Abdul Qadir Khan, who is revered as the “father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb”, has died at the age of 85, officials said on Sunday, after being hospitalized with Covid-19.
The nuclear scientist was hailed as a national hero for turning his country into the world’s first Islamic nuclear power, but was regarded by the West as a dangerous hypocrite, responsible for smuggling technology to rogue states. Was.
He died after being shifted to KRL Hospital in Islamabad due to a lung problem, state broadcaster PTV reported.
It said that Khan was admitted to the same hospital in August with Kovid-19. He was transferred after his condition deteriorated after being allowed to return home several weeks ago.
Pakistan President Arif Alvi said in a tweet that he was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of “Dr Abdul Qadir Khan”, whom he had known personally since 1982.
“He helped us develop the nuclear deterrence that saved the nation and a grateful nation will never forget his services.”
Khan was praised for bringing the country on par with arch-rival India in the nuclear field and making its defense “impregnable”.
But he found himself in the international crosshairs when he was accused of illegally sharing nuclear technology with Iran, Libya and North Korea.
Khan was placed under effective house arrest in the capital, Islamabad, in 2004 after he admitted to running an extension network in three countries.
Khan was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006, but he recovered after surgery.
A court ended his detention in February 2009, but Khan’s activities were closely monitored, and officers were accompanied by him every time he left his home in the lush green area of Islamabad.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)