Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan

Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan Biography
Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan Biography

Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan Biography

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, also known as A.Q. Khan was born in Bhopal, India, on April 1, 1936. Pakistani engineer who played a key role in Pakistan\’s nuclear weapons program and a decades-long participant in the illicit market for nuclear technology. As a result, enough uranium enrichment centrifuges, armament, nuclear warhead designs. And the experience was transferre to Iran, North Korea, Libya, and possibly other countries.

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India achieve independence from Britain in 1947. During Abdul Qadeer Khan\’s childhood, and Indian territories in the east and west were partition to form the state of Pakistan. Abdul Qadeer Khan moved to West Pakistan in 1952 and earn a metallurgy degree from the University of Karachi in 1960. He continued his graduate studies abroad during the next few years. First in West Berlin and later in Delft, Netherlands, where he earned a master\’s degree in metallurgy in 1967. He graduated from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium with a doctorate in metallurgical engineering in 1972. Meanwhile, in 1964 he married Hendrina Reterink, a British national born to Dutch expatriate parents in South Africa and raised in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) before moving to the Netherlands.

In 1972, Abdul Qadeer Khan was appointe by Physical Dynamics Research Laboratory, a subcontractor of the Dutch partner of URENCO. URENCO, a consortium of British, German, and Dutch companies, was establishe in 1971 to research and develop uranium enrichment over ultracentrifuges. Which operate at too high speed. Abdul Qadeer Khan was arrange a low-level security clearance. But, through lax oversight, he expanded access to a full range of information on ultracentrifuge technology and visited the Dutch plant at Almelo many times. One of his jobs was to translate German documents on advanced centrifuges into Dutch.


He immigrated with his family to Pakistan in 1947. After studying at St. Anthony’s High School, Khan joined the D. J. Science College of Karachi. Where he studied physics and mathematics. His teacher at the college was famed solar physicist Dr. Bashir Syed. Khan got a B.Sc. degree in physical metallurgy at the University of Karachi in 1960.

Khan obtains a job as an inspector of weight and measures in Karachi after graduating. He then resigned and went to work in the Netherlands in the 1970s. Khan achieved fame as a competent scientist at the nuclear plant he worked in. He got privilege access to the most restricted regions of the URENCO complex. He could also access the confidential documentation on the gas centrifuge technique.

In December 1974, he returned to Pakistan and convinced the Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, to use his Uranium approach rather than the Plutonium route in building nuclear weapons. According to media accounts, A.Q. Khan had a close and friendly connection with President General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq and the Military of Pakistan. He also had good contact with the Pakistan Air Force.

After his role in Pakistan’s nuclear program, Khan re-organized the Pakistani national space agency SUPARCO. In the late 1990s, Khan played a key role in Pakistan’s space program, particularly Pakistan’s first Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project and the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV). Khan’s unfettered disclosure of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile capabilities brought disgrace to Pakistan’s leadership. The United States began to assume that Pakistan was transferring nuclear weapons technology to North Korea to receive ballistic missile technology in exchange. Khan also came under additional scrutiny following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S. He allegedly sold nuclear technologies to Iran. However, he was pardone in 2004 but placed under house arrest.

On August 22, 2006, the Pakistani government reveal that Khan had diagnosed with prostate cancer and was undergoing treatment. He was release from house arrest in February 2009.


A Letter To The Prime Minister 

Abdul Qadeer Khan was profoundly inspire by events in Pakistan, particularly Pakistan\’s humiliating defeat in a 1971 war with India, the subsequent loss of East Pakistan by creating their own new independent country, Bangladesh, and India\’s nuclear test in May 1974.

Abdul Qadeer Khan wrote to Pakistan\’s Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, on September 17, 1974, offering his assistance in developing an atomic bomb. In his letter, he expressed the judgment that the uranium course to the bomb, utilizing centrifuges for enrichment, was better than the plutonium route (already underway in Pakistan), which relied on nuclear reactors reprocessing.

Bhutto met Abdul Qadeer Khan in December 1974 and pushed him to do whatever he could to help Pakistan obtain the atomic bomb. Over the next year, Abdul Qadeer Khan obtains centrifuge drawings and compiles a list of primarily European suppliers from whom parts could be obtained. On December 15, 1975, he departed the Netherlands for Pakistan, accompanied by his wife and two kids and the blueprint copies and suppliers list.

Starts Project Execution

Initially, Abdul Qadeer Khan worked for the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC). But he had disagreements with its head, Munir Ahmad Khan. At Bhutto\’s request, Abdul Qadeer Khan established the Engineering Research Laboratory, or ERL, in mid-1976 to create a uranium enrichment capability. (The laboratory was rename the Khan Research Laboratory or KRL in May 1981.) Abdul Qadeer Khan\’s base of operations was at Kahuta, 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Islamabad. Where he produced prototype centrifuges based on German designs and imported necessary components from Swiss, Dutch, British, and German companies, among others, using his supplier\’s list.

Pakistan obtained the designs for a nuclear weapon from China in the first part of the 1980s, using a uranium implosion design that the Chinese had successfully tested in 1966. On May 26, 1990, it was widely assumed that the Chinese tried a Pakistani derivative approach. After supplying Pakistan with its uranium weapon, Abdul Qadeer Khan began forming front firms in Dubayy, Malaysia, and elsewhere in the mid-1980s.

