'Father' of Pakistan's atom bomb turns 76

Published: April 1, 2012

Khan rose to the position of a national hero on 28 May, 1998 when Pakistan conducted its first nuclear test. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ FILE

Hailed in Pakistan as the “father of the atom bomb,” Abdul Qadeer Khan turned 76 years old on Sunday.

Born in India in 1936, the Pakistani scientist had worked for various scientific programmes for the country. He also received Hilal-i-Imtiaz Award and Nishan-e-Imtiaz Award from the government for his scientific services.

He rose to the position of a national hero on 28 May, 1998 when Pakistan conducted its first nuclear test in the Chagai district, in response to India’s Operation Shakti nuclear tests. The five underground tests were however greatly condemned by the international community.

Khan was later accused of nuclear proliferation. In 2003, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) revealed a nuclear black market with close ties to Pakistan, alleging Khan of being the main player.

Khan had admitted in 2004 that he ran the nuclear black-market selling secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea. He, however, later retracted his remarks and in 2009 was freed from house arrest.

Even though he was released from five-year house arrest in 2009, he is still considered as a “proliferation risk” by the United States.

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Reader Comments (67)

  • Ch Allah Daad
    Apr 1, 2012 - 7:22PM

    Happy birthday..Thanks for your services.


  • Aamir
    Apr 1, 2012 - 7:33PM

    A great and selfless person, may your birthday be filled with sunshine and smiles, laughter, love, and cheer.,,,,love and respect you from the bottom of my heart.


  • Ali Tanoli
    Apr 1, 2012 - 7:45PM

    Happy Birthday BABA may live hundered years,.


  • Apr 1, 2012 - 7:54PM

    Oh.. he fooled the whole world about Nuclear bomb.


  • Naveed Alam Khattak
    Apr 1, 2012 - 7:54PM

    Happy Birthday. Infact a hero and an ideal for all Pakistanis. His services and sacrifices will always be remembered. May God bless you and your family with lot of health and happiness and make your life full of joy.Ameen


  • [email protected]
    Apr 1, 2012 - 8:07PM

    If he had not been a Pakistani, Pakistan might have been a history…No one can dare to mess with Nuclear Pakistan now..!!
    Long Live AQ Khan & Long Live Pakistan..!!


  • FJ
    Apr 1, 2012 - 8:16PM

    Happy birthday Dr Qadeer.. we the Pakistanis love you and proud of you no matter what govt or other security agencies of Pakistan say or do to you!


  • Roflcopter
    Apr 1, 2012 - 8:43PM

    God bless AQ Khan


  • Hamid
    Apr 1, 2012 - 9:00PM

    All the respect to the great leader. Happy Birthday Sir!


  • Its (still) the Economy Stupid
    Apr 1, 2012 - 10:38PM

    If he is so genius how come Pakistan keeps asking for civil nuclear technology? How about Father of high petrol prices in the world? If he had not sold nuclear technology to Iran than US and other countries would not have to impose sanctions against the Iranian oil and the world price for petrol would not have risen this much. You pay now or pay later its time to pay back all the money made from sale of nuclear technology by paying for higher petrol prices.


  • Mandeep Vaid
    Apr 1, 2012 - 10:49PM

    Zulfiqar Bhutto, “even if we have to eat grass, we will make nuclear bomb”. Wish you all good appetite!


  • kasim.lahore
    Apr 1, 2012 - 10:54PM

    We are proud of him and he makes us proud… Salams….


  • Apr 1, 2012 - 10:59PM

    Happy Birthday Sir.


  • Jibran
    Apr 1, 2012 - 11:03PM

    This selfless hero has served Pakistan well:
    1. Siphoned off millions of dollars from the un-audit funds
    2. Created an international network of nuclear proliferation
    3. Forced CDA to bend rules to protect his illegally acquired land in Islamabad
    4. Confessed his crimes on national TV
    5. During nuclear tests, he entered into a bitter fight with the officials of Atomic Energy Commission (he belonged to KRL not PAEC), over who will press the button of detonator.


