Nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan was buried with state honours in Islamabad’s H-8 graveyard, it was reported on Sunday.
The funeral prayer was offered at Faisal Mosque which was led by Prof Dr Muhammad Al-Ghazali. A large number of high civil and military officials, cabinet members, and people from different walks of life attended the funeral.
A guard of honour was also presented to the deceased scientist.
On the occasion, strict security arrangements were made while law enforcement agencies were put on high alert. Two separate enclosures were arranged within the mosque premises, of which one expressly catered to the general public.
Dr Khan passed away in Islamabad after developing medical complications. The family of the iconic nuclear physicist said he had been in a very critical health condition and was shifted to the ICU.
Nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan passes away at 85
After contracting Covid-19 earlier, Khan had recovered but since last night his health deteriorated and he was shifted to Khan Research Laboratories Hospital’s (KRL) ICU.
The news of Dr Qadeer’s death spread quickly on Sunday morning with people taking to social media to console his demise. Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Arif Alvi, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and others expressed sadness over the death of the nuclear scientist, saying the country has lost a national hero whose services will be remembered forever.
Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan was born in Bhopal, India in 1936, and later migrated along with his family to Karachi.
Khan received his early education from Karachi’s DJ Science College. In 1961, he went to Europe for higher studies and earned his PhD degree from the universities of Germany and Holland.
Dr Abdul Qadeer approached the then prime minister of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1974 and informed him about his expertise in the challenging process of Uranium enrichment through which nuclear energy is acquired.
Dr Abdul Qadeer to be buried with state honours: Sheikh Rashid
Qadeer offered to serve Pakistan with his capabilities and Bhutto immediately asked him to return to the country. He became a national hero not only in Pakistan but in the Islamic world when in May 1998 Pakistan gave a befitting response to India by conducting its nuclear tests.
He was at the centre of a global nuclear proliferation scandal in 2004. After a confession on national television, he was pardoned by then-president Pervez Musharraf but remained under house arrest for years in his palatial Islamabad home.
Dr Khan was awarded three presidential medals. He was awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence) twice and the Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Crescent of Excellence) once.