Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is regarded as the Father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme has passed away.
Khan breathed his last at the age of 85 at the KRL Hospital in Islamabad in the wee hours of Sunday.
He died after being transferred to the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) Hospital in Islamabad with lung problems.
Abdul Qadeer Khan was admitted to the same hospital in August with Covid-19.
He was sent home but transferred back to the hospital after his condition deteriorated.
Khan is hailed in Pakistan as a national hero for transforming the country into the world’s first Islamic nuclear power.
He was at the centre of a global nuclear proliferation scandal in 2004 that involved sales of nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya.
After a confession on national television, Khan was pardoned by then-president Pervez Musharraf but he remained under house arrest for years in his palatial Islamabad home.
In his confession, Khan said he acted alone without the knowledge of the state officials. However, he later said he had been scapegoated.
Khan was born in 1936 at Bhopal in then undivided India. Later, he along with his family had migrated to Pakistan after the partition in 1947.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he is “deeply saddened by the passing of Dr AQ 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,” tweeted Imran Khan.
The Pakistani PM also informed that the nuclear physicists will be “buried in Faisal Mosque as per his wishes”.
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.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 10, 2021