Think again: ‘Computer centres would’ve been better than laptops’

Published: May 3, 2012
" Seeing the
enthusiasm of the
youth, I am thinking
why not contest next
election from Lahore.
I have great affection
for this city," Dr AQ Khan.

" Seeing the enthusiasm of the youth, I am thinking why not contest next election from Lahore. I have great affection for this city," Dr AQ Khan.


“The Punjab government’s laptops initiative would have had a greater impact if it had built computer laboratories in all cities and provided them internet and printers rather than distributing computers among students,” said Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan speaking at Punjab University on Wednesday.

Dr Khan urged students to do their best for the improvement of the country and asked them to vote for the right leaders in the elections to put things on the right track. “You should also learn about your culture and literature. Nations that forget their culture lose their identity.”

“Seeing the enthusiasm and passion of the youth, I am thinking why not contest next election from Lahore. I have great affection for this city,” Dr Khan said.

Speaking at Faisal Auditorium, Dr Khan said, “Punjab is where some development is going on. Shahbaz Sharif is an energetic and hardworking politician. My advice is that Nawaz Sharif should look after the family business and leave politics to Shahbaz Sharif.”

Dr Khan said it was inaccurate that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had invited him to Pakistan. “I wrote him a letter myself. After India became a nuclear power, I wrote to him that Pakistan wouldn’t exist in another 10 years if no action was taken. He called me and I gave some proposals. When I came back next year in 1975, there had been no progress on the nuclear programme. I told Bhutto Sahib and he called General Imtiaz and berated him. Bhutto Sahib then asked me to come and live in Pakistan.”

He said he was visiting Pakistan on a vacation and when he told his wife about moving back, she asked whether he could help make Pakistan a nuclear power. “I said nobody could do this other than myself.” He said his wife understood and they stayed on in Pakistan.

“Six months later, the nuclear programme was made a separate project. Scientists from Germany, Holland and England had spent 20 years and $2 billion to achieve what I was trying to achieve alone with my team in Pakistan.”

Dr Khan said, “We started in July ‘76 and in April ‘78 we did our first uranium enrichment. In 1984, I wrote to General Ziaul Haq that we could do a nuclear blast test. This programme was totally self reliant. We did in Kahuta what no other laboratory in the world had done.”

He said, “We made an atomic bomb taking a third route, other than plutonium or diffusion. Our total budget per year was $25 million at time when a dollar was exchanged at Rs10. The world was astonished that a country that did not even manufacture a needle had made nuclear weapons.”

He said the people in power had not cultivated the talent of the Pakistani people. “In 1982-83, I had proposed establishment of an automobile industry to help industrialisation. The proposal wasn’t accepted. How difficult could it be for scientists who can make nuclear bombs to make a small cell phone? But it needs a will.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (52)

  • Truth Hurts
    May 3, 2012 - 12:53AM

    Hats off to genius!!


  • Super-Fool KaalCopterTanoli
    May 3, 2012 - 12:57AM

    and World peace would be better than supporting terrorists and creating nukes. So what?


  • Mirza
    May 3, 2012 - 2:13AM

    Why don’t we start using the nuclear how how for civilian use and generate power? Nuclear technology for peace, what a novel idea?


  • saeed
    May 3, 2012 - 2:46AM

    There is never actual hero, Hero always created, but when hero turn into POLITICAN that is big one disaster . So be very careful DR Q. . Anyway, Thank u for your work


  • Amjad
    May 3, 2012 - 3:08AM

    I believe Dr. Khan should appreciate the efforts of the provincial government in Punjab to try to bring about positive change and encourage computer literacy. There are many ways to improve education in Pakistan but at least the provincial government in Punjab is trying. It’s easy to complain and criticize but harder to work for change.


  • Saeed Murad
    May 3, 2012 - 3:10AM

    Join PTI Sir


  • Rizwan
    May 3, 2012 - 3:11AM

    @Super-Fool KaalCopterTanoli:
    Indeed, with nations like India who support terrorism and create nukes, the world is not gonna be a safer place at all!!


