Professor Noam Chomsky, renowned linguist and analytic philosopher, has said that Pakistan lacks “serious scientists” to preserve a rational education system to deal with the reality of the world.

Speaking at a seminar organised by Karachi’s Habib University, Prof Chomsky said it’s sad that science has virtually disappeared from the country’s educational system.

“Pakistan used to have an advanced scientific establishment, Nobel Prize laureates [Abdus Salam] and so on,” the American linguist said. “Now science has virtually disappeared from the educational system.” “Pakistan has no future if it is going to live in a world of religious superstition,” he said.


During the lecture, Chomsky talked about a number of issues, including climate change, nuclear weapons, and the rise of populist leaders.

Speaking about Indian PM Narendra Modi, the US professor said India is destroying the remnants of Indian secular democracy, crushing the Muslim rights and placing Kashmir under a brutal rule. “Pakistan is not too far behind,” the philosopher said, referring to the rights abuses in the country.

Speaking about Iran-US ties under outgoing president Donald Trump, he said the Trump admin “is in a state where it is willing to do anything”. He said the tensions between US and Iran boiled over after Trump came to power.

The assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a US airstrike in Baghdad and the recent killing of its nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh near Tehran have further escalated these tensions. Iranian authorities have pointed fingers at two US allies – Saudi Arabia and Israel.

“There is a possibility of war,” he said, adding that Iran has no “match for the US war machine” because its relatively low defence expenditure. But Iran would respond by attacking Saudi oil installations and other US allies in the region and that could lead to a full-blown war, said Chomsky.

Speaking about sanctions imposed on Iran by the US government, Prof Chomsky was of the view that “sanctions against Iran have absolutely no legitimacy”. These sanctions “are means of torturing and terrorizing the Iranian population”. He said the people of Iran have to suffer from those sanctions because the Iranian government is not obeying the US orders.

He also talked about Iran’s nuclear programme, saying it is very likely that Iran wants to use it as ‘deterrent’. Chomsky believes the countries that want to rampage freely in the region don’t want deterrents, and the US is one of them and its “Israeli client” another.

“They don’t want a deterrent,” Chomsky said. The US doesn’t even admit that Israel has nuclear weapons, let alone getting its nuclear war inspected, the American philosopher said, pointing out the problems with the US approach towards the Middle East region.