ISLAMABAD: Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s atomic weapons program, passed away early Sunday morning, at the age of 85 years. Dr Khan was suffering from heart ailment followed by collapse and bleeing of lungs .
After funeral prayer to be held at Faisal Masjid, nuclear scientist will be buried at Faisal Masjis in respect of his desire. Dr Khan’s funeral prayers will be held at the Faisal Mosque at 3:30pm.
The renowned nuclear scientist was rushed to a private hospital in Islamabad after his health deteriorated. The doctors at KRL Hospital did everything to save the nuclear scientist’s life but couldn’t do so. Doctors added the scientist passed away after his lungs collapsed. His body has been moved from the hospital to his E-7 residence.
Earlier, on August 27, the nuclear scientist was moved to the KRL Hospital after he contracted Covid. Last month, according to a report the scientist complained that neither Prime Minister Imran Khan, nor his cabinet members inquired after his health.
Dr Khan was lauded for bringing the nation up to par with arch-rival India in the atomic field and making its defences “impregnable”.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has instructed the X Corps, Chairman joint chief of army staff, and leaders of the navy and airforce to ensure their presence at Dr AQ Khan’s funeral, the federal interior minister said in a press conference later in the day.
The police, Rangers, and FC personnel have been handed over the responsibility of the security.
Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan was born on April 1, 1936, in Bhopal of British India. Khan attended the University of Karachi where he completed a BSc in Physics.
He was heavily influenced by the events of 1971, the loss of East Pakistan, and the subsequent test of nuclear explosives by India in 1974, which led him to write to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto expressing his desire to work for Pakistan’s nuclear program.
He joined Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in 1976. Pakistan had already acquired its weapons by the 1980s but detonated in the late 1990s after India conducted its tests.
He founded the Engineering Research Laboratory, or ERL, to develop a uranium-enrichment capability. In 1981 ERL was renamed the Khan Research Laboratory or KRL.
Dr Khan was awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz and the Nishan-e-Imtiaz in 1989 and 1999 for his outstanding performance in the world of science and technology. But he found himself in the international crosshairs when he was accused of illegally sharing nuclear technology with Iran, Libya, and North Korea.
The scientist was placed under effective house arrest in the capital Islamabad in 2004 after he admitted running a proliferation network to the three countries.
A court ended his house arrest in February 2009, but his movements were strictly guarded, and he was accompanied by authorities every time he left his home in Islamabad.
It is worthy to be mentioned here that Pakistan’s nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, was considered the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program and is revered at home as a hero for building the Muslim world’s first atomic bomb.
In 1967, Khan obtained an engineer’s degree from a university in Netherlands and later joined the doctoral program in metallurgical engineering at a university in Belgium.
He was the first Pakistani to receive three presidential awards including Hilal-e-Imtiaz.