Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan’s Early Life & Education
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.
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 Bachelors in Science from Karachi University. After doing B.Sc, he did the job as inspector 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 from the Technical University of Berlin, University of Delft, Holland, and University of Leon, Belgium.
From Holland, he got his degree of Masters 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 has changed the name of the institute to Dr. A Q Khan Research Laboratories.
In his newspaper interview, Abdul Qadeer Khan stated that his team had successfully enriched uranium by 1978; they were even ready to detonate the nuclear device by 1984. (Aljazeera)
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan was also charged with stealing sensitive information like 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 has awarded him with Hilal e Imtiaz. Moreover, in 1993, the University of Karachi has awarded Khan an Honorary degree of Doctor of Science. Furthermore, on 14th August 1996, president Farooq Leghari has 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 against Pakistan resulted in its economic downfall.
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 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 has revealed that his initial pension was a paltry 4,466 pkr. Later on, the government has increased it to 19,000 pkr. So, this was how the government of Pakistan treated its hero.
Apart from contributing and leading Pakistan to become a Nuclear Power, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has also laid foundation of Sachet. Sachet is a Non-Profit Organization that aims at promoting human development.
Furthermore, he had also founded a political party named Tehreek-e-Tahaffuz-e-Pakistan with the aim to eliminate corruption from 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 has 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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