  • Ch Allah Daad
    May 3, 2012 - 3:21AM

    If Mian Sahib had built computer centres, Dr. Khan would had asked for laptops. Like many great scientists, this scientist has become very unstable. Now he is jumping into politics, instead he and other Khan should retire and take rest.


  • binary-zero
    May 3, 2012 - 3:24AM

    He might not be aware that there are functional computer labs almost at all schools now with the help of Intel & Microsoft. He’s a personality well regarded and should not step into politics for his own good or he’ll be dragged into the sh*t storm like every other guy.


  • M2A
    May 3, 2012 - 5:04AM

    “I was trying to achieve alone with my team in Pakistan” … Kya yeah khula tazaad nahi?


  • usmanx
    May 3, 2012 - 5:11AM

    I am weary of people that don’t give credit to their team. Was Mr. Khan the ONLY person who pulled off this feat? Surely there were others that helped.


  • Amna
    May 3, 2012 - 5:24AM

    @Super-Fool KaalCopterTanoli:
    Something tells me you only feel that way about Pakistan. For world peace there need to be no nukes. And no nukes means no nukes. Not some special countries get together and decide only they can have nukes.


  • usman
    May 3, 2012 - 6:08AM

    @ binary-zero, I don’t know which schools are you talking about. Forget about computer centres, there are no teachers at school. I had graduated from what would be ranked as a good university from peshawar and I would describe the computer lab situation as abysmal.


  • khurram
    May 3, 2012 - 6:56AM

    @Super-Fool KaalCopterTanoli

    you should leave Pakistan mate and start living in Israel or India. Pakistan doesn’t deserve a peace monger genius like you


  • Adeel Syed
    May 3, 2012 - 7:25AM

    Which Pakistan are you living in. Vast majority of schools don’t even have the basic necessities and you are saying they all have computer labs. Don’t be so blind in your support for looter and plunderes.


  • Senman
    May 3, 2012 - 7:37AM

    Lol a criminal who just got released advising Pakistan, sad state of affairs.


  • Saif M
    May 3, 2012 - 7:58AM

    “Beware of the man who is too full of himself.”


  • Abid Mengal
    May 3, 2012 - 9:25AM

    These computers were not distributed with good intentions. These were to appease voters but the scheme turnout to be a big scam. These scams are failure after failures because there is no vision behind. These pills can relieve short pain but don’t give long term results.


  • HHH
    May 3, 2012 - 9:33AM

    @Super-Fool KaalCopterTanoli: Stupid as u may be, the concept of having nukes is not really difficult to understand. As a wise man once said, “if you want peace, prepare for war”. Hope ur dimwitted mind can wrap itself around that concept.


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    May 3, 2012 - 9:50AM

    Scientists from Germany, Holland and
    England had spent 20 years and $2
    billion to achieve what I was trying
    to achieve alone with my team in

    Well, engineering design is a laborious process. On the other hand, stealing someone else’s designs isn’t.

    The world was astonished that a
    country that did not even manufacture
    a needle had made nuclear weapons.

    Though the situation remains roughly the same, the world is exasperated more than anything else.


  • curious
    May 3, 2012 - 10:10AM

    Wow he looks great considering his age and what he has been through. Thanks Tribune for the photo. Good to see he is well.


  • Light
    May 3, 2012 - 11:14AM

    A bitter fact:
    Samar Mubarakmand, a scientist in team of ABdul Qadeer trying since last 5 years and still hasnt produced a single watt electricity from Thar Coal.

    Whatever you guys say about Dr. Abdul Qadeer, He is a Genius and he has every right to praise himself after what Govt. of Pakistan did with him, because, we as a nation, are famous to humiliate our heroes

    Even an illiterate person can see that transfer of enrichment plants is not possible without the help of military air crafts….He was treated as a scape goat!


