LAHORE: After observing the enthusiasm and passion of the youth of Lahore, father of the ‘Islamic bomb’ Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan said on Wednesday that he may consider contesting next elections from the city.
“I have great affection for this city,” said Khan while addressing a gathering at the Punjab University (PU) on Wednesday. He, however, did not specify whether he would contest for the provincial assembly or the national one.
Khan was invited by the PU administration to address students, faculty members and employees of the university.
Continuing with his praise for the youth, and a veiled hint towards two Lahore based political parties who are increasingly hedging their bets for the next election on Pakistan’s single largest population component, Khan said that “if one has sincere and dedicated team members like you, one can defeat anybody.”
The PU’s Faisal Auditorium, where Khan spoke, was packed with students, teachers and guests. The security arrangements were done by a special squad which is responsible for Khan’s security and nobody without a permission letter was allowed to access to the venue.
Appreciating the pace of development in Punjab, Khan said that “Shahbaz Sharif is an energetic politician and works hard. I would advise Nawaz Sharif to let Shahbaz handle all the political matters alone.”
Recollecting his correspondence with Zulfikhar Ali Bhutto regarding Pakistan’s nuclear program after India had conducted its first nuclear test in ’74, Khan recalled telling then Prime Minister Bhutto in a letter that Pakistan would not survive for another 10 years if necessary counter actions are not taken. “I was an unknown scientist, however Bhutto sahab trusted me and paid attention to my letter. He called me and I proposed some ideas to him,” Khan recalled.
Khan further said he was not in Pakistan during this time and when he came back in 1975, he realised that the nuclear program had made no progress at all. “I informed Bhutto sahab about this, who took notice and then asked me to live in Pakistan to oversee the work,” Khan said.
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