Setting The Record Straight On The Sadequain Foundation And Artistic Fakes

The 29 books published by the Foundation on a variety of subjects related to Sadequain are a testimony to its dedication and knowledge of the artist's work

Setting The Record Straight On The Sadequain Foundation And Artistic Fakes

I am writing to express my disappointment about an article titled Falsification In The Name Of A Memoir Related To Sadequain published by The Friday Times - NayaDaur on 10 February 2024.

Syed Faizan Raza took upon himself to criticise a two-year old interview conducted by Ms Myrna Ayad of the current author, Dr Salman Ahmad (founder of SADEQUAIN Foundation USA) about Sadequain. The interview was published in the Middle East newspaper The NATION in August 2022.

SADEQUAIN Foundation USA is a not-for-profit registered organization since 2007. It has published 29 books on Sadequain’s life and work, and curated over 100 seminars and exhibitions in North America, Europe and Asia. The Foundation has been recognised as an authority on Sadequain by authors and scholars from China, India, Pakistan, France, the Netherlands and USA.

In order to save space, I will not respond to each innuendo, but randomly select few outrageous assertions by Syed Faizan Raza and provide explanation or proof of the distortion.

In the following text, Syed Faizan Raza’s fabrications are numbered 1 through 11, followed by my responses.

  1. Faizan: “Finally, to the astonishment of readers, it is essential to indicate that even the images used in the article are as deceitful as the remembrance is.”

Response 1: Syed Faizan Raza identified two (2) paintings and one (1) calligraphy included in Ms Myrna Ayad’s article as Sadequain’s fakes. Following information demonstrates that Syed Faizan Raza is completely ignorant of Sadequain’s work.

Syed Faizan Raza questioned the authenticity of a painting titled Women at the Well. It was done in Quetta by Sadequain in 1954. It was given as a gift by Sadequain to a visiting geologist from the USA. It was later passed on to a man named Mike Brumbley in Kentucky USA. Mike Brumbley contacted SADEQUAIN Foundation USA for authentication and help with the sale of the painting.

Syed Faizan Raza questioned the authenticity of a calligraphy of Sura-e-Rehman. This calligraphy was included in a booklet of 40 tablets of Sura-e-Rehman on page 25 published by Sadequain in 1974.

Syed Faizan Raza questioned the authenticity of a painting by Sadequain based on Iqbal’s poetry. The painting in question was done in 1977 and has been documented in several publications including a booklet titled IQBAL published by Anjuman-e-Sadaat-e-Amroha on page 32.

  1. Faizan: “He begins his account with the pangs of India’s partition and how the painter’s family consisting of 17 souls [in reality 7] had, in the year 1948, migrated to […]”

Response 2: I never claimed Sadequain’s immediate family consisted of 17 souls. What I stated to Ms Myrna Ayad was that Sadequain’s immediate family migrated from India and took refuge at Pir Ilahi Baksh Colony quarter #18 which temporarily housed Sadequain’s immediate and extended family members consisting of, Sadequain’s parents, Sadequain’s elder brother, his wife and two children, Ali Hasan and his brother Ali Husain, Ali Hasan’s son Ali Najaf and his wife and daughter, Safir Ahmed and his wife and his two sons. These immediate and extended family members stayed at quarter #18 until they dispersed to their individual residences.

  1. Faizan: “the story of a rickshaw driver who was generously helped by the artist in mid-1950s to get a rickshaw ………… for none of the said occasions connect Salman with Sadequain.”

Response 3: What difference does it make if the rickshaw driver’s story connects Salman to Sadequain or not? However, the fact is that I (Salman) was witness to the story and later tracked the rickshaw driver’s portrait Sadequain made and documented it.

  1. Faizan: “After passing the Intermediate of Arts, Sadequain joined Imam-ul-Madaris (Amroha), an institution established by his ancestors, as a teacher of drawing, forming a preliminary part of his profession, whose reference should have been added to the said recollection.”

Response 4: I was responding to questions by Ms Myrna Ayad. I was not weaving stories on my own and straying from her questions.

  1. Faizan: “He was 13 years old (b 15 December 1946) in 1960 when Sadequain left for Paris where he spent almost 7 crucial years of his life immersing himself in painting; and by the time he returned to Karachi in 1967, Salman had relocated to the United States of America.”

Response 5: I did not relocate to the USA before or during 1967.  

