`Bhaag Milkha Bhaag` made Pakistanis remember their `Flying Bird`
Islamabad: India has immortalised its legend Milkha Singh by making a movie on his life, but in Jand Awan village, family members of Abdul Khaliq, known as the `Flying Bird of Asia`, ask, "Has Khaliq run in vain"?
Dawn.com reported that the recent Indian movie, "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", besides paying tribute to the legendry Indian athlete, also brought Khaliq into the limelight.
President Ayub Khan had organised an Indo-Pak Meet in 1960 in Lahore where Milkha Singh defeated Khaliq who had beaten the Indian more than once in international races.
"I respect Milkha Singh a lot as he is a great human being…. I was pained watching the movie," dawn.com quoted Abdul Malik, Khaliq`s younger brother, who was with his elder brother at every race of his, as saying.
Khaliq, who died on March 10, 1988 in Rawalpindi, was the sole Pakistani athlete to raise the country`s flag high on the tracks of Melbourne Olympics (1956) and Rome Olympics (1960).
He won 100 gold medals in the national meets, 26 gold medals and 23 silver medals in the international arena.
Be it the Asian Games of 1954 in Manila and in Tokyo 1958 or the first Indo-Pak Meet in 1956 in New Delhi, Khaliq not only grabbed the gold medal but also set new records.
Khaliq`s tremendous run in Manila, setting a meet new record in 10.6 seconds made chief guest, then Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru call him the Flying Bird of Asia`.
However, very few outside this village know that in the village graveyard rests a man who was known as the `Fastest Man of Asia`.