Nuclear physicist Abdul Qadir Khan |, known as the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb, died at the age of 85 after being transferred to the hospital with lung problems, state television PTV said on Sunday.
AQ Khan is considered a national hero for making Pakistan the first nuclear power in the Islamic world, but his reputation was also tarnished for having transferred technology to Iran, North Korea or Libya.
Pakistani President Arif Alvi He was “deeply saddened” on Twitter by the death. “He helped us develop the nation’s saving nuclear deterrent, and the nation will never forget his services,” he said.
The scientist had been admitted to the KRL hospital in Islamabad in August after testing positive for COVID-19, but was later discharged. His condition worsened and he was hospitalized again, PTV said.
In May 1998 he won the national hero reputation when Pakistan officially became an atomic power just days after its eternal rival, India.
But then he found himself in the middle of a controversy after being accused of illegally sharing technology with Iran, North Korea and Libya, for which he was de facto placed in a guarded residence in the capital Islamabad starting in 2004.
A court ruled the end of his guarded residence in 2009, but he continued to be subjected to very strict protection and obliged to inform the authorities in advance of his every move.
In 2012 he tried his luck in politics by creating his own party, but failed in the legislative elections the following year and dissolved the formation.