  1. Faizan: “between 1967 and 1987 Salman visited Karachi on 4-5 occasions but he lost the opportunity to meet Sadequain as by 1972 he had shifted his base to Islamabad and Lahore”

Response 6: Between 1967 and 1987, I visited Pakistan at least 20 times. I was transferred to Iran in February 1972 as the country manager for General Dynamics Corporation. During my four years in Iran, I visited Pakistan on 15 or 16 occasions. On each occasion, either I visited Sadequain wherever he was working or he would drop whatever he was working on and came to Karachi to spend time with me.

  1. Faizan: “What is even more bewildering is that he couldn’t attend the funeral of his beloved uncle in 1987, and neither could he, until now, pay a visit to his grave. Being luckless, he couldn’t attend the last rites of his grandmother (d. 1969), father (d. 1972), grandfather (d. 1975), sister (d. 1981), and mother (d. 1995) either; and, thus, the fate deprived him of being part of critical family-events forming everlasting memories.”

Response 7: What does attending the funerals of my relatives have to do with the subject of my interview with Ms Myrna Ayad? Besides, attending the funerals of relatives is a personal matter. I attended some funerals when I had advance notices, otherwise I went to Pakistan as soon as I could.

I was the Vice President of Operations of a nuclear-tipped missile program managing over 200 engineers and held top secret security clearance from the United Staes Defense Department. I could not leave for an overseas trip at a moment’s notice. So, yes, I could not reach on time for burials in some cases, but did attend burials on other occasions.

On a serious note, Syed Faizan Raza should be more concerned that 300 of Sadequain’s paintings were robbed after he died and before he was buried. The robbery was reported in the media, but Syed Faizan Raza did not follow up with authorities about the robbery, neither did he write articles about the robbery.

  1. Faizan: “One of the startling revelations made by the storyteller pertains to his discovery of more than 500 paintings of Sadequain (lying abandoned and stored in attics, basements, and storage facilities) in 2011 in Paris;”

Response 8: Sadequain stated in his letters written from Paris to his brother in 1966 that he was working on large-scale paintings. He also wrote that he was going to exhibit them in Spring of 1967. But one day before the scheduled exhibition, Sadequain postponed the exhibition and left for Pakistan for a short visit. He never returned to Paris. The question is: whatever happened to the large-scale paintings Sadequain made for the exhibition? Can Syed Faizan Raza answer this question?

The answer to the mystery lies in the email exchanges between Madam Etra Martin and SADEQUAIN Foundation USA. All facts are documented in SADEQUAIN Foundation USA book titled Realism to Calligraphic Cubism – The Legacy of SADEQUAIN From Paris to Pakistan. Response Long - Version.

  1. Faizan: “Why didn’t Salman publish an inclusive catalogue of these illustrations?”

Response 9: SADEQUAIN Foundation USA has documented Sadequain’s artwork done in Paris in three (3) books, namely, The Saga of SADEQUAIN, Realism to Calligraphic Cubism – The Legacy of SADEQUAIN From Paris to Pakistan, and Albert Camus and SADEQUAIN. All SADEQUAIN Foundation USA 29 books are available on line.

The Saga of SADEQUAIN is an 850-page book, the largest publication on the subject of Art ever published in Pakistan. Pakistan Foreign Office has recommended The Saga of SADEQUAIN to all its embassies. INDIAN Express judged it as one of the most important books on the 140-year history of Indian art.

  1. Faizan: “Why didn’t any newspaper, national or international, or magazine report this thrilling find.”

Response 10: Syed Faizan Raza should direct his ignorant question to newspapers or magazines.

  1. Faizan: “The readers would have loved to know Salman’s views and observations about Sadequain’s murals.”

Response 11: The interview consisted of Ms Myrna Ayad asking questions and I answering her questions. My answers pertained to her queries and not some random statements by me.


SADEQUAIN Foundation USA is recognised globally as an authority on Sadequain’s life and work. The 29 books published by SADEQUAIN Foundation USA on a variety of subjects related to Sadequain are a testimony to its dedication and knowledge of Sadequain’s palette.

As an unintended consequence of SADEQUAIN Foundation USA’s influence, Sadequain-Fake-Bazaar has come to a screeching halt. This fact can be verified by searching online results of Sadequain’s fakes-sales over the years.

Editors' Note: TFT-ND is publishing a compact version of the author's response. The Sadequain Foundation USA can provide a longer version with more details on request