  • kaalchakra
    Apr 1, 2012 - 11:07PM

    Sir, after the Great Quaid, you are the tallest Pakistani ever born. An unsurpassed national hero whose actions and words reflect the true pride and soul of Pakistan. Just as the Great Quaid single-handedly created Pakistani, you single-handedly saved the future for Pakistani children, and may they all grow up to be just like you.


  • pakistanibaloch
    Apr 1, 2012 - 11:11PM

    GOD bless him


  • Enlightened
    Apr 1, 2012 - 11:11PM

    Happy Birthday Sir!
    You have lived a life of passion and loyalty. May selfless you find dignity and respect in the eyes of selfish nation, a people of takers not givers.

    God Bless you!


  • TM
    Apr 1, 2012 - 11:33PM

    Happy birthday. You are my hero, doesnt matter what the whole world say?


    Apr 1, 2012 - 11:40PM

    Happy Birthday to you……..Happy Birthday to you………Happy Birthday Dr. Khan
    You saved the Pakistan from beasts…… May you live long with happiness and prosperity. May Allah bless you. Thank you for your services to nation. I love you and i am proud of you…..


  • usmanx
    Apr 1, 2012 - 11:53PM

    As a son of the soil, he helped save what remained of Pakistan. In his senior years he made mistakes, at whose behest, no one knows. Our fate would be the same as Iraq or now Iran or Sikkim or Goa or Muqzooba kashmir had it not been for this man.

    May god grant you a life of dignity, bless your good deeds and forgive your sins.


    Mandeep, yes we eat grass while all of India eats lobster biriyani and drinks wine out of cups of gold.


  • jan
    Apr 2, 2012 - 12:03AM



  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Apr 2, 2012 - 12:06AM

    Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan was supposed to be the President of Pakistan, but Musharraf put him in confinement and restricted his movement, as if the atom bomb for Pakistan was made by Musharraf and not by Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan.

    Happy birthday to Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan.

    I wish him a happy life and health.


  • G. Din
    Apr 2, 2012 - 12:11AM

    “As a son of the soil, he helped save what remained of Pakistan.”
    @[email protected]:
    “No one can dare to mess with Nuclear Pakistan now..!!”
    Ein Fuehrer once said the same thing about his Third Reich. His address today – Six Feet Under! The jury is still out on that, my fellows!

    @Its (still) the Economy Stupid:
    “If he is so genius how come Pakistan keeps asking for civil nuclear technology?”
    Because the poor man knows hardly anything about nuclear science. Be fair. All he did was to xerox working drawings of Uranium enrichment technology. Those in Pakistan who had anything to do with the “atom bum” have been relegated to the oblivion. And, you know what, they are mighty happy about their place in oblivion. They do not want to be part of the ignominy AQK brought upon his country.


  • Zeta
    Apr 2, 2012 - 1:00AM

    Happy Birthday Sir.
    You are nation’s pride and always will be. May you live long


  • MK
    Apr 2, 2012 - 1:12AM

    Happy Birthday. Thanks for your services.


  • MarkH
    Apr 2, 2012 - 1:19AM

    The only man to ever create an atom bomb, see it detonate, and be happy about his product.


  • Senman
    Apr 2, 2012 - 1:26AM

    Happy Birthday to you A Q Khan, though you may have given Nuclear weapon to Pakistan we Indians forgive you as you single handedly maligned the image of Pakistan which India can never do even in 100 years. Thank you so much. Very Happy birthday to you.Recommend

  • Average Pakistani Muslim
    Apr 2, 2012 - 2:14AM

    Happy Birthday Sir Abdul Qadeer Khan

    You Are one of our greatest modern Heroes. !!! You are a true patriot who put his own life to protect Pakistan’s honor.

    The whole Pakistani nation salutes You Sir


  • Bilal
    Apr 2, 2012 - 2:50AM

    He was never treated son of soil. checkout his interview to Jawed Choudry


  • faraz
    Apr 2, 2012 - 2:56AM

    I appreciate his contributions but the real father of nuclear bomb is Dr. Munir A Khan.


