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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Abdul Qadeer Khan Tujay SALAAM

Abdul Qadeer Khan - HI, NI (twice), (Urdu: عبدالقدیر خان; born April 1, 1936 in Bhopal, British India) is a Pakistani nuclear scientist and metallurgical engineer, widely regarded as the founder of Pakistan's nuclear program. His middle name is occasionally rendered as Quadeer, Qadir or Qadeer, and his given names are usually abbreviated to A.Q.. He is affectionately refferd to as Mohsin-e-Pakistan (saviour/benefactor of Pakistan) (Urdu: محسنِ پاکستان) in his country.
In January 2004, Khan confessed to having been involved in a clandestine international network of nuclear weapons technology proliferation from Pakistan to Libya, Iran and North Korea. There is evidence to believe that Khan and his network are one of the worst proliferators of nuclear technology that can be used to develop nuclear weapons. However, owing to domestic pressure from radical groups, on February 5, 2004, the President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, announced that he had pardoned Khan, who is widely seen as a national hero. He is credited with helping muslim countries to develop nuclear weapons.[2]

In an August 23, 2005 interview with Kyodo News General Pervez Musharraf confirmed that Khan had supplied gas centrifuges and gas centrifuge parts to North Korea and, possibly, an amount of uranium hexafluoride.[3]

In interviews from May through July 2008, Khan recanted his previous confession of his involvement with Iran and North Korea. He said President Pervez Musharraf forced him to be a "scapegoat" for the "national interest."[4][5] Khan accuses the Pakistan Army and President Musharraf of proliferating nuclear arms.[6] He said centrifuges were sent from Pakistan in a North Korean plane loaded under the supervision of Pakistani security officials. He also said that he had traveled to North Korea in 1999 with a Pakistani Army general to buy shoulder-launched missiles from the government there.[7]

Islamabad High Court on February 6, 2009 declared Dr. A. Q. Khan as a free citizen of Pakistan and said that he is free to locomote in Pakistan; the verdict was given by Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Aslam.[8]
Early life

Khan was born in British India into a Urdu Speaking-Pathan family, they migrated from India to Pakistan in 1952. Khan enrolled at the D. J. Science College of Karachi, where he excelled. He obtained a B.Sc. degree in 1960 from the University of Karachi, majoring in physical metallurgy. After his graduation, he worked as an inspector of weight and measures in Karachi. In 1961, he resigned from his position and flew to West Germany to study metallurgical engineering at a technical university there. He then obtained an engineer's degree in 1967 from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, and a Ph.D. degree in metallurgical engineering under the supervision of Dr. Martin Brabers from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium in 1972.[9].

Work in the Netherlands

In 1972, the year he received his PhD, Khan joined the staff of the Physical Dynamics Research Laboratory (FDO) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. FDO was a subcontractor for URENCO, the uranium enrichment facility at Almelo in the Netherlands, which had been established in 1970 by the United Kingdom, West Germany, and the Netherlands to assure a supply of enriched uranium for the European nuclear reactors. The URENCO facility used Zippe-type centrifuge technology to separate the fissionable isotope uranium-235 out of uranium hexafluoride gas by spinning a mixture of the two isotopes at up to 100,000 revolutions a minute. The technical details of these centrifuge systems are regulated as secret information by export controls because they could be used for the purposes of nuclear proliferation.

In May 1974, India carried out its first nuclear test, code named Smiling Buddha, to the great alarm of the Government of Pakistan. Around this time, Khan having a distinguished career and being one of the senior most scientists at the nuclear plant he worked at, had privileged access to the most restricted areas of the URENCO facility as well as to documentation on the gas centrifuge technology. India's surprise nuclear test and the subsequent Pakistani scramble to establish a deterrent caused great alarm to the Pakistani government as well as the Pakistani diaspora including individuals like Khan. A subsequent investigation by the Dutch authorities found that he had passed highly-classified material to a network of Pakistani intelligence agents; however, they found no evidence that he was sent to the Netherlands as a spy nor were they able to determine whether he approached the Government of Pakistan about espionage first or whether they had approached him. In December 1975, after having stolen the gas centrifuge blueprints, Khan suddenly left the Netherlands; he returned to Pakistan in 1976.[10].

