Dr. Inayatullah, a well regarded intellectual and co-founder of the Council of Social Sciences (Pakistan), was born on June 3, 1931 and passed away recently. He obtained his Master’s degree in Sociology from Michigan State University and a PhD in Political Science from Indiana University in the USA. Throughout his career as a researcher, Dr. Sahib worked with various UN research institutions. He also taught at the Pakistan Academy for Rural Development in Peshawar and was the Founder Chairperson of the Department of International Relations at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. Beyond his contributions to newspapers and articles for scholarly journals, he published a number of books, the most recent of which was entitled State and Democracy in Pakistan.
Dr. Inayatullah’s accomplishments across academia are certainly formidable, but he will perhaps be best remembered for the organization to which he devoted the last decade of his life: the Council of Social Sciences (COSS). In the late 1990s, Dr. Inayatullah and others recognized the need for an organization to provide a professional forum for the social sciences in Pakistan. Thus, Dr. Inayatullah co-founded the Council of Social Sciences, Pakistan; the organization was officially registered (per Dr. Inayatullah) on June 03, 2000, with Dr. Sahib as President. Dr. Inayatullah was passionately devoted to the COSS and worked hard to build it over the next several years, devoting much of his personal time to recruiting members to the group. Over time, he grew the COSS into a large entity with regular and life members not only from Pakistan, but also from other countries. Dr. Inayatullah’s success was a testament to his unwavering commitment to the organization as well as his kind and helpful demeanor. Dr. Inayatullah remained President of the organization until 2008. Appreciating his tremendous services for the development of COSS and social sciences in Pakistan, the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) bestowed upon him its Lifetime Achievement Award.
On a personal level, I first came to know Dr. Sahib in 2003, when he so kindly wrote to me about setting up an award to honor my uncle, social scientist Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan. On February 25, 2003, he wrote, “I knew him [Dr. Khan] closely from 1958. Council of Social Sciences headed by me is instituting an award in his name for best social science book of the year.” I appreciated his idea and moved forward with him. He was so kind to accept my small contribution and wrote, “Thank you very much for your generous contribution…I am sure it will facilitate and accelerate the process for further contributions.” The award was established under the name Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan Memorial Award, and the first award was announced in 2005 (see http://www.cosspak.org for more information). I shall always be grateful to Dr. Inayatullah for setting up this award honoring my uncle; Dr. Inayatullah’s efforts in this regard truly speak to his selfless character.
Through my interactions with Dr. Inayatullah, it was clear that he operated not only with a sense of humility about his own work, but also took a genuine interest in the work of others. Dr. Inayatullah encouraged me to join the COSS writing, “It will add to its strength and further raise our morale.” I followed his advice and joined as a Life Member (since 2003). He also displayed a genuine interest in my research on Allama Mashriqi and the Khaksar Tehrik and so kindly reproduced some of my personal email messages and information on my works in the COSS Bulletin for the consumption of COSS members. On July 05, 2006, he wrote to me, “The Council highly appreciates your research contributions on Allama Mashriqi and Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan…” His kind words meant a lot to me. He also graciously sent me a book that he had co-edited entitled Social Sciences in Pakistan: A Profile. These are some of the memories of him that I shall always treasure.
Although Dr. Inayatullah has passed away, he has left behind his intellectual works, including the COSS and the Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan Memorial Award. His efforts on these fronts shall always be remembered. His death has been condoled not only by his relatives and friends, but also by the Higher Education Commission in Pakistan, the Quaid-i-Azam Alumni Association, and the President of Pakistan.
May God grant courage to his family to bear this loss and rest his soul in peace.
Nasim Yousaf is a scholar and historian who has presented research papers and written many articles and books.