  • Louis
    Apr 2, 2012 - 4:03AM

    @Average Pakistani Muslim:

    It’s better to let you live in your ignorance, dear Pakis. The man you are hero-worshipping is nothing more than a common criminal. He is wanted by the Dutch police for stealing blueprints from the Dutch atomic power plant and using them for the production of the bomb. Contrary to your belief, the man is not a physicist but a metallurgy engineer (with no clues on how to make the bomb). You need to check these facts out before you lavish your cheap praise on a man who is wanted for crimes.


  • SM
    Apr 2, 2012 - 4:15AM

    Pakistan Zindabad !!!!


  • Freeman
    Apr 2, 2012 - 5:00AM

    @Jibran: That Black market is exist so many years by the European and intenational Players before even Khan started the work on Pakistan Neuclear. Khan also bought lots of things from the international black market which was already running.

    Why everybody is jelouse with Pakistan. India and Israel also made the same was as Pakistan. They also got help from the international Black market. If khan is culprit then Indian scientist as well. Couple of Indian Scientists has also been accused to have links with the black market. If they did not get help then from where they have got all that equipment which they used in the process of Atomic bomb making? This equipment only make international companies. This is a very big question mark????

    Why european companies sold their equipment to Pakistani Scientists?? This is also a question??? They use to laugh that Pakistani scientists will never be able to use that equipment and under-estimated AQ Khans capability. They thought we are earning money and one day Pakistan will scrape all that equipment. Now they accused that Khan had Black market links after Pakistan experimented.

    AQ Khan did not confess himself. He was forced to confess under the Military dictatorship Government who threatened him.


  • Mard-e-Haq
    Apr 2, 2012 - 7:24AM

    Happy Birthday, Sir


  • Apr 2, 2012 - 8:27AM

    Happy Birthday Day Sir G :)
    Sorry we are so shame on our deeds. Dont have enough words to wish you a good Happy Birthday.


  • asif nadeem
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:13AM

    in pakistan if someone is underattack by the military, media and security agencies …..we undoubtedly beleive that he is “the man”…..in this case also if only sir AQ is under attack by every corner of establishment then this is the proof that he is the real hero of our automic bomb….WE SALUTE U SIR…..WE CAN’T DO ANYTHING FOR YOU BECAUSE WE ARE COMMON MEN …WE ARE THOSE WHO CAN’T PROTECT OUR BASIC RIGHTS…..HOW WE CAN PROTECT YOU……SORRY AAGAIN FOR THE WAY YOU HAVE BEEN TREATED


  • WitchDr.
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:23AM

    @Jibran: Come on dude, its his Birthday. Wish him luck.
    Nobody is perfect!!! Not even we, ourselves..
    His services are great nevertheless and we should acknowledge…


  • Apr 2, 2012 - 9:24AM

    love you great man!!!;;; a nuclear genius world ll forever remember, we love you and pray for ur health and long blessed life and salute ur meritorious services……….love you too much


  • Peace On Earth
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:36AM

    I am shaking my head in disgust at all these blind fools who praise this man. We are one of three countries in the world that has yet to eradicate polio, hundreds of thousands of people starve to death every year, etc etc

    Yet, having a nuke is more important because GOD forbid India were to attack us!

    How many times has India attacked us again? ZERO TIMES!


  • cric fan mani
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:47AM

    @Peace On Earth: my point of view exactly.


  • Singh
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:51AM

    I think you should read news again it says “Born in India in 1936″ & your “Great Quaid”
    also were born in India. So kind of your arch enemy “Indian”


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Apr 2, 2012 - 10:08AM

    @Its (still) the Economy Stupid:

    If he is so genius how come Pakistan
    keeps asking for civil nuclear

    Because, Honorable Mr. Khan forgot to pick-up the relevant documents at Urenco !!


  • Imran Swati
    Apr 2, 2012 - 10:08AM

    Wishing him long life full of joy and happiness .
    And a salute of respect to the proud of the nation .