The former Dutch Prime Minister, Ruud Lubbers, said in early August 2005 that the Government of the Netherlands knew of Khan "stealing" the secrets of nuclear technology but let him go on at least two occasions after the CIA expressed their wish to continue monitoring his movements.[11][12]

Relationship with Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan did have a good and mutual relationship with Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. However, he was not close to Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as Munir Ahmad Khan was. After India’s first successful nuclear test on May 18, 1974. Dr. A. Q. Khan, at this time working in a centrifuge production facility in the Netherlands, begins to approach Pakistani government representatives to offer help with Pakistan’s nuclear program. First, he approaches a pair of Pakistani military scientists who are in the Netherlands on business. Despite of his offers, the Pakistan's military scientists discouraged him by saying: "As a metallurgical engineer, it would be a hard job for him to find a job in PAEC (Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission)". Undaunted, dr. Khan wrote a letter to Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. His letter addressed to Prime Minister Bhutto that "he, dr. Khan, sets out his experience and encourages Prime Minister Bhutto to make a nuclear bomb using uranium, rather than plutonium, the method Pakistan is currently trying to adopt under the leadership of Munir Ahmad Khan".

On December, 1974, dr. Khan came back to Pakistan to meet Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and PAEC Chairman Munir Ahmad Khan, where he tried to convinced Prime Minister Bhutto to adopt his Uranium route rather than Plutonium route. Prime Minister Bhutto did not agree to halt the Plutonium route but decided on the spot to place dr. A. Q. Khan in charge for Uranium Program as a parallel nuclear program advantage.[13] Later that evening, Prime Minister Bhutto met with his close friend and PAEC Chairman Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan in his house, where Prime Minister Bhutto told Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan that "he [Dr. Khan] seems to make sense".

In his columns, dr. Khan has wrote that he met with Gen. Zia later that evening when Bhutto was put in jailed. He requested to General Zia not to hang Prime Minister Bhutto instead exiled him. According to him, Gen. Zia quickly told him to do his scientific work that is assigned to him. Politics is not his game.

Abdul Qadeer Khan has praised Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in his columns and numerous education-purpose conferences. In an interview with Jang Group of Newspapers, a leading Pakistani news paper, dr. Khan praised Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his daughter Benazir Bhutto in which he said" Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his daughter Benazir Bhutto are credited to help Pakistan to acquired nuclear technology". He also said" Despite of International pressure, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto acted like a wall and due to his efforts, Pakistan achieved sensitve nuclear technology in a short time". [14]

Development of nuclear weapons

In 1976, Khan was put in charge of Pakistan's uranium enrichment program with the support of the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The uranium enrichment program was originally launched in 1974 by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) as Project-706 under the guidance of Munir Ahmad Khan, Dr.A.Q.Khan joined it in the spring of 1976. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan took over the project from another Pakistani nuclear engineer, Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood in July 1976. In July of that year, he took over the project from PAEC and re-named the enrichment project as the Engineering Research Laboratories (ERL) at Kahuta, Rawalpindi, subsequently, renamed the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) by the then President of Pakistan, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. The laboratories became the focal point for developing a uranium enrichment capability for Pakistan's nuclear weapons development programme.

Competing Against Munir Ahmad Khan and PAEC

But KRL led by dr. Khan was not mandated or involved with the actual design, development and testing of Pakistan's nuclear weapons which was the responsibility of PAEC. Nor was KRL responsible for developing the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle, comprising uranium exploration, mining and refining and production of yellow cake, conversion of yellow cake into uranium hexafluoride gas which is the feed material for enrichment and nuclear fuel fabrication; or the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle comprising the civil and military nuclear reactor projects and the reprocessing program, all of which was developed and led from 1972 onwards by PAEC under Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan.

Dr. Khan initially worked under Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), headed by Munir Ahmad Khan, for a short period. But the pair fell out, and in July 1976, Prime Minister Bhutto gave Dr. Khan autonomous control of the uranium enrichment project, reporting directly to the prime minister's office, which arrangement has continued since. Dr. Khan founded the Engineering Research Laboratories (ERL) on 31 July 1976, with the exclusive task of indigenous development of Uranium Enrichment Plant. Within the next five years the target would be achieved.[15]

As KRL led by dr. A Q Khan and PAEC led by Munir Ahmad Khan created a tough institutional rivalry against each other. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan was also a staunch critic of Munir Ahmad Khan's work. The Monthly Atlantic described Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan and dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan as a "mortal enemy" of each other. According to the The Monthly Atlantic, dr. A.Q Khan tried to convince Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that Uranium route would be be faster than Munir Ahmad Khan's pursuit of plutonium reprocessing, then under way.[16] However, Munir Ahmad Khan and his team of nuclear engineers and nuclear physicists at the PAEC believed that they could run the reactor without Canadian assistance, and they insisted that with the French extraction plant in the offing, Pakistan should stick with its original plan. Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto did not disagree, but he saw the advantage of mounting a parallel effort toward enriched uranium, and decided on the spot to place Dr. A. Q. Khan in charge. [17]

In the early 1980s, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan's KRL also sought to develop nuclear weapons in competition with PAEC and claimed to have carried out at least one cold test in 1984, but it seems that this effort did not prove to be successful since PAEC led by Munir Ahmad Khan had carried out the first cold test of a working nuclear device on March 11, 1983, and in the following years continued to carry out 24 cold tests of different weapons designs. That is why PAEC also conducted the 1998 nuclear tests for Pakistan at Chaghi and Kharan.

