Pride of Pakistan: Abdul Khaliq

Abdul Khaliq

Since Pakistan came into existence, the country has produced some of the finest athletes of the world. One of such sportsmen was Abdul Khaliq, who was a threat to even the best sprinters of the world. As Pakistan is nearing 70th Independence Day, let’s recall his heroics.

Abdul Khaliq ran Pakistan to glories throughout his career. During his career, he won 36 international Gold Medals, 15 international Silver Medals, and 12 Bronze Medals.

During the first Indo-Pak meet in 1956, Subedar Abdul Khaliq, not only claimed the Gold Medal, but also set a new Asian record by running 100 meters in just 10.6 seconds, which made former Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru to name him ‘The flying bird of Asia’.

Khaliq, who was born on 23 March 1933, in a small village of Jand in Chakwal, was a famous Kabaddi player in his locality. During one of his match, Brig C.H.B. Rodham saw his athleticism who was heading of Pakistan Army Sports Control Board then and recruited him in Army’s Boys Company.

The man who is also known as Abdul Khaliq ‘Parinda’ remained a prolific performer in Asian Games. He grabbed a Gold, a Silver and a Bronze medal at 1958 Asian Games at Tokyo in 100m, 200m and 4x100m events respectively.

He also represented Pakistan at 1956 Melbourne Olympics, where he reached semi-finals of both 100m and 200m events. Whereas, at 1960 Rome Olympics, ‘The fastest man of Asia’ could only reach the second round as he had passed his pinnacle.

He won his last international medals, a silver, and a Bronze in 100m and 200m respectively, at the International Meet in Ipoh. Khaliq could not win a medal at 1962 Asian Games Jakarta and finished fourth in the campaign.

Abdul Khaliq died on March 10, 1988 in Rawalpindi.