Pakistan’s Nuclear Scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan Dies at 85.
Abdul Qadeer Khan, the man known as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, died in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, according to the country’s Information Ministry. He was 85 years old.
Khan received a state funeral at the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad on Sunday. The funeral, which was attended by thousands of mourners, including the Chief of Staff of the Pakistani Army, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, took place in pouring rain.
Khan was hailed as a national hero in Pakistan for helping make the country a nuclear weapons state, but he was seen by many in the West as a villain.
In the United States, Khan was best known for selling nuclear technology to nations like North Korea and Iran. In 2004, at the urging of the United States, the Pakistani authorities placed Khan under house arrest.
Khan was launched in 2009, but their movements in and out of the country were still severely restricted by the country’s security agencies.
US Department of State said that year that Khan had led an “extensive international network for the proliferation of nuclear equipment and know-how that provided a ‘one-stop-shop for countries seeking to develop nuclear weapons.”
According to the State Department, the actions of this network have “irrevocably changed the proliferation landscape and have had lasting implications for international security.”
By Sunday afternoon, tributes had started to rain for Khan. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted that he was “deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. AQ Khan.”
“Our nation loved him (because of) his fundamental contribution to becoming a nuclear-armed state. This has provided us with security against a much larger aggressive nuclear neighbor. For the people of Pakistan he was a national icon, ”Khan said.
Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Choudhry said in a statement that Khan’s “services to the nation and his contributions to strengthening Pakistan’s defense will always be remembered.”