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Pakistani nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan passes away at 85

KARACHI – Pakistani nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, often referred to as AQ Khan, passed away at the age of 85 in the country’s federal capital on Sunday.

Reports quoting sources cited that Khan, who earlier contracted novel coronavirus, breathed his last Sunday after his health deteriorated earlier today.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed speaking with a news channel said medical experts tried their best to save the life of a Pakistani hero but his health deteriorated. Some reports stated that he suffered hemorrhage after his lung collapsed.

Meanwhile, the hospital administration is trying to make arrangements to shift his mortal remains to his residence. The funeral prayers will be offered at Faisal Mosque in Islamabad.

Khan, who is also considered as Mohsin-i-Pakistan, earlier requested the entire nation to offer prayers for his recovery from the ailment not a single government functionary had even made a telephone call to inquire about his health.

He was admitted to Khan Research Laboratories Hospital on August 26 after he tested positive for Covid-19. Later, he was shifted to a military hospital in Rawalpindi.

Several Pakistani politicians offered condolences on Twitter, saying Khan played a key role in making Pakistan invincible.

Born in 1936 in India, Dr. Qadeer immigrated along with his family to Pakistan in 1947 after the partition of the subcontinent.

He attended the University of Karachi where he completed his graduation. He was said to be influenced by the 1971 events, and the subsequent test of nuclear explosives by India in 1974, which led him to approach former PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto expressing his desire to work for the nuclear program of the South Asian country.

He joined Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in 1976 and had already acquired its weapons by the 1980s but detonated in the late 1990s after the arch-rival conducted its tests.

Dr. Qadeer founded the Engineering Research Laboratory, or ERL, to develop a uranium-enrichment capability. ERL was renamed the Khan Research Laboratory in 1981.

The extraordinary scientist was awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz and the Nishan-e-Imtiaz in 1989 and 1999 for his outstanding performance in the world of science and technology.

Akin to many famous personalities, he found himself in the international crosshairs when he was accused of illegally sharing nuclear technology with Libya, Iran, and North Korea and was later placed under house arrest in the country’s federal capital Islamabad in 2004.

Later, a Pakistani court revoked the house arrest in February 2009, however, his movements were strictly guarded, and he was accompanied by authorities he left his home.

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