The assault involved four gunmen and was orchestrated by a Pakistani Taliban militant based in Afghanistan, Reuters reported on Jan. 23.
Because of concern about terrorist attacks, university faculty had requested and received permission to carry handguns, Syed Hamid Hussain told former labmate and friend Jamal Rafique last year. When the Jan. 20 attack occurred, Syed used his handgun to defend faculty and students before he was killed, Bacha Khan chemistry department chair Zarbad Shah says.
Syed received an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Peshawar, where he worked with chemical sciences professor Mohammad Arfan on phytochemistry research.
“He always loved chemistry, and we were always staying late in lab for research work,” says Rafique, who also worked in Arfan’s lab in Peshawar and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil. “He was extremely devoted in teaching and research, always helped students and common individuals, and was an extremely honest and polite person,” Rafique adds. “I lost the most precious and dearest friend.”
Syed joined the faculty at Bacha Khan University in 2013 and continued to study phytochemicals. “He was very friendly with students and very cooperative with his colleagues, Shah says. “He was also a very good experimentalist and a good researcher.”
Syed is survived by his wife, three-year-old son, and infant daughter.
Sajid Hussain, who is not related to Syed, was in his final year as a chemistry major at Bacha Khan University. He was famous at the school for writing “Sajid Chemist” on his table in the student residence and to identify his lab space, Shah says.
“He was very keen on research” and was working with Shah on a research project to synthesize calcium complexes with N-donor organic ligands, Shah says. Sajid had just finished exams and was starting to focus on his research work on the day that he was killed, Shah says.