Khan played key role to making his country as nuclear power
By Khushal Khan
ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistan’s top nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan died on Sunday morning in the capital Islamabad, state-run media said.
Khan, 85, was admitted to a military-run hospital after his condition deteriorated and died there early Sunday morning, according to Radio Pakistan.
On August. 26, Abdul Qadeer Khan was admitted to a military-run hospital in Rawalpindi after tested positive for COVID-19, however later he was recovered and discharged from the hospital.
Pakistan’s President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan other cabinet members and politicians expressed grief over his demise and termed his death as a big loss for the country.
“Abdul Qadeer Khan. Had known me personally since 1982. He helped us develop nation-saving nuclear deterrence, and a grateful nation will never forget his services in this regard,” President Alvi said.
“Deeply saddened by the passing of Dr A Q Khan. He was loved by our nation bec of his critical contribution in making us a nuclear weapon state. This has provided us security against an aggressive much larger nuclear neighbour. For the people of Pakistan he was a national icon,” Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted.
Last month, Khan had complained that neither Prime Minister Imran Khan nor any of his cabinet members inquired after his health while he was under treatment at a hospital, local daily Dawn reported.
“Today the nation has lost a true benefactor who served the motherland with heart and soul. The passing of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan is a huge loss for the country. His role in making Pakistan an atomic power remains central. May Allah shower his blessings on his soul!,” Shehbaz Sharif, opposition leader in the National Assembly, said.
Khan was born in 1936 in Bhopal, India, and immigrated along with his family to Pakistan in 1947, after the partition of the sub-continent.
Abdul Qadeer Khan, a pioneer of Pakistan’s nuclear program, who later fell out of favor with the military establishment in the country during Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s rule, was placed under house arrest in 2004, but later released in 2009 after Musharraf’s rule ended.
Khan led the country’s nuclear program for some 25 years and is considered a national hero in Pakistan.