Architect Of Pakistan Nuclear Bomb Dies At 85; A Look At His Controversies

Islamabad: Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is known as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb and programme, has died, a local news channel reported on Sunday. He was 85 and hospitalised with post-COVID complications.

According to Geo News, he was admitted to KRL Hospital in Islamabad on Saturday night after his health started deteriorating. He passed away at 7:04 am on Sunday after his lungs collapsed.

Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi tweeted that he was “deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan”, who he had known personally since 1982.

Khan was lauded for bringing the nation on par with arch-rival India in the atomic field in the early 70s. He had once said that Nuclear-armed Pakistan has the ability to “target” Delhi in five minutes.

He held a doctorate in metallurgical engineering from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.

He had allegedly stolen centrifuge uranium enrichment technology from the Netherlands facility and later used it to develop Pakistan’s first nuclear weapon, according to research by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The scientist was also accused by the US of trading nuclear secrets to Iran and North Korea in the 1990s. In 2004, he confessed to having helped supply materials necessary for making nuclear weapons to North Korea, Libya.

In a letter dated January 22, 2008, he had said that the Pakistan army is rouge, giving them nukes was a mistake. “Other countries have armies; Pak Army has a country. They are here to stay on top of us for all the times to come,” he had written.

During an interview with BBC in 2015, Khan refused to accept that Dr Kalam was a “great scientist”. He also claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2002 elected Dr Kalam as President of India just for vote-bank politics.


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