Pakistan’s renowned nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, 85, passed away Sunday after his health deteriorated.
Dr AQ Khan is considered the father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme and is revered at home as a hero for building the Muslim world’s first atomic bomb.
Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan’s health started deteriorating Saturday night, after which he was brought to the KRL hospital Sunday morning in an ambulance, at 6:00am.
Sources said the nuclear scientist experienced discomfort in breathing after which he was brought to the hospital. However, his health took a turn for the worse when his lungs started bleeding.
Doctors tried their best to save the renowned scientist’s life but were unable to do so, resulting in his death at 7:04am. Doctors have said Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan passed away as his lungs collapsed.
The hospital administration is trying to make arrangements to shift Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan’s body to his E-7 residence. His funeral prayers will be offered at the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad at 3:30pm, said his family.
Speaking to Geo News, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed showered praise on the scientist, adding that all necessary arrangements were made to save Dr Qadeer’s life.
Rasheed confirmed that the government will accord a state funeral to the scientist in recognition of his services for Pakistan.
The interior minister said Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan had helped him a lot with educational activities, adding that he had remained a visionary leader in times when Pakistan was going through a sensitive period.
“He is indeed the Mohsin-e-Pakistan,” said Rasheed.
The minister later spoke at a press briefing, saying that Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed all cabinet members to attend Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan’s funeral.
In response to a question, he said the funeral will be offered at the Shah Faisal Mosque, adding that the public will be allowed to partake.
“He was a great scientist. He served his country and served it with dignity and hard work,” the minister stressed. “The entire country respects him and he will be buried with honour today at 3:30pm.”
He informed media that the security has been alerted for the funeral.
Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan became a national hero overnight, not only in Pakistan but in the Islamic world as well, when in May 1998 Pakistan gave a befitting response to India by conducting its nuclear tests.
Dr AQ Khan’s life in a snapshot
Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, born on April 1, 1936, in Bhopal, India, was a renowned Pakistani metallurgist and nuclear scientist.
He was among those who migrated to Pakistan in 1947 with their families.
Khan is widely regarded as the “Father of Islamic Nuclear Bomb” or founder of gas-centrifuge enrichment technology for Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent program as he developed the Muslim world’s first atomic bomb.
He acquired his engineering degree from a university in the Netherlands in 1967 and later went on to secure a doctorate in metallurgical engineering from Belgium.
Dr Khan was the first Pakistani was awarded three presidential awards. He has been awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence) twice and the Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Crescent of Excellence) once.