Abdul Qadeer Khan


October 17, 2021

Abdul Qadeer Khan (urdu عبدالقدیر خان; born April 1, 1936 in Bhopal, died October 10, 2021 in Islamabad) - Pakistani engineer and scientist, creator of the Pakistani nuclear program.

Curriculum vitae

In 1952 he emigrated from India to West Pakistan. In 1960, he graduated in metallurgy from the University of Karachi. He continued his studies abroad, obtaining a doctorate in metallurgical engineering from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in 1972. From 1972 he worked in the British-Dutch-German nuclear consortium URENCO. On September 17, 1974, he wrote a letter sent through the Pakistani embassy in Belgium to Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, offering assistance in obtaining nuclear weapons by the country. In this letter, he argued that the use of enriched uranium is a better way to obtain a bomb than the use of plutonium by reactors (which has already been worked on in Pakistan). In December 1974, Abdul Qadeer Khan met with Bhutto and persuaded the Prime Minister to undertake the nuclear bomb program. He initially collaborated with the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, but after disagreements with its head, Munir Ahmad Khan, Prime Minister Bhutto handed over to him in July 1976 control of the laboratory (project 706) in Kahuta. Pakistan joined the nuclear club on May 28, 1998 after a successful test in Chaghi, Balochistan. On January 31, 2004, he was arrested on suspicion of transferring nuclear technology to third countries. He initially denied his involvement in nuclear proliferation, but on February 4, in a televised speech, he assumed "all responsibility" and asked the people for an "act of grace." The next day, he was pardoned by President Pervez Musharraf, but remained under house arrest until 2009.


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