Pakistani Scientist A.Q. Khan, Who Secretly Sold Nuclear-Weapons Technology, Dies at 85

Abdul Qadeer Khan,

a Pakistani scientist who shared nuclear-weapons expertise and know-how with international locations the U.S. regards as rogue states after serving to his nation construct its first atomic bomb, died Sunday. He was 85.

At house, Dr. Khan is broadly seen as a hero for making Pakistan the one nuclear-armed nation within the Islamic world and giving it a deterrent towards its arch rival, India, which additionally has atomic weapons.

Abroad, he ran a clandestine community promoting nuclear-weapons expertise. Libya, Iran and North Korea, all hostile to the U.S., had been beneficiaries of his experience.

A.Q. Khan is broadly considered a hero in Pakistan for making it the one nuclear-armed nation within the Islamic world and giving it a deterrent towards India.


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Pakistan introduced that he could be given a state funeral, to be held Sunday within the capital, Islamabad. The nationwide flag was ordered flown at half-staff.

Prime Minister

Imran Khan

praised Dr. Khan for his “critical contribution” to creating Pakistan a nuclear weapons nation. “This has provided us security against an aggressive much larger nuclear neighbor. For the people of Pakistan he was a national icon,” he mentioned on Twitter.

Dr. Khan died of respiratory difficulties following an an infection with Covid-19, docs who handled him mentioned.

Feroz Khan,

a former official in Pakistan’s nuclear-weapons program who’s now a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, Calif., mentioned Dr. Khan was in a position to arrange a world-wide community to accumulate the gear wanted after which managed the meeting of a bomb.

“Without Dr. A.Q. Khan, Pakistan would not have had nuclear weapons,” the professor mentioned. “But his loose behavior also endangered the Pakistan program.”

Having used his community of businessmen and corporations all over the world for Pakistan to accumulate nuclear expertise within the Seventies and Eighties, he later put that very same internet into reverse to promote the know-how to different international locations for private revenue, he mentioned.

After the U.S. confronted Pakistan with proof of Dr. Khan’s proliferation actions, he was put underneath home arrest in 2004. He admitted to his function in worldwide proliferation on nationwide tv.

He lived the remainder of his life in his comfy villa in a leafy a part of Islamabad, underneath the guard of closely armed navy personnel. He was by no means charged with any crime.

Write to Saeed Shah at

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