  • kalia
    May 3, 2012 - 11:50AM

    good work khan, we need people like in this generation.


  • vigilant
    May 3, 2012 - 12:13PM

    Heroes never die


  • Mustafa
    May 3, 2012 - 12:15PM

    And who will fund the cost of building computer centres,airconditioning and staffing the computer centres all over Punjab.


  • roadkashehzada
    May 3, 2012 - 1:26PM

    doctor sahab is probably out of touch of the current affairs of punjab. Governemnt of punjab already started computer labs in high schools more than a year ago under programe of the education department.
    so technically, shahbaz sharif is working 2 years ahead of Dr. sahab’s thoughts


  • geeko
    May 3, 2012 - 1:28PM

    @Super-Fool KaalCopterTanoli:
    It is well known that Pakistan is the first country to have chosen the nuclear path, which, de facto, compelled peace-propagating countries like USA or India to do the same, going against their own honourable moral principles – heard that the former even tested some in Japan, exclusively because of Pakistan.


  • DevilHunterX
    May 3, 2012 - 1:45PM

    Student loans would have been better.


  • Iram
    May 3, 2012 - 1:52PM

    @Ch Allah Daad: The grapes are sour.


  • Zaleem Singh
    May 3, 2012 - 2:20PM

    No need to come in the politicis, you are scientist.


  • Farhan
    May 3, 2012 - 2:28PM

    You have spoken the truth…


  • MBK
    May 3, 2012 - 3:03PM

    I wonder why people develop personal bias against others,bottom line is we all are Pakistanis & if somebody is making sense we all should support him/her despite his/her political or any-other affiliations. No educationist or researcher would disagree that Pakistan desperately needs to develop centres of excellence for research & for that well equipped computer labs are primary thing. No wonder we are far away from research being conducted around world.


  • saqib ali
    May 3, 2012 - 3:35PM

    the laptops are bought with the money of punjab government why are nawaz sharif and mariyam nawaz distributing them? using it as their election campaign


  • saqib ali
    May 3, 2012 - 3:40PM

    may be punjab government’s health policy will be distributing ambulances in patients


  • aysha kiani
    May 3, 2012 - 4:38PM

    I also agree with Dr A.Q. Khan, if the government provide well equipped and well organised computer centers then more students can get benefits from them. Basic purpose is to ensure computer availability which can be given to large number of students by such centers.


  • Lala Gee
    May 3, 2012 - 5:03PM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:

    “Well, engineering design is a laborious process. On the other hand, stealing someone else’s designs isn’t.”

    It took human beings decades of immeasurable efforts to invent a simple wheel. Now everybody can make a wheel without effort. What you are saying is making wheels is an act of stealing, which I am sure your country is also doing day and night without remorse for stealing. Grow up man – criticism for the sake of criticism is not a healthy habit.


  • S Khan
    May 3, 2012 - 5:03PM

    What a great man!


  • Lala Gee
    May 3, 2012 - 5:08PM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:

    “Though the situation remains roughly the same, the world is exasperated more than anything else.”

    Should we care? I’m sure your fellow countrymen a more exasperated than anybody else.


  • Ali Tanoli
    May 3, 2012 - 6:10PM

    we love u khan and i think thats a reason world digestive system got upset when they saw
    what did it in few years zindabad pakistan and khan.


  • Zeeshan
    May 3, 2012 - 6:46PM

    One thing I want to clear on this forum is that it’s really a tough pill to swallow to left a graceful career in Europe with incentives greater than Pakistan ,,this guy has done it,,,he is somehow better than us,,,everybody is rushing out and brain drain is on top in our country,,we have to appreciate his work,,,What we have done to him has stopped many of great brains to come back and serve ,,,,, he is truly a legend


  • Ali Tanoli
    May 3, 2012 - 7:18PM

    @yuri k,
    why dont other rich countries in the dont get it grow up man its not that simple.