KRL also launched other weapons development projects like in competition with PAEC the development of the nuclear weapons-capable Ghauri ballistic missile. In early 80's, the PAEC was developing the solid-fuelled Shaheen ballistic missile. In competition with PAEC, Dr. Khan's KRL sought to developed the liquid-fuelled Ghauri ballistic missile. KRL also sat up its own laboratories and produced its both Low-Enriched Uranium [LEU] and Highly Enriched Uranium [HEU] in competion with PAEC.

The competition between KRL and PAEC became highly intense when India tested its nuclear test, Pokhran-II, in 1998. India's second Nuclear Test caused a great alarm in Pakistan but the situation in Pakistan became more critical when then-Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif came into intense public pressure from Pakistani society to replied India by conducting Pakistan's nuclear devices. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan repeatedly met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in which he tried to get Prime Minister's permission to test Pakistan nuclear test in Chaghi. Despite of his effort, Prime Minister granted permission to PAEC, under dr. Ishfaq Ahmad, to test country's first nuclear test. The decision made by Prime Minister was questioned by the Pakistani civil society. However, the Prime Minister avoided an intense rivalry between PAEC and KRL, and asked dr. Khan to provide KRL's enriched uranium to PAEC to test Pakistan's first nuclear tests in 1998. Prime Minister also urged to KRL and PAEC to work together in the national interest of country. It was enrichment of Uranium in KRL that ultimately led to the successful detonation of Pakistan's first nuclear device on 28 May 1998. [18] After 2 days later, on May 30th 1998, PAEC tested Plutonium based nuclear device, according to the defence analyst in Pakistan, the plutonium-based device was much stronger than Uranium device.

Relationships with President Gen. Zia ul-Haq and Pakistan's Armed Forces

According to the media reports, it said that Dr. Khan had an extremely close relationship with President Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq and Pakistan Army. Dr. Khan had also maintained an extremely close relationships with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). On 1 May 1981, after President Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq official visit to ERL; ERL was renamed by Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq as Dr. Khan Research Laboratories (KRL).

KRL occupied a unique role in Pakistan's Defence Industry, reporting directly to the office of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, and having extremely close relations with the Pakistani military. The former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto (late), has said that, during her term of office, even she was not allowed to visit the facility (KRL). After President Gen. Zia ul-Haq death, dr. Khan sought to developed a close and friendly relationship with Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff (Pakistan) Gen. (r) Mirza Aslam Beg. According to Dr. Khan, Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg was aware of selling of nuclear technology to North Korea and one of his top-trusted general was supervising it.

Dr. Khan has praised President Gen. Zia ul-Haq in his columns and numerous conferences. In an interview with Jang Group of Newspapers, dr. Khan paid a tribute to General Zia, in which he said" President General Zia (late) is responsible to help Pakistan to acquired sensitive nuclear technology. He also said" Zia's contribution is country's nuclear program, made possible for Pakistan to developed its own nuclear weapons.

Heading KRL

Pakistan's establishment of its own uranium enrichment capability was so rapid that international suspicion was raised as to whether there was outside assistance to this program. It was reported that Chinese technicians had been at the facility in the early 1980s, but suspicions soon fell on Khan's activities at URENCO. In 1983, Khan was sentenced in absentia to four years in prison by an Amsterdam court for attempted espionage; the sentence was later overturned at an appeal on a legal technicality. Khan rejected any suggestion that Pakistan had illicitly acquired nuclear expertise: "All the research work [at Kahuta] was the result of our innovation and struggle," he told a group of Pakistani librarians in 1990. "We did not receive any technical know-how from abroad, but we cannot reject the use of books, magazines, and research papers in this connection."[citation needed]

In 1987, a British newspaper reported that Khan had confirmed Pakistan's acquisition of a nuclear weapons development capability, by his saying that the U.S. intelligence report "about our possessing the bomb (nuclear weapon) is correct and so is speculation of some foreign newspapers".[citation needed] Khan's statement was disavowed by the Government of Pakistan. and initially he denied giving it, but he later retracted his denial. In October 1991, the Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that Khan had repeated his claim at a dinner meeting of businessmen and industrialists in Karachi, which "sent a wave of jubilation" through the audience.[citation needed]