He covertly sold or transferred centrifuges, components, designs, and skills in a vast black-market network through these organizations. Iran was one of the customers, and it went on to construct a uranium enrichment facility based on the Pakistani model. Abdul Qadeer Khan is suspected of transferring enrichment technology to North Korea after visiting the country 13 times. (With North Korean assistance, his laboratory also built Pakistan\’s Ghauri ballistic missile.) Libya embarked on a nuclear weapons program, aided by Abdul Qadeer Khan until we disrupted it in 2003.

Abdul Qadeer Khan was detained on January 31, 2004, for providing nuclear technology to foreign countries. He issued a statement on Pakistani television on February 4, accepting full responsibility for his actions and absolving the military and government of any involvement—a claim that many nuclear specialists found hard to believe. Pakistan\’s president, Pervez Musharraf, pardoned him the next day, but he was kept under house arrest until 2009. Khan\’s detractors, particularly in the West, were outraged at such leniency toward a man dubbed \”the greatest nuclear proliferator of all time\” by one observer. On the other hand, Khan remains a symbol of pride for many Pakistanis, a hero whose contribution bolstered Pakistan\’s national security against India.

Awards And Legacies

Despite his controversial career, most Pakistanis regard Abdul Qadeer Khan as a national hero who has made significant contributions to Pakistan\’s science, technology, and security. Abdul Qadeer Khan has also received a slew of honors, including the

  • 45 gold medals were awarded.
  • 03 Gold crowns
  • Nishan-i-Imtiaz has been bestowed on him twice.

Abdul Qadeer Khan established research in Thermal Quantum Field Theory and Condensed Matter Physics while working on the atomic bomb project. He co-authored articles on chemical reactions of volatile isotope particles in a controlled physical system simultaneously. He maintains his position on controversial technological solutions to military and civilian problems and the use of military technologies to benefit civilians. Abdul Qadeer Khan was also a strong supporter of a nuclear analysis program and atomic weapons as a defense. He has justified Pakistan\’s nuclear avoidance program by claiming that it will save his country from the fates of Iraq and Libya. Abdul Qadeer Khan maintained his position on peace through strength in an interview in 2011. And vehemently defended the nuclear weapons program as part of the deterrence policy:

\”Pakistan\’s motivation for nuclear weapons stemmed from a desire to protect itself from India\’s \”nuclear blackmail.\” Iraq. And Libya would not have been destroyed in the manner we have seen recently if they had been nuclear powers… We [Pakistanis] would not have lost half of our country after a humiliating defeat if (Pakistan) had a [atomic] capability before 1971.\”

Abdul Qadeer Khan, in a statement published in Newsweek on May 16, 2011

Abdul Qadeer Khan faced harsh criticism from his colleague\’s theorists during his work on the nuclear weapons program and in the future. Particularly Pervez Hoodbhoy, who disagreed with his scientific understanding of quantum physics. Also, Abdul Qadeer Khan\’s wrong claims that he was the \”father\” of the atomic bomb project since its beginning. And his attacks on Munir Ahmad Khan caused even more hatred from his colleague theorists. And particularly within the general physics community, such as the Pakistan Physics Society.

Despite the proliferation controversy and his volatile personality, Abdul Qadeer Khan remains a popular public figure and symbol of national pride. Many in Pakistan see him as a national hero. In Pakistani news media and foreign media outlets, Abdul Qadeer Khan has been depicted as Pakistan\’s own Dr. Strangelove (commonly referred to as Edward Teller) in Stanley Kubrick\’s 1964 satirical film of the same name. While the federal government and universities have awarded Khan many medals and honors in Pakistan, Abdul Qadeer Khan remains the only Pakistan citizen honored twice with Nishan-e-Imtiaz.

  • Nishan-e-Imtiaz (1999)
  • Nishan-e-Imtiaz (1996)
  • Hilal-e-Imtiaz (1989)
  • Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology
  • Awarded 60 Gold medals from different universities nationwide.
  • University of Karachi
  • Baqai Medical University
  • Hamdard University
  • Gomal University
  • University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore
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More Contribution For Pakistan

Abdul Qadeer Khan was also instrumental in the establishment of several engineering institutions in Pakistan. In the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, he introduced the area of metallurgy and material science. Abdul Qadeer Khan served as both executive and director of the \’Dr. A. Q. Khan Department of Metallurgical Engineering and Material Sciences,\’ which was name after him. Another school, the \’Dr. A. Q. Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering\’ at Karachi University has named after him. Abdul Qadeer Khan has surely played a key role in introducing metallurgical engineering courses to Pakistan\’s universities.

Abdul Qadeer Khan will always popular among Pakistanis, regardless of how he is portray globally. He holds a special place in the hearts of every Pakistani. And is regard as one of the country\’s most prominent and esteemed scientists.


Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistan\’s most famous nuclear scientist and the \’father of Pakistan\’s atomic weapons program. Died on 10 Sunday 2021 in Islamabad at the age of 85.
Dr. Qadeer had contracted Covid-19 and treated for it at the Al-Shifa Hospital and then the Military Hospital. After being successfully treated for the dangerous infection, he was sent home. Dr. Qadeer\’s condition, however, dramatically worsened on October 9th. He was take to a nearby hospital.

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