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Apr 2, 2012 - 10:15AM

    Going by a recent article, A Q Khan was also the father of the Indian EU based bombs. India originally had only plutonium based nukes. Mr Khan sold the centrifuge designs to India through his Dubai based shop. This allowed India to develop EU based bombs.


  • Noble Tufail
    Apr 2, 2012 - 10:48AM

    qaradaad-e-maqasid brand false “heros” .. their time is fading away .. a new moderate pakistan shall rise.


  • maz3tt
    Apr 2, 2012 - 10:49AM

    You have made us really proud sir. May Allah keep you safe and in full health.


  • Salim Ansari
    Apr 2, 2012 - 11:05AM

    Dislike of India is a great motivational force.


  • Ali Kayani
    Apr 2, 2012 - 11:13AM

    Happy Birthday, may you lve long (Ameen). you are our pride.


  • Ali Kayani
    Apr 2, 2012 - 11:15AM

    happy birthday, may u live long (ameen), u r our pride.


  • Sarcastically yours
    Apr 2, 2012 - 11:48AM

    Qadeer khan Sb

    On behalf of the whole nation, I would like to apologize to you for not returning your favors. i also apologize for the humiliation, defamation and house arrest.

    we are sorry …and we are not worthy of national heroes such as your self.

    May Allah keep you safe. Ameen.


  • Sarcastically yours
    Apr 2, 2012 - 11:51AM

    what different have the zardaris, gilanis, sharifs etc done?

    Much worse than what you have mentioned.

    Atleast Khan has served the country, even if what you have said is true, I, for one, would let him.


  • Ahmed HM
    Apr 2, 2012 - 12:29PM

    God bless you !


  • Ozymandias
    Apr 2, 2012 - 1:00PM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:
    got a link?


  • Bilal
    Apr 2, 2012 - 1:07PM

    Proud of Karachities, he went to Karachi University!


  • jagjit sidhoo
    Apr 2, 2012 - 1:43PM

    @Salim Ansari: Never forget to hate India


  • wise counsel.
    Apr 2, 2012 - 2:46PM

    @[email protected]:
    The day you all realise that no one wants to mess with non-nuclear pakistan too, then you will start progressing towards being a welfare state as against the failed state it is today..No one wants to mess into others affairs,unless provoked,and its Pakistan who feels threatened because of its own insecurities and greed for more!!


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Apr 2, 2012 - 6:27PM


    @Yuri Kondratyuk: got a link?

    Here it is;
    India Was Khan’s Fourth Customer


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Apr 2, 2012 - 6:37PM


    Also, from the link’s comment section;

    President Pervez Musharraf had already hinted at A Q Khan’s link with India in his book “In the Line of Fire”. In 1998, Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan, former Chairman PAEC, had also stated in an article in English daily, The News, entitled “India’s Nuclear Strengths and Weaknesses” that “India used strikingly similar technology for enrichment as Pakistan, which is a strange coincidence.”

    As I mentioned previously, its an likely interesting, but, I myself do not believe it fully. You could follow the thread of links if interested and you could share your opinions with rest of us here too.


  • usmanx
    Apr 2, 2012 - 11:20PM

    so yuri-indian, you are saying india worked with a rogue nuclear scientist and not report it to an international body making it an accessory to this ‘crime’ ? Checkmate. Don’t bother responding.


  • Dr Jamil Chaudri
    Apr 3, 2012 - 12:45AM


    A lot of British were born in India, but that did not make them Indian. Since the time of Mahmood of Ghazna, citizens of what is now the United Islamic Republics (Afghania and Pakia) had lived in the Islamic patrimony of Hind, but that DID NOT make them Hindi! In 1947, most Pakis were indeed Hindi-born; but, really, they never were Hindi by aptitude or inclination or ethnicity.
    Just the same as at the end of British rule, most British (whether born in Hind or otherwise) left for the UK or British Dominions (Australia, South Africa, etc.), in 1947 most Pakis left Hind.
    Some Hindis seem unable to understand the difference between religion and ethnicity. Hindi-Muslims are still in India; those from the United Islamic Republics left Hind in 1947. We were never Hindi – a strange set of circumstances had spread us across the Gangetic Plains – in 1947, or thereafter, we returned home!!


