Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan is famously and aptly known as the Father of Pakistan’s Nuclear Bomb. Owing to his services, the nation has bestowed him with the title Mohsin e Pakistan. In this write-up, we will discuss his biography, life story, and his services to Pakistan.
Who was Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan?
Doctor Abdul Qadeer Khan is a Pakistani nuclear scientist who was born in Bhopal, India on 27 April 1936. He belonged to an Urdu-speaking Pashtoon family.
His father’s name was Abdul Ghafoor and his mother’s name was Zulaikha. In 1947, when Pakistan came into being, they immigrated to Pakistan. They settled in Karachi at that time.
Abdul Qadeer Khan did his matriculation in Bhopal, India. He did his Bachelor in Science from Karachi University. After doing B.Sc, he did the job as inspector of Weights and Measures for three years.
Later on, he migrated to Europe for Metallurgical engineering and stayed there for 15 years. During his stay in Europe, he took his education at the Technical University of Berlin, the University of Delft, Holland, and the University of Leon, Belgium.
From Holland, he got his degree of master’s of science. While he did his Doctorate of Engineering from Belgium.
In 1976, he returned back to Pakistan.
His Services in Pakistan’s Nuclear Program
During that time, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto started a program to make Pakistan’s defense invincible. That program is famously known as ‘Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons Program’.
On 31st May 1976, he participated in Pakistan’s Nuclear Program of ‘Engineering Research Laboratories upon the invitation of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The institution held a prominent place in the enrichment of Uranium. He became in charge of the Government’s uranium enrichment project.
Later on, on 1st May 1981, the president of Pakistan General Zia ul Haq changed the name of the institute to Dr. A Q Khan Research Laboratories.
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan was also charged with stealing sensitive information like the blueprint for Uranium Centrifuges while working for Anglo-Dutch-German nuclear engineering consortium Urenco. However, he was acquitted.
Owing to his services, in 1989, the government of Pakistan awarded him with Hilal e Imtiaz. Moreover, in 1993, the University of Karachi awarded Khan an Honorary degree of Doctor of Science. Furthermore, on 14th August 1996, president Farooq Leghari awarded him with the highest civil award Nishan e Imtiaz.
Finally, in response to the Indian nuclear tests, Pakistan performed its nuclear tests on May 28, 1998.
However, becoming a nuclear power also invited international wrath. As a result, the international sanctions slapped Pakistan resulting in its economic downfall.
Trial against him
The turn of the century also turned the fate of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. In March 2001, reportedly under the United States’ pressure; president Pervez Musharraf relegated him from the Chairmanship of Kahuta Research Laboratory to the position of Special Advisor.
Later on, the International Atomic Energy Agency charged him with secretly selling/transferring nuclear secrets/technology to Iran, Libya, and North Korea. As a result, Musharraf placed him under house arrest in 2004.
In an interview, he revealed that his initial pension was a paltry 4,466 PKR. Later on, the government increased it to 19,000 PKR.
So, this was how the government of Pakistan treated its hero.
His Services to Pakistan
Apart from contributing to and leading Pakistan to become a Nuclear Power, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan has also laid the foundation of Sachet. Sachet is a Non-Profit Organization that aims at promoting human development.
Furthermore, he also founded a political party named Tehreek-e-Tahaffuz-e-Pakistan with the aim to eliminate corruption in the country. But, later on, he dissolved it in September 2013.
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s Death
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan died at the age of 85 on October 10, 2021. He was hospitalized on August 26 when he tested positive for COVID-19. Reportedly, he died of this disease after a long suffering.
The government gave his funeral a state-level protocol. His funeral prayer was held at Faisal Mosque at 3:30 PM. Abdul Qadeer Khan was laid to rest at the H-8 graveyard in Islamabad.
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