Founder of nuclear programme Dr Qadeer Khan laid to rest after state funeral

Hamza Habib Our Correspondent

10th Oct, 2021. 10:56 am

ISLAMABAD: Renowned nuclear physicist and founder of Pakistan’s nuclear programme Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who passed away on Sunday morning after protracted illness, was laid to rest here amid a state funeral, with scores of dignitaries and prominent personalities, armed forces top brass and thousands of admirers in attendance.

His funeral prayers, held at the Shah Faisal Mosque amid heavy rain, were led by Prof. Dr Ahmed Al Ghazali. Later, he was buried at the H-8 Graveyard as per the wishes of his family members.

President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chiefs of the Armed Forces, federal and provincial ministers and opposition leaders termed the passing away of Dr. Qadeer Khan a huge loss for the nation. They unanimously acknowledged that his invaluable services for Pakistan will forever be remembered.

Dr.Qadeer, 85, tested positive for COVID-19 in August, and remained hospitalised at KRL Hospital, and later military-run CMH Hospital in Rawalpindi. He suffered from severe breathing problem. After his health improved, he was discharged from hospital but was kept in round-the-clock medical observation till his death with a full-time doctor and paramedical staff on duty.at his house.

According to doctors, Dr Qadeer experienced breathing problems late at night and by early Sunday morning the on-duty doctor called an ambulance to shift him to the KRL Hospital as his condition worsened and he expired at around 7.00am. Doctors declared lung problems as the main cause of his death.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his condolence message on Twitter, said that Dr. Khan was loved by the nation because of his critical contribution in making Pakistan a nuclear weapon state. “This has provided us security against an aggressive (and) much-larger nuclear neighbour. For the people of Pakistan, he was a national icon,” he said.

President Arif Alvi in his condolence message said: “Deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. Had known him personally since 1982. He helped us develop nation-saving nuclear deterrence, and a grateful nation will never forget his services in this regard. May Allah bless him.”

Leader of the Opposition, Shehbaz Sharif, also termed Dr. Khan’s death a great loss. “Today the nation has lost a true benefactor, who served the motherland with heart and soul. The passing of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan is a huge loss for the country. His role in making Pakistan an atomic power remains central. May Allah shower His blessings on his soul.”

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza and all Services Chiefs expressed deep sorrow over the death of Dr. Khan, who till his last breath contributed articles regularly for various publications in which he always gave a message of hope and called for unity and hard work to take the country forward.

In a condolence message issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa said that Dr. Qadeer rendered invaluable services to strengthen Pakistan’s defence. “May Allah exalt the ranks of the deceased,” the Army Chief prayed.

Defence Minister Pervez Khattak that called Dr. Qadeer’s death a “great loss”. “Pakistan will forever honour his services… The nation is heavily indebted to him for his contributions in enhancing our defence capabilities.”

Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said that the renowned scientist had played an important role in making the country “invincible”.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed also paid glowing tribute to Dr. Qadeer.. “He was a great scientist. He served his country and served it with dignity and hard work… The entire country respects him.”

Born in 1936 in Bhopal, India, Dr. Khan had immigrated along with his family to Pakistan in 1947 after the Partition of the subcontinent. The separation of the former East Pakistan had shaken Dr. Qadeer and he used to say that as a nation Pakistanis must never forget that tragedy.

When India conducted nuclear tests in 1974, Dr Qadeer was entrusted with the task of developing Pakistan’s nuclear programme. Along with a team of brilliant and competent scientists, Dr Qadeer set about it in an efficient and dedicated manner and conducted a series of successful tests that finally helped Pakistan emerge as the first nuclear power of the Muslim World and the seventh country to possess nuclear weapons.

Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan was awarded the Nishan-i-Imtiaz and many other awards for his meritorious and momentous services for the country.

 

Adsence 300X250