Karachi: Pakistan’s nuclear scientist Abdul Qadir Khan, who admitted to being part of the nuclear proliferation ring, died on Sunday. He was 85 years old.
Pakistan’s state-run Associated Press said Khan was admitted to the Khan Research Laboratories Hospital on August 26 after testing positive for COVID-19 and later moved to a military hospital in Rawalpindi.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Twitter, “He is loved by our country for his significant contribution in making us a nuclear weapon state.”
He was a national symbol for the people of Pakistan, he said.
Prime Minister Khan informed that the scientist will be buried in Islamabad’s Faisal Mosque as per his wish.
He will be buried in Faisal Masjid as per his wish. My condolences and prayers are with his family.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) 10 October 2021
AQ Khan was at the center of a global nuclear proliferation scandal in 2004 that involved the sale of nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya. After a confession on national television, Khan was pardoned by then-President Pervez Musharraf, but remained under house arrest for years in his palatial home in Islamabad.
In his confession, Khan said that he acted alone without the knowledge of the state authorities. However, he later said that he has been made a scapegoat.
Pakistani President Arif Alvi said in a tweet, “He helped us develop a nuclear deterrence that saved the country and a grateful nation will never forget his services in this regard.”