During the 1980s and 1990s, the Western governments became increasingly convinced that covert nuclear and ballistic missile collaboration was taking place between China, Pakistan, and North Korea. According to the Washington Post, "U.S. intelligence operatives secretly rifled Dr. A.Q. [Khan's] luggage ... during an overseas trip in the early 1980s to find the first concrete evidence of Chinese collaboration with Pakistan's [nuclear] bomb effort: a drawing of a crude, but highly reliable, Hiroshima-sized [nuclear] weapon that must have come directly from Beijing, according to the U.S. officials." In October 1990, the activities of KRL led to the United States terminating economic and military aid to Pakistan, following this, the Government of Pakistan agreed to a freeze in its nuclear weapons development program. But Khan, in a July 1996 interview with the Pakistani weekly Friday Times, said that "at no stage was the program [of producing nuclear weapons-grade enriched uranium] ever stopped".[19]

Nuclear Proliferation and Rise to Fame

The American clampdown may have prompted an increasing reliance on Chinese and North Korean nuclear and missile expertise. In 1995, the U.S. Government learned that KRL had bought 5,000 specialized magnets from a Chinese Government-owned company, for use in the uranium enrichment equipment. More worryingly, it was reported that the Pakistani nuclear weapons technology was being exported to other states aspirant of nuclear weapons, notably, North Korea. In May 1998, Newsweek magazine published an article alleging that Khan had offered to sell nuclear know-how to Iraq, an allegation that he denied. United Nations arms inspectors apparently discovered documents discussing Dr. Khan's purported offer in Iraq; Iraqi officials said the documents were authentic but that they had not agreed to work with Khan, fearing it was a sting operation.[citation needed] A few weeks later, both India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests (Pokhran-II and Chagai-I, respectively) that confirmed both countries' development of nuclear weapons. The tests were greeted with jubilation in both countries; in Pakistan, dr. Khan was feted as a national hero. The President of Pakistan, Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, awarded a Nishan-e-Imtiaz second time to him for his role in masterminding the Pakistani nuclear weapons development programme. The United States immediately imposed sanctions on both India and Pakistan and publicly blamed China for assisting Pakistan.

Involvement in Pakistan's Space Program

After his active role in Pakistan's nuclear program. Dr. Khan sought to re-organize and revitalized the Pakistan's s national space agency, SUPARCO. In the late of 1990s, dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan was actively and heavily involved in Pakistan's space Program especially the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) and Pakistan's first Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Project. He also worked closely with SUPARCO's scientist in development and contruction of Pakistan's first indigeniously constructed launch facility/space port, Tilla Satellite Launch Center at Tilla District.

In 1999, dr. Khan met with then-chief executive of Pakistan General Pervez Mushrraf with his indigenously self-designed Low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite. He briefed chief executive of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf.

He also suggested that Pakistan should launch this satellite from its own space centers and satellite launch centers. But General Musharraf seem not to agree with him and did not grant him permission to developed his satellite. He was highly dissappointed and he wrote in his column " In 1999, I suggested to Gen. Musharraf to allow me to work on launching our own satellite. It could have been done in about three years. Permission was refused".[20]

In March 2001, Dr. Khan announced that Pakistani scientists were in the process of building the country's first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) and that the project had been assigned to SUPARCO, which also built the Badr satellites. Dr. Khan also cited the fact that India had made rapid strides in the fields of SLV and satellite manufacture as another motivation for developing an indigenous launch capabilities.[21] He tried to convinced then-President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf to launch the satellite from Pakistan's satellite launch. On december 10, 2001, despite of his efforts, Pakistan launched its second On Low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan aboard a RussianZenit-2.

Investigations into Pakistan's nuclear proliferation

Khan's open promotion of Pakistan's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile capabilities became something of an embarrassment to Pakistan's government. The United States government became increasingly convinced that Pakistan was trading nuclear weapons technology to North Korea in exchange for ballistic missile technology. In the face of strong U.S. criticism, the Pakistani government announced in March 2001 that Khan was to be dismissed from his post as Chairman of KRL, a move that drew strong criticism from the religious and nationalist opposition to the President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf. Perhaps in response to this, the Government of Pakistan appointed dr. Khan to the post of Special Science and Technology Adviser to the President, with the status of federal minister. While this could be regarded as a promotion for Khan, it removed him from hands-on management of KRL and gave the government an opportunity to keep a closer eye on his activities. In 2002, the Wall Street Journal quoted unnamed "senior Pakistani Government officials" as conceding that Khan's dismissal from KRL had been prompted by the U.S. government's suspicions of his involvement in nuclear weapons technology transfers with North Korea.

Khan came under renewed scrutiny following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S. and the subsequent US invasion of Afghanistan to oust the fundamentalist Taliban regime in Afghanistan. It emerged that al-Qaeda had made repeated efforts to obtain nuclear weapons materials to build either a radiological bomb or a crude nuclear bomb. In late October 2001, the Pakistani government arrested three Pakistani chief nuclear scientists, all with close ties to dr. Khan, for their suspected connections with the Taliban.

The Bush administration continued to investigate Pakistani nuclear weapons proliferation, ratcheting up the pressure on the Pakistani government in 2001 and 2002 and focusing on Khan's personal role. It was alleged in December 2002 that U.S. intelligence officials had found evidence that an unidentified agent, supposedly acting on Khan's behalf, had offered nuclear weapons expertise to Iraq in the mid-1990s, though Khan strongly denied this allegation and the Pakistani government declared the evidence to be "fraudulent". The United States responded by imposing sanctions on KRL, citing concerns about ballistic missile technology transfers.

2003 revelations from Iran and Libya

In August 2003, reports emerged of dealings with Iran; it was claimed that Khan had offered to sell nuclear weapons technology to that country as early as 1989. The Iranian government came under intense pressure from the United States and the European Union to make a full disclosure of its nuclear programme and, finally, agreed in October 2003 to accept tougher investigations from the International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA reported that Iran had established a large uranium enrichment facility using gas centrifuges based on the "stolen" URENCO designs, which had been obtained "from a foreign intermediary in 1987." The intermediary was not named but many diplomats and analysts pointed to Pakistan and, specifically, to dr. Khan, who was said to have visited Iran in 1986. The Iranians turned over the names of their suppliers and the international inspectors quickly identified the Iranian gas centrifuges as Pak-1's, the model of intense [HEU] that was indegeniously developed by dr. Khan in the early 1980s. In December 2003, two senior staff members at Khan Labs or KL were arrested on suspicion of having sold nuclear weapons technology to the Iranians.

Also in December 2003, Libya made a surprise announcement that it had weapons of mass destruction programmes which it would now abandon. Libyan government officials were quoted as saying that Libya had bought nuclear components from various black market dealers, including Pakistani nuclear scientists. U.S. officials who visited the Libyan uranium enrichment plants shortly afterwards reported that the gas centrifuges used there were very similar to the Iranian ones. The IAEA officials also visited to the Libyan nuclear plant where they found the models of Paksat-1. The Interpol police also arrested a three Swiss nuclear scientists, who were known to be Khan's close associate and friends.

Dismissal, confession, and pardon

Investigation and confession

The Pakistani government's blanket denials became untenable as evidence mounted of illicit nuclear weapons technology transfers. It opened an investigation into Khan's activities, arguing that even if there had been wrongdoing, it had occurred without the Government of Pakistan's knowledge or approval. But critics noted that virtually all of Khan's overseas travels, to Iran, Libya, North Korea, Niger, Mali, and the Middle East, were on official Pakistan government aircraft which he commandeered at will, given the status he enjoyed in Pakistan. Often, he was accompanied by senior members of the Pakistan nuclear establishment.

Although he was not arrested, Khan was summoned for "debriefing". On January 25, 2004, Pakistani investigators reported that Khan and Mohammed Farooq, a high-ranking manager at KRL, had provided unauthorised technical assistance to Iran's nuclear weapons program in the late 1980s and early 1990s, allegedly in exchange for tens of millions of dollars. General Mirza Aslam Beg, a former Chief of Army Staff at the time, was also said to have been implicated; the Wall Street Journal quoted U.S. government officials as saying that Khan had told the investigators that the nuclear weapons technology transfers to Iran had been authorised by General Mirza Aslam Beg.[23]. On January 31, Khan was dismissed from his post as the Science Adviser to the President of Pakistan, ostensibly to "allow a fair investigation" of the nuclear weapons technology proliferation allegations.

In early February 2004, the Government of Pakistan reported that Khan had signed a confession indicating that he had provided Iran, Libya, and North Korea with designs and technology to aid in nuclear weapons programs, and said that the government had not been complicit in the proliferation activities. The Pakistani official who made the announcement said that Khan had admitted to transferring technology and information to Iran between 1989 and 1991, to North Korea and Libya between 1991 and 1997 (U.S. officials at the time maintained that transfers had continued with Libya until 2003), and additional technology to North Korea up until 2000.[24] On February 4, 2004, Khan appeared on national television and confessed to running a proliferation ring; he was pardoned the next day by Musharraf, the Pakistani president, but held under house arrest.[25]

Information coming from the investigation

The full scope of the Khan network is not fully known. Centrifuge components were apparently manufactured in Malaysia with the aid of South Asian and German middlemen, and used a Dubai computer company as a false front. According to Western sources, Khan had three motivations for his proliferation: 1. a defiance of Western nations and an eagerness to pierce the "clouds of so-called secrecy," 2. an eagerness to give nuclear technology to Muslim nations, and 3. money, acquiring wealth and real estate in his dealings. Much of the technology he sold was second-hand from Pakistan's own nuclear program and involved many of the same logistical connections which he had used to develop the Pakistani bomb.[2] In Malaysia, Khan was helped by Sri Lanka-born Buhary Sayed Abu Tahir, who shuttled between Kuala Lumpur and Dubai to arrange for the manufacture of centrifuge components.[25] The Khan investigation also revealed how many European companies were defying export restrictions and aiding the Khan network as well as the production of the Pakistani bomb. Dutch companies exported thousands of centrifuges to Pakistan as early as 1976, and a German company exported facilities for the production of tritium to the country.[26]

The investigation exposed Israeli businessman Asher Karni as having sold nuclear devices to Khan's associates. Karni is currently awaiting trial in a U.S. prison. Tahir was arrested in Malaysia in May 2004 under a Malaysian law allowing for the detention of individuals posing a security threat.[25]

Pardon and U.S. reaction

On February 5, 2004, the day after Khan's televised confession, he was pardoned by Pakistani President Musharraf. However, Khan remained under house arrest.

The United States government imposed no sanctions on the Pakistani government following the confession and pardon. U.S. government officials said that in the War on Terrorism, it was not their goal to denounce or imprison people but "to get results." Sanctions on Pakistan or demands for an independent investigation of the Pakistani military might have led to restrictions on or the loss of use of Pakistan military bases needed by US and NATO troops in Afghanistan. "It's just another case where you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar," a U.S. government official explained.[citation needed] The U.S. also refrained from applying further direct pressure on Pakistan to disclose more about Khan's activities due to a strategic calculation that such pressure might topple President Musharraf.

In a speech to the National Defense University on February 11, 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush proposed to reform the International Atomic Energy Agency: "No state, under investigation for proliferation violations, should be allowed to serve on the IAEA Board of Governors—or on the new special committee. And any state currently on the Board that comes under investigation should be suspended from the Board. The integrity and mission of the IAEA depends on this simple principle: Those actively breaking the rules should not be entrusted with enforcing the rules."[27] The Bush proposal was seen as targeted against Pakistan which, currently, serves a regular term on the IAEA's Board of Governors. It has not received attention from other governments.

In western media, Khan became a major symbol of the threat of proliferation. In February 2005, he was featured on the cover of U.S.-based Time magazine as the "Merchant of Menace", labeled "the world's most dangerous nuclear trafficker," and in November 2005, the Atlantic Monthly ran a cover on Khan ("The Wrath of Khan") that featured a picture of a mushroom cloud behind Khan's head.

Subsequent developments


In September 2005, Musharraf revealed that after two years of questioning Khan — which the Pakistani government insisted to do itself without outside intervention — that they had confirmed that Khan had supplied centrifuge parts to North Korea. Still undetermined was whether or not Khan passed a bomb design to North Korea or Iran that had been discovered in Libya.[28]

Renewed calls for IAEA access

Since 2005, and particularly in 2006, there have been renewed calls by IAEA officials, senior U.S. congressmen, EC politicians, and others to make Khan available for interrogation by IAEA investigators, given lingering skepticism about the "fullness" of the disclosures made by Pakistan regarding Khan's activities. In the U.S., these calls have been made by elected U.S. lawmakers rather than by the U.S. Department of State, though some interpret them as signalling growing discontent within the U.S. establishment with the current Pakistani regime headed by Musharraf.

In May 2006, the U.S House of Representatives Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation held a hearing titled, "The A.Q. Khan Network: Case Closed?" Recommendations offered by legislators and experts at this hearing included demanding that Pakistan turn over Khan to the U.S. for questioning as well as that Pakistan make further efforts to curb future nuclear proliferation. In June 2006, the Pakistani Senate, subcommittee hearing, issued a unanimous resolution criticizing the committee, stating that it will not turn over Khan to U.S. authorities and defending its sovereignty and nuclear program.

Lack of further action

Neither Khan nor any of his alleged Pakistani collaborators have yet to face any charges in Pakistan, where he remains an extremely popular figure. Khan is still seen as an outspoken nationalist for his belief that the West is inherently hostile to Islam. In Pakistan's strongly anti-U.S. climate, tough action against him posed political risks for Musharraf, who faced accusations of being too pro-U.S. from key leaders in Pakistan's Army. An additional complicating factor is that few believe that Khan acted alone and the affair risks gravely damaging the Army, which oversaw and controlled the nuclear weapons development programme and of which Musharraf was commander-in-chief, until his resignation from military service on November 28, 2007.[29] In December 2006, the Swedish Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (SWMDC) headed by Hans Blix, a former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC); said in a report that Khan could not have acted alone "without the awareness of the Pakistani Government".[30]

It has also been speculated that Khan's two daughters, who live in the UK and are UK subjects (thanks to their part-British, part-South African mother Henny), are in possession of extensive documentation linking the government of Pakistan to Khan's activities; such documentation is presumably intended to ensure that no further action is taken against Khan. [31] Conversely, both high-profile government members, such as Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq, as well as political opposition parties have expressed their support for Khan, allegations of nuclear trafficking notwithstanding.


On August 22, 2006, the Pakistani government announced that Khan had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and was undergoing treatment. On September 9, 2006, Khan was operated at Aga Khan hospital, in Karachi. According to doctors, the operation was successful, but on October 30 it was reported that his condition had deteriorated and he was suffering from deep vein thrombosis.[32]

Release from house arrest

In February 2009, two senior government officials told the Associated Press that restrictions on Khan has been removed and he is considered as a free citizen, and that Khan could meet friends and relatives either at his home or elsewhere in Pakistan. The officials said that a security detail continued to control his movements.[33]


On March 5, 2008, Khan was admitted to an Islamabad hospital [34] with low blood pressure and fever [35], reportedly due to an infection. He was released four days later after "he gained significant improvement".

Pakistan army accused of proliferation

On July 4, 2008 he in an interview blamed President Musharraf and Pakistan Army for the transfer of nuclear technology, he claimed that Musharraf was aware of all the deals and he was the "Big Boss" for those deals[36].

Khan said that Pakistan gave centrifuges to North Korea in a 2000 shipment supervised by the army. The uranium enrichment equipment was sent from Pakistan in a North Korean plane loaded under the supervision of Pakistani security officials. He also said that he had travelled to North Korea in 1999 with a Pakistani Army general to buy shoulder-launched missiles from the government there. Asked why he had taken sole responsibility for the nuclear proliferation, Khan said friends, including a central figure in the ruling party at the time, had persuaded him that it was in the national interest. In return he had been promised complete freedom.[7]

Writing Columns

On November 12, 2008, he started writing weekly columns in The News International [37] and Daily Jang [38][39]. His columns heavily emphasis on the education and engineering disciplines. He advocated for the importance of engineering disiciplines and importance of education. Khan who was accused of selling sensitive nuclear technology to other countries of the world, has gained a significant respect through his columns among in Pakistanis. Khan expressed his views on the of environmental issues. Dr. Khan is an avid supporter of Science and Technology education in Pakistan. Even though his columns heavily focused on the issues of education, Dr. Khan severely criticised Musharaff and his policies, in which he said because of his cruel domestic policies within Pakistan. The Taliban insurgency grew momentarily as well as instability in the country.

Contribution to Metallurgical Education in Pakistan

Dr. A.Q Khan played an important role in establishing of engineering universities in Pakistan. As both PAEC Chairman Munir Ahmad Khan and dr. Ishfaq Ahmad established a nuclear physics and a nuclear engineering university, Pakistan Institute of Applied Sciences and Engineering. Abdul Qadeer Khan established a metallurgy and material science institute in Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, which is known as Dr. A. Q.Khan Department of Metallurgical Engineering and material sciences. He also served as its both executive member and director there. Dr. Khan played an important and key role in establishing a research institute Dr. A. Q. Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering at Karachi University. Khan introduces metallurgical engineering courses in many newly-founded universities and sciences colleges in Pakistan.


Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan is no longer associated with Pakistan's nuclear program. However, he is still widely seen as "Father of Pakistan's nuclear Program" even though he was only head of the centrifuge-based enrichment project at Kahuta and not the entire nuclear program, which was developed and run by PAEC Chairman, Munir Ahmad Khan. Dr. Khan's involvement in nuclear proliferation has shocked the entire nation and he was criticized by his peers and fellow scientists such as dr. Pervaiz Hoodbhoy. However, dr. Khan's debriefing heavily effected ex-President of Pakistan, Gen (r). Pervez Musharraf's popularity, it also increased Anti-American feelings among in Pakistanis. Many people in Pakistan blamed U.S for Dr. Khan's arrest. Many journalists and media supported Dr. Khan and expressed their sympathies to him. Opposition parties in Pakistan as well as government coalition parites rose their voices for Dr. Khan. This created a tough position for President General (r). Musharaff as well as United States. High-profile government members, such as ex-religious affairs minister, Mr. Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq held a public press conference on May 2007, expressed his support for Dr. Khan, allegations of nuclear trafficking notwithstanding. A local Pakistani journalist, Ahmed Quraishi, wrote in his column:

"We did not invent nuclear proliferation. Certainly Abdul Qadeer Khan gets no marks for originality in this area. What Dr. Khan did is wrong. But he was only walking in the footsteps of the pioneers of nuclear proliferation before him: the British, German, Swiss and French experts and companies that criss-crossed the globe in the 1970s and 80s trying to sell components for enrichment technology, complete with secret catalogues marketing their products and services".[40]

Dr. A.Q Khan's arrest and debriefing, President Pervez Musharraf was heavily criticized from the civil society as well as he faces a strong criticism from the Pakistan armed forces. Dr. Khan's debriefing brought down President Gen. Musharraf's popularity and his political image was heavily damaged. President Musharraf also faces a strong and hostile opposition as well as a strong public response. Many journalists publicly accused U.S for playing an important role in Dr. Khan's arrest. Dr. Khan's arrest also increased hostile and an Anti-American climate in Pakistan. Dr. A.Q Khan seen as a proud nationalist and a talented scientist in Pakistan.

On August, 14,1989, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, along with PAEC Chairman Munir Ahmad Khan, was awarded the high civilian award of "Hilal-e-Imtiaz" by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. In August, 14,1996, he was awarded the highest civilian award "Nishan-e-Imtiaz" by former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif. In March, 12,1999, he was twice awarded the highest civilian award "Nishan-e-Imtiaz" from President of Pakistan, Justice (r). Muhammad Rafiq Tarar . Dr. A.Q Khan is the only Pakistani citizen who has been twice awarded Nishan-e-Imtiaz. Many Pakistani nuclear analysts and nuclear experts have concluded that dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan is a clear example of a Russian scientist of the "Sputnik Space Program", [Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan], who took the entire credit of the nuclear program and neglected his fellow scientists and fellow engineers who have worked hard equally just like him.

Dr. Khan has been awarded various honorary degree of Doctorate from many universities of Pakistan. In 1989, dr. Khan was awarded the honorary degree of Doctorate of Science by the University of Karachi. In 1993, a honorary degree of Doctorate of Science by the Baqai Medical University, Karachi. In 1998, a D.Sc from the Hamdard University, Karachi. In 1999, he was awarded a D.Sc from the Gomal University, D.I.Khan. In 2000, he was awarded a honorary degree of Doctorate of Science by the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, (UET), Lahore.

Despite of his international image, dr. Khan is remained widely popular among in Pakistanis and he is considered one of the most-influential scientist in Pakistan and he is widely seen as respected scientist in Pakistan. In an interview with a Pakistani journalist, Hamid Mir, a known Pakistani political analyst, Dr. Salim Farookhi called Dr. Khan " most influential and talented scientist, Pakistan has produced"[citation needed]. In many Pakistani educational websites, for example friends korner, has putted dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan in the list of successful Pakistanis. [41]

Institutes named after Khan

  • Dr. A. Q. Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIBGE), University of Karachi
  • Dr. A. Q. Khan Institute of Computer Sciences, Multan
  • Dr. A. Q. Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), Kahuta
  • Dr. A. Q. Khan Institute of Technology (KIT), Mianwali
  • Dr. A. Q. Khan Ophthalmic Research Center, Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital, Rawalpindi
  • Dr. A. Q. Khan Girls College for Computer Science, Rawalpindi
  • Dr. A. Q. Khan College for Science & Technology, Rawalpindi
  • Dr. A. Q. Khan Academy of Science, Gulberg, Faisalabad
  • Dr. A. Q. Khan Hall & Gymnasium, Pearl Valley Public School, Rawalakot, Azad Jammu & Kashmir
  • Dr. A. Q. Khan Block, Al-Markaz Al-Islami, Islamabad
  • Dr. A. Q. Khan Center for Software Engineering, Islamabad
  • Dr. A .Q. Khan Institute of Computer Sciences & Information Technology, Kahuta
  • Dr. A .Q. Khan Institute for Developing Engineering Technologies, Lahore
  • Dr. A. Q. Khan Institute of Technology & Management, Islamabad
  • Dr. A. Q. Khan Block, D.J. Sindh Government Science College, Karachi
  • Dr A.Q Khan Laboratory, Physics Department, Cadet College Kohat
  • Zuleikha - Quadeer Science Block, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi
  • Fellowships/Memberships

  • Islamic Academy of Sciences,
  • Kazakh National Academy of Sciences
  • Pakistan Institute of Metallurgical Engineers
  • Pakistan Institute of Engineers
  • Institute of Central and West Asian Studies
  • Chartered Engineer and Member, The institute of Materials, London
  • Member of American Society of Metals (ASM)
  • The Metallurgical Society of the American Institute of Met. Min. and Petr. Engineers (TMS)
  • Canadian Institute of Metals (CIM)
  • Japan Institute of Metals (JIM).
  • See also

  • Pakistan and weapons of mass destruction
  • Nuclear proliferation
  • Nuclear program of Iran
  • Friedrich Tinner
  • Asher Karni
  • Mohammad Qadir Hussain
  • Iran-Pakistan relations
  • Pakistan-North Korea relations

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