Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan: A Great Scientist and Pakistani Hero
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan the great scientist. You may all know that every country has its national heroes. Heroes, whose contributions were beneficial for the country, who are a symbol of pride for their nations. Heroes, whose names are always alive in the history of their country and culture. Here, I am going to tell you about a national hero of my country i.e. Pakistan.
I am talking about Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. He is one of the national heroes of Pakistan. He is a symbol of pride for his nation. Moreover, he is a nuclear physicist. Also, he is titled as “the father of Islamic Bomb”. Qadeer Khan was born on 1st April 1936 in Bhopal, India. And, he migrated to Pakistan in 1952.
Dr. Abdul Qadeer’s Childhood
At the time of the birth of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, India was ruled by the British Empire. Later in 1947, British rule came to an end, and India was partitioned. As a result, two countries were created, Pakistan and India. Pakistan is a Muslim majority country whereas India is a Hindu majority country. After the partition, the greatest mass movement of people took place. Though it was not peaceful immigration. It resulted in thousands of people being killed in the way.
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan was a Muslim. After the partition, he still lived in India though he was a Muslim. He and his family did not feel the need to migrate to Pakistan at that time. Then, the violence kept on increasing between the Hindus and Muslims. Therefore, Dr. Qadeer Khan migrated to Pakistan along with his family.
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan Education
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan did his early education from St. Anthony’s High School. Later, he studied as a student of physics and mathematics at the college of Karachi. Furthermore, he took a degree in metallurgy from the University of Karachi. Then, he went to West Berlin for further studies. In 1967, he moved to the Netherlands and did Masters in metallurgy from the University of Delft. Then, he moved to Belgium. There he did Ph.D., from the Catholic University of Leuven, in metallurgical engineering.
Early Career of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan
After Khan was graduated, he started working as an inspector of weight and measures in Karachi. Later, he resigned. Then, he was hired by the Physical Dynamics Research Laboratory in 1972. Physical Dynamics Research Laboratory worked with URENCO. URENCO is an association of German, British, and Dutch companies. This association was established to work on uranium enrichment by using ultracentrifuges. There, he had access to the secret information on the gas centrifuge technology.
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A war between India and Pakistan
In 1972, a war broke out between Pakistan and India. In this war, Pakistan suffered a great defeat. The defeat in this war led to the creation of a country, Bangladesh. The outcome of this war resulted in a great loss to East Pakistan. Moreover, in 1974, India tested a nuclear device.
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan realized that he was capable of helping Pakistan in this scenario. Therefore, he wrote to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and offered his services to create an atomic bomb for Pakistan. Moreover, he tried to persuade Bhutto to use his Uranium route instead of the Plutonium route. This was for building nuclear weapons. Bhutto responded positively and encouraged Abdul Qadeer Khan to help create the atomic bomb in every possible way.
Contributions to Pakistan Atomic Energy
Therefore, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan gathered a list of suppliers to obtain the required parts. He also took drawings of centrifuges. In 1975, he moved to Pakistan with his family along with the gathered materials from the Netherlands.
In 1967, as directed by Bhutto, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan founded the Kahuta Research Laboratory. It was founded to develop a uranium enrichment capability. Qadeer Khan developed prototype centrifuges. Moreover, he imported the required parts from various companies. China gave Pakistan the blueprints of a nuclear weapon. The nuclear weapon used a uranium implosion design.
Eventually, Pakistan had all the needs for building a nuclear weapon. Therefore, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan started working on his mission. In the meantime, Khan paid visits to North Korea several times. Pakistan’s Ghauri missile was also developed in Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s laboratory. The missile was created with the help of the North Koreans. Moreover, he was suspected of transferring nuclear technology to North Korea.
The Hero Got Arrested
On February 4, 2004, Khan stated Pakistan television. He said that he was the only one responsible for his operations. Moreover, he exempted the involvement of government and military in the operations. Then, he was kept under house arrest in Islamabad. Though, the President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf forgave him.
Abdul Qadeer Khan Released
According to Pakistan’s high court, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan didn’t sell nuclear technology to any country. Therefore, in 2009 he was released and could live a normal life. Moreover, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan retracted his statement of selling nuclear technology to another country. Dr. Qadeer Khan’s lawyer stated that the court has declared Khan as innocent, so he is a free citizen. As Abdul Qadeer Khan is a special person, he has been guarded by the army. During his confinement, he was treated for cancer. Moreover, there is a risk that he can be arrested if he travels overseas. This is because the Americans and UN weapon experts have to inquire about his activities. Also, he said that he has no wish to travel abroad. Though he wants to go to Makkah for a pilgrimage.
Many western people criticize Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. But for Pakistanis, he is their hero. He is the symbol of pride for their nation. He is the one who strengthened Pakistan’s Military Power. Also, he is the one who made Pakistan a nuclear state. Most importantly, he also strengthened the security of Pakistan against India. Therefore, he is an unforgettable national hero of Pakistan.