  • Karachiwala
    May 3, 2012 - 7:36PM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:
    Excuse me Mr. Kondratyuk, I would suggest you to dig in to the history deeply and I am sure you would certainly know that Top Nuclear nations including France, Britain and Russia all copied idea from prior Nuclear states. In that case it was US but if you further dig the matter then you will know that even US got everything from German Scientist.
    The only problem with the Germans in the past era was, they were unable to carry out a successful test while US did it successfully.


  • Angel
    May 3, 2012 - 7:46PM

    I just don’t understand how come Indians have so much free time to follow news about the local/domestic issues of Pakistan and then also commenting on it. Get a hobby guys.


  • May 3, 2012 - 7:49PM

    Laptops are a good thing coz Shebaz Shareef is giving something at least….


  • Lala Gee
    May 3, 2012 - 8:32PM


    “Why don’t we start using the nuclear how how for civilian use and generate power? Nuclear technology for peace, what a novel idea? “

    Well your favorite democratic government of Pakistan Plunder Party does not have time to think about such stupid ideas which only benefits the masses. They are busy thinking day and night how to multiply their wealth within the remaining limited time of their term.


  • Mandeep Vaid
    May 3, 2012 - 9:02PM

    I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
    Albert Einstein


  • Ali Tanoli
    May 3, 2012 - 9:33PM

    we dont need Einstien to say this we all know that if the unjustice of world did not resolved then its gonna be no sticks left for fight.


  • May 4, 2012 - 12:28AM

    Real scientist. Pakistan should his ideas.


  • Mirza
    May 4, 2012 - 12:31AM

    @Lala Gee:
    You cannot see the forest from the trees, can you? The generals had dictatorial powers for decades and how many nuclear power plants they have installed for the public? Let the democratic govt (of any parties) work for a decade and then compare their performance for civilians. The worst democracy is better than the best dictatorship. How could Gen Mush and their ISI general waste time and resources for power production for public use when they were too busy in situating OBL and his harem in a military base.


  • Jamset Ram Sing
    May 4, 2012 - 1:29AM

    I think we should all be grateful to Dr. Khan. He is partially correct when he states that India would have created problems for Pakistan. However, if Pakistan did not have nuclear weapons the country would have been completely taken over by the Zionist/U.S./NATO combo by now. The reason Pakistan is running its own affairs is because America knows they will get a blood nose if they go to far. Pakistan must always be firm with the combo, because they will take advantage of Pakistan if they detect the slightest weakness. Over the last few years this has become readily apparent to anybody with the slightest amount of logic. The Pakistan Government should realize that Washington plays poker very well and they will bluff right to the end. However, an intelligent poker player can determine what type of hand his opponent has and plays accordingly. Further, it should be realized that although Central Command, CIA, and Washington do not know anything about cricket, and do not understand the nomenclature, they know when they are playing on a sticky wicket, and Pakistan should always keep this in mind. On a minor note I think I would stand a slight chance of building automobiles, although cell phones would not be quite so easy. But as Dr. Khan pointed out, how difficult can it be with the right type of scientists?


  • May 4, 2012 - 10:00PM

    The question is how much Dr.Khan got from North Korea and Iran for selling the stolen technology and how much he donated to the poor of this country. If a thief is made a hero, then Allah only know which direction the country is sliding. Blowing ones own trumpet is the habit of weak and impure mind.


  • May 5, 2012 - 4:58PM

    *I wrote to him that Pakistan wouldn’t exist in another 10 years if no action was taken
    Action taken by Pakistan and you brought stolen technology and sold it to Iran and North Korea. We made nuclear bombs to keep them in showcases of our military. Kargil happened, we got defeated, India did not move back one inch from Kashmir or Siachen, US is continuously bombarding Pakistan with drones. Nations resources are spent to safeguard and protect these nuclear toys. Yourself and ZA Bhutto are the two faces of the same coin who brought misery to this nation.


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