Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the “father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb,” passed away at the age of 85 after being hospitalized with Covid-19.
Dr. Khan was acclaimed as a national hero for turning his country into the first Islamic nuclear power in the world.
He was also known for smuggling nuclear secrets to countries such as North Korea and Iran.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, said the country has lost a “national symbol.”
PM tweeted that he was adored by our people because of his important role in making us a nuclear weapon state.
Deeply saddened by the passing of Dr A Q Khan. He was loved by our nation bec of his critical contribution in making us a nuclear weapon state. This has provided us security against an aggressive much larger nuclear neighbour. For the people of Pakistan he was a national icon.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 10, 2021
President Arif Ali was also saddened by a great loss. He wrote on his Twitter handle:
“Deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan. Had known him personally since 1982. He helped us develop nation-saving nuclear deterrence, and a grateful nation will never forget his services in this regard. May Allah Bless him.”
انا للّٰہ وانا الیہ راجعون
Deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. Had known him personally since 1982.
He helped us develop nation-saving nuclear deterrence, and a grateful nation will never forget his services in this regard. May Allah bless him.
— Dr. Arif Alvi (@ArifAlvi) October 10, 2021
The scientist, known as AQ Khan, was important in the establishment of Pakistan’s first nuclear enrichment plant at Kahuta, near Islamabad. The nation conducted its first nuclear tests in 1998.
State Funeral for Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan
The government has planned a state funeral for Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan in honor of his great contribution to the country and people.
The national flag of Pakistan will fly at half-mast on Sunday, according to a notice issued by the Ministry of Interior.
AQ Khan’s Biography
Abdul Qadeer Khan (A.Q. Khan) was born in Bhopal, India, on April 1, 1936. Khan moved to Pakistan in 1952 as a Muslim. He graduated from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium with a PhD in metallurgical engineering. Soon after pioneering studies in phase transitions of metallic alloys, isotope separation based on gas centrifuges, and uranium metallurgy, he started working at Physical Dynamics Research Laboratory, URENCO.
Khan’s life was upended, as it was for millions of others, when Great Britain partitioned the Indian subcontinent into the new states of majority-Hindu India and majority-Muslim Pakistan in 1947.
Pakistan received the drawings for a nuclear weapon using a uranium implosion design that China had successfully tested in 1966 in the early 1980s from China. The Chinese nuclear test on May 26, 1990, is thought to have been carried out to test the Pakistani bomb design.
He delivered a statement on Pakistani television on February 4 accepting full responsibility for his activities and absolving the military and government of any involvement—a claim that many nuclear specialists found hard to believe. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s president, pardoned him the next day. The Islamabad High Court deemed his ruling unlawful in 2009.