What’s in a name?
Anjum Niaz near Abbottabad. (Maybe Abbotabad may get a new name to erase the badnami Pakistan faced after Osama bin Laden was discovered living there for five long years unbeknownst to the ISI!) Lyallpur became Faisalabad because the ruler of the day wanted to ingratiate himself with King Faisal; the Lahore cricket stadium became Gaddafi Stadium because Zulfikar Ali Bhutto got dollops from the Libyan dictator. The name continues despite the horrible end the dictator met mauled to death by his long suffering populace.
Lyallpur was named after Sir James Lyall, the lieutenant governor of the Punjab. Mark Lyall Grant, his great-grand nephew served during Musharraf’s reign as the British high commissioner to Pakistan. In fact he was the prime negotiator of the notorious NRO between Benazir and Musharraf. “As a reward for his valuable services, he could request Musharraf to change Faisalabad back to Lyallpur,” someone quipped.
But Lady Mary Kinnaird lives on even after 100 years. Who was this woman whose name stands out larger than life at Lahore’s Jail Road, on which one of the best colleges for women sits like a queen? She was a great philanthropist. The multi-generational roll call of ‘who’s who’ was proudly displayed at the college’s centenary celebrations. Daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters have passed through this august institution. Caroline and Mary, two great, great granddaughters of Lady Kinnaird travelled from Britain as special guests of the college to celebrate the centenary. However, Sir Herbert William Emerson was not as lucky as Lady Mary Kinnaird. Punjab governor Emerson spearheaded the founding of the largest college for men in Multan, which 13 years later ended up having his name. Emerson was dropped in the ’60s. Some idiot in power must have decided to junk ‘Emerson’ and revert to calling the largest college for men in Multan, ‘Government College Bosan Road.’ Enter Farogh Naweed. He is an Emersonian. He joined this college at age 13 and four years later left as a graduate and an alumnus of this famous institution only to return as a lecturer.