AQ Khan: 'Father' of Pakistan's Nuclear Program

Published October 10th, 2021 - 10:49 GMT
Abdul Qadeer Khan known as AQ Khan.
Abdul Qadeer Khan, revered as the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, has died at 85, state-run broadcaster PTV reported on October 10, 2021. (AFP/File)
Abdul Qadeer Khan was named as the 'father' of Pakistan's nuclear program.

Abdul Qadeer Khan is a Pakistani nuclear physicist and metallurgical engineer- known as the "father of Pakistan's weapons program." The nuclear expert is also known as AQ Khan.

The Pakistani nuclear physicist died aged 85 on Sunday, according to local sources that further revealed he was transferred to hospital with lung problems. 

In Pakistan, he is super famous and loved for strengthening the country’s national security against India as he was the first to make Pakistan the world's first Islamic nuclear power.

Not only is he appreciated in his own country, but AQ Khan is also nicknamed in the west as “the greatest nuclear proliferator of all time.” 

On the other hand, allegations surrounded the father of nuclear weapons with belief that he secretly shared his information with North Korea, Iran, Libya and other western countries as the scientist was arrested in 2004 for that. 

Pakistanis were shocked back then but the nuclear professor was later pardoned and remained under house arrest 5 years later under president Pervez Musharraf’s era. The scientist later made an official apology, the BBC reported.

 AQ Khan is of Indian origin. His family immigrated to Pakistan in 1951, Khan was educated in Western Europe's technical universities from the metallurgical engineering department where he pioneered studies in phase transitions of metallic alloys, uranium metallurgy, and isotope separation based on gas centrifuges.

During his work on the nuclear weapons program and onwards, Khan faced heated and intense criticism from his fellow theorists, most notably Pervez Hoodbhoy who contested his scientific understanding of quantum physics.

Social media users have widely engaged with his death news by releasing several hashtags including #DrAbdulQadeerKhan, #AbdulQadeerKhan and #AQKhan. Thousands of people used the hashtags to either share a good memory of the scientist and send condolences, while others took the advantage and criticized that he's the person behind dangerous nuclear program development in North Korea and Iran. 

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