Letter October 12, 2021


It saddened us as we learnt of the passing of Pakistan’s notable nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, also known as the father of Pakistan’s atomic weapons programme and the founder of the gas-centrifuge enrichment technology. Our nation has lost a true benefactor who served his motherland with all his heart and soul. The passing of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan is a huge loss for the country. As a Pakistani citizen and as a Muslim, we offer our deepest condolences to his grieving family and pray for the deceased’s soul to be blessed with the highest echelons of heaven. It is not just Pakistan that mourns his sad demise but the entire Islamic world.

Born on April 1, 1936, in Bhopal, India, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan was a renowned Pakistani metallurgist and nuclear scientist. He was among those who migrated to Pakistan in 1947. He acquired his engineering degree from a university in the Netherlands in 1967 and went on to secure a doctorate in metallurgical engineering from Belgium. Dr Khan led Pakistan’s nuclear programme for twenty-five years and is considered a national hero because of his contributions to the safety and security of the country. He also founded the Khan Research Laboratories in 1976 and was both its chief scientist and director for many years. He was the first Pakistani to be decorated with three presidential medals — the Nishan-e-Imtiaz twice and the Hilal-e-Imtiaz once.

We acknowledge and honour the remarkable man who devoted his life to making Pakistan a nuclear country and ensuring its safety from our aggressive neighbour, India. In May 1998, Pakistan gave a befitting response to India by conducting nuclear tests. Our nuclear weapons have since kept Indian aggression in check.

Syeda Salma Tahir


Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2021.

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