  • Dr Jamil Chaudri
    Apr 3, 2012 - 1:15AM

    In my earlier posting I had used the phrase: “ .. a strange set of circumstances had spread us across the Gangetic Plains”. Perhaps, the phrase needs a bit of elaboration. It was the spirit of adventure and romance, an outwards outlook, curiosity, and the zeal of sharing our civilization that spread us over the Gengetic Plain. The Romance lasted for a few hundred years and when zeal waned, our fathers returned to our ancestral ethnic home-land: the United Islamic Republics.
    You have to understand that citizenship is a transient thing. One can change ones citizenship. Also some citizenships cease to exist. For example, British Indian citizenship, DIED in 1947: My parents were, one day, British Indian and then on return to their ethnic-ancestral land they were recognised as Pakis.


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Apr 3, 2012 - 10:03AM


    you are saying india worked with a
    rogue nuclear scientist and not report
    it to an international body making it
    an accessory to this ‘crime’ ?

    The possible gist is, Pak establishment ended up looking silly (after working so hard for India’s benefit) and kept quiet out of sheer embarrassment.
    About the crime part, please go ahead and make India pay for it.

    Checkmate. Please do respond if you can :-P


  • usmanx
    Apr 3, 2012 - 10:16AM

    Dr. Sahib you should write more. thanks.


  • jagjit sidhoo
    Apr 3, 2012 - 1:43PM

    @Dr Jamil Chaudri: The invaders of the Indo- Gangetic plain came from Greece, Saudi Arabia, Central Asia, Iran & Afghanistan not from the area of Pakistan which is part of this plain . So if your intention was to return to where you came from after you found the Indo Gangetic plain not to your liking well you have not finished your journey.


  • Dr Jamil Chaudri
    Apr 3, 2012 - 9:01PM

    Salutations, Mr Sidhoo.
    You raise two interesting issues. Issue 1: Geographic; and Issue 2: Civilizational.
    Regarding the Geographic issue, in my writing I mentioned the Gangetic Plain, as the area where Afghan-Paki people sojourned. The Indus River (its source and its tributaries) is an Afghan-Pakistani River. Even ancient geographers recognised the boundary of Hind to be TO THE EAST OF the Indus River SYSTEM. The Indus River System has NOTHING to do with Hind; it only defines Hind as a land on the other side of the Indus System. In Latin, Hind would be defined as a trans-Indus land.
    The second issue pertains to civilizational differences. In the Afghan-Pakistani (linked with Turkic) anschauung, the Upland Afghans brought a message and a civilization which was well received by the inhabitants of the Afghan Lowlands (Indus River System). The Pakistanis are totally Afghanised. Although I am a Jatt, from Ludihana in Hindi Punjab, in terms of ethnicity I am an Afghan from the top of my head (the Karakul Hat) to the sole of my shoes (the Peshawari sandals). In our anschauung anybody who accepts our WAY OF LIFE becomes US. Whether they came from Greece, or Japan (or from the moon for that matter!) provided they have the inclination and aptitude to be Afghan-Pakistani , that person is no longer a foreigner: He or she is US.
    The treachery of Albion resulted in some of the Afghan-Pakitani Lands being presently occupied by Hind. But that is another story. On the other hand, Dr Qadeer Khan, is a true full-blooded Pakistani-Afghan: honoured on the day he was born, honoured for his contribution to the defence of the United Islamic Republics and he will be honoured on the day he dies. May he have a long life. Recommend

  • Muhammad Arqum
    Apr 8, 2012 - 2:52PM

    yea definately


  • Muhammad Arqum
    Apr 8, 2012 - 2:55PM

    Dr.Abdul Qadeer Khan is hero of whole Muslim Ummah…………..

    May he live long..............AMMEN

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