakistani researchers developed a solar powered mobile phone network. The network according to them is useful for instances when regular services are disrupted such as earthquakes and floods.[38][39]
  • Abdullah Soomro invented Flashpack, a power bank that is able to charge fully in just 14 minutes[40]


Schematic representation of an implanted Ommaya reservoir.


The boot sector of an infected floppy.
  • A boot sector computer virus dubbed (c)Brain, one of the first computer viruses in history,[48] was created in 1986 by the Farooq Alvi Brothers in Lahore, Pakistan, reportedly to deter unauthorized copying of the software they had written.[49][50]
  • A Software simulation based on blast forensics designed by Pakistani computer scientist, Zeeshan-ul-Hassan Usmani, that can reduce deaths by 12 per cent and injuries by seven per cent on average just by changing the way a crowd of people stand near an expected suicide bomber.[51]



Other technology

  • A team headed by Professor Sohail Khan, a Pakistani researcher at Loughborough University designed a clever lavatory that transforms human waste into biological charcoal and minerals. These can then be used as fuel or a form of conditioner for soil. It also produces clean water. The invention can lead to community-led total sanitation in the developing world. The challenge was set by Microsoft founder Bill Gates who wanted to improve sanitation for the poor and combat open defacation in countries where water supply and sewage pipe infrastructure is not widely available.[56]

See also


  1. ^ a b Hesse, Rayner W. & Hesse (Jr.), Rayner W. (2007). Jewelrymaking Through History: An Encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group. 35. ISBN 0-313-33507-9.
  2. ^ McNeil, Ian (1990). An encyclopaedia of the history of technology. Taylor & Francis. 852. ISBN 0-415-01306-2.
  3. ^ Sherman, David M. (2002). Tending Animals in the Global Village. Blackwell Publishing. 46. ISBN 0-683-18051-7.
  4. ^ Cockfighting. Encyclopædia Britannica 2008
  5. ^ Dales (1974)
  6. ^ Lal, R. (August 2001). "Thematic evolution of ISTRO: transition in scientific issues and research focus from 1955 to 2000". Soil and Tillage Research. 61 (1–2): 3–12 [3]. doi:10.1016/S0167-1987(01)00184-2.
  7. ^ a b Whitelaw, page 14
  8. ^ Whitelaw, page 15
  9. ^ a b Iwata, 2254
  10. ^ a b c d Livingston & Beach, 20
  11. ^ a b Livingston & Beach, page xxiii
  12. ^ Radha Kumud Mookerji (2nd ed. 1951; reprint 1989), ''Ancient Indian Education: Brahmanical and Buddhist (p. 478), Motilal Banarsidass Publ., ISBN 81-208-0423-6:

    Thus the various centres of learning in different parts of the country became affiliated, as it were, to the educational centre, or the central university, of Taxila which exercised a kind of intellectual suzerainty over the wide world of letters in India.

  13. ^ Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund (2004), A History of India, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-32919-1:

    "In the early centuries the centre of Buddhist scholarship was the University of Taxila".

  14. ^ Balakrishnan Muniapan, Junaid M. Shaikh (2007), "Lessons in corporate governance from Kautilya's Arthashastra in ancient India", World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development 3 (1):

    Kautilya was also a Professor of Politics and Economics at Taxila University. Taxila University is one of the oldest known universities in the world and it was the chief learning centre in ancient India.

  15. ^ Radha Kumud Mookerji (2nd ed. 1951; reprint 1989), Ancient Indian Education: Brahmanical and Buddhist (p. 479), Motilal Banarsidass Publ., ISBN 81-208-0423-6:

    This shows that Taxila was a seat not of elementary, but higher, education, of colleges or a university as distinguished from schools.

  16. ^ Anant Sadashiv Altekar (1934; reprint 1965), Education in Ancient India, Sixth Edition, Revised & Enlarged, Nand Kishore & Bros, Varanasi:

    It may be observed at the outset that Taxila did not possess any colleges or university in the modern sense of the term.

  17. ^ F. W. Thomas (1944), in John Marshall (1951; 1975 reprint), Taxila, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi:

    We come across several Jātaka stories about the students and teachers of Takshaśilā, but not a single episode even remotely suggests that the different 'world-renowned' teachers living in that city belonged to a particular college or university of the modern type.

  18. ^ a b Taxila (2007), Encyclopædia Britannica:

    Taxila, besides being a provincial seat, was also a centre of learning. It was not a university town with lecture halls and residential quarters, such as have been found at Nalanda in the Indian state of Bihar.

  19. ^ "Nalanda" (2007). Encarta.
  20. ^ "Nalanda" (2001). Columbia Encyclopedia.
  21. ^ Marshall 1975:81
  22. ^ Radha Kumud Mookerji (2nd ed. 1951; reprint 1989). Ancient Indian Education: Brahmanical and Buddhist (p. 478-489). Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 81-208-0423-6.
  23. ^
  24. ^ University of Calgary: Naweed Syed
  25. ^
  26. ^ CERN courier: New polymer enables room-temperature plastic magnet
  27. ^ New Scientist: First practical plastic magnets created
  28. ^ Bio: Dr. Naveed Zaidi Archived 2007-03-27 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "Abdus Salam - Biography". 1996-11-21. Retrieved 2011-12-23.
  30. ^ "Pakistan shuns physicist linked to 'God particle'". Fox News. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  31. ^ S.L. Glashow (1961). "Partial-symmetries of weak interactions". Nuclear Physics. 22 (4): 579–588. Bibcode:1961NucPh..22..579G. doi:10.1016/0029-5582(61)90469-2.
  32. ^ S. Weinberg (1967). "A Model of Leptons". Physical Review Letters. 19 (21): 1264–1266. Bibcode:1967PhRvL..19.1264W. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.19.1264.
  33. ^ A. Salam (1968). N. Svartholm (ed.). Elementary Particle Physics: Relativistic Groups and Analyticity. Eighth Nobel Symposium. Stockholm: Almquvist and Wiksell. p. 367.
  34. ^ F. Englert; R. Brout (1964). "Broken Symmetry and the Mass of Gauge Vector Mesons". Physical Review Letters. 13 (9): 321–323. Bibcode:1964PhRvL..13..321E. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.13.321.
  35. ^ P.W. Higgs (1964). "Broken Symmetries and the Masses of Gauge Bosons". Physical Review Letters. 13 (16): 508–509. Bibcode:1964PhRvL..13..508H. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.13.508.
  36. ^ G.S. Guralnik, C.R. Hagen, T.W.B. Kibble (1964). "Global Conservation Laws and Massless Particles". Physical Review Letters. 13 (20): 585–587. Bibcode:1964PhRvL..13..585G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.13.585.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  37. ^ "Darulhikmat". Darulhikmat. Archived from the original on 2012-01-14. Retrieved 2011-12-23.
  38. ^ "Pakistani researchers develop solar-powered mobile phone network". Express Tribune.
  39. ^ "Pakistani researchers invent solar-powered phone network for disaster regions". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
  40. ^
  41. ^ "The Wisdom Fund Board Member Ayub Khan Ommaya, Leading Neurosurgeon and Inventor, Dead at 78". Archived from the original on 2011-12-17. Retrieved 2011-12-23.
  42. ^ DAWN.COM Suhail Yusuf October 21, 2011 (2011-10-21). "New neurological test by a Pakistani | Sci-tech". Dawn.Com. Retrieved 2011-12-23.
  43. ^ "Illustrious Pakistani doctor inducted into Medical Hall of Fame". Express Tribune. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  44. ^ "About Dr. S. Amjad Hussain". University of Toledo. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  45. ^ "NON-KINK CATHETER MOUNT". Br. J. Anaesth. 46 (8): 628. 1974. doi:10.1093/bja/46.8.628-a. Retrieved 2013-02-09.
  46. ^ "A. T. M. Jamil". Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-02-09.
  47. ^ JAMIL, A. K. (1 September 1974). "A simple device for teaching controlled ventilation". Anaesthesia. 29 (5): 605–606. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2044.1974.tb00729.x. PMID 4433022. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  48. ^ "Boot sector virus repair". 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  49. ^ "Amjad Farooq Alvi Inventor of first PC Virus post by Zagham". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  50. ^ Krish, Aahan (2011-03-16). "25 Famous Computer Viruses Of All Time [INFOGRAPHIC]". Archived from the original on 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2011-12-23.
  51. ^ Siddiqui, Salman. "Learning from suicide blasts – The Express Tribune". Retrieved 2011-12-23.
  52. ^ "'Hor Vi Neevan Ho' goes on air!". Archived from the original on 2011-10-08. Retrieved 2011-12-23.
  53. ^ "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - The Tribune Lifestyle". Retrieved 2011-12-23.
  54. ^ Haq, Mahbub ul. 1995. Reflections on Human Development. New York: Oxford University Press.
  55. ^ JSTOR 4407121
  56. ^ Peter Popham (2012-08-16). "First he reinvented computers, now Bill Gates wants to reinvent the toilet - Health News - Health & Families". The Independent. Retrieved 2013-02-09.

External links