Father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program dies aged 85

Islamabad, Oct 10 (EFE).- Abdul Qadeer Khan, the nuclear scientist popularly known as