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Controversial father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb AQ Khan dies at 85

By PTI

ISLAMABAD: Controversial scientist AQ Khan, known as the father of Pakistan’s secret nuclear program, died here on Sunday after a brief illness.

He was 85 years old.

The nuclear physicist was discredited in 2004 when he was forced to accept responsibility for nuclear technology proliferation and was forced to live a life of official house arrest.

Khan, who was born in Bhopal in 1936 and moved to Pakistan with his family after Partition in 1947, breathed his last at the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) Hospital at around 7.00 pm (local time).

geo news The report said that Khan was brought to the hospital early in the morning after experiencing difficulty in breathing.

According to doctors, Khan’s health deteriorated after bleeding from the lungs.

He could not survive after the lung failure.

Home Minister Sheikh Rashid said that all efforts were made to save his life.

Condoling his demise, President Arif Alvi said on Twitter: “Deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Dr Abdul Qadir Khan.

Knew him personally since 1982.

He helped us develop a nuclear deterrence that saved the nation and a grateful nation will never forget his services in this regard…”

Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “deeply saddened by the passing of Dr AQ Khan”.

He was loved by our country for his significant contribution in making us a nuclear weapon state, he said. It has given us security against an aggressive and large nuclear neighbour. He is a national symbol (sic) for the people of Pakistan. ) Were.” in a tweet.

Defense Minister Pervez Khattak said he was “deeply saddened” at his death and called it a “huge loss”.

“Pakistan will always respect his services to the nation! The nation is deeply indebted to him for his contribution in enhancing our defense capabilities,” he said.

According to officials, the funeral prayers will be offered at 3 pm (local time) at the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad.

Considered the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb, Khan is worshiped as a hero at home.

He was also said to be the man who built the first atomic bomb in the Muslim world.

Radio Pakistan reported that Khan played a key role in making Pakistan a nuclear power.

His services to the defense of the country will be remembered for a long time.

Khan lived in seclusion in the posh E-7 sector of Islamabad since 2004 under the supervision of security agencies.

Later, he retracted his statement, which he said was done under pressure exerted by the then military dictator General Pervez Musharraf.

He said that without his “services” Pakistan would never have achieved the feat of becoming the first Muslim nuclear state.

Referring to the treatment meted out to him during Musharraf, Khan said nuclear scientists in the country were not given the respect they deserved.

In 2009, the Islamabad High Court declared Khan a free citizen of Pakistan, allowing him free movement within the country.

In May 2016, Khan said that Pakistan could have become a nuclear power as early as 1984, but the then president, General Zia ul Haq – who was the President of Pakistan from 1978 to 1988 – “opposed the move”.

Khan had also said that Pakistan has the capability to “target” Delhi from Kahuta near Rawalpindi in five minutes.

Kahuta is home to the Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL), Pakistan’s major uranium enrichment facility linked to the nuclear bomb project.

In his 2018 book “Pakistan’s Nuclear Bomb: A Story of Defense, Deterrence and Divines,” Pakistani-American scholar and academic Hassan Abbas highlights Khan’s involvement in nuclear proliferation in Iran, Libya and North Korea.

He wrote that the origin and development of the Khan network was linked to domestic and international political motivations underlying Pakistan’s nuclear weapons project.

The author also examined the role of China and Saudi Arabia in supporting their nuclear infrastructure.

Khan is reported to have close ties with China’s nuclear establishment.

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