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World

11 Oct 2021

Pakistan Nuclear Scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Dies aged 85

The Index Today

Abdul Qadeer Khan, one of Pakistan’s leading scientists who allegedly shared top-secret nuclear technology died aged 85. He was widely known for helping the country build the first atomic bomb and was seen as a hero.

Dr. Khan was said to have helped many countries by providing know-how of nuclear technology and enabled Pakistan to become the first nuclear-armed Islamic nation to defend itself from rivals such as India. Countries including Libya, Iran and North Korea were a part of his vast clandestine network to which he provided expertise.
The scientist received much praise from Pakistan PM Imran Khan, applauding him for his critical contribution to the development of the nation. Imran Khan tweeted, “This has provided us security against an aggressive much larger nuclear neighbor. For the people of Pakistan he was a national icon.” According to reports, Dr. Khan contracted the infectious covid-19 and suffered from breathing difficulties.
Abdul Qadeer Khan spent much of the 70s and 80s working with a network of businesses to acquire nuclear technology and sell the information to other nations. After the collapse of the Taliban regime, Dr. Khan was confronted by the U.S and was put under house arrest in 2004. After acknowledging his errors in judgment, Dr Khan said, “It pains me to realize in retrospect that my entire lifetime achievement of providing foolproof national security to my nation could have been placed in serious jeopardy on account of my activities.”
However, the army of Pakistan has always denied being involved in the activities of Dr. Khan after he was pressured to confess in 2004. By 2008, the scientist was freed without being charged with any crime. He spent the remaining years of his life in Islamabad where he received complete security and support from the government.

©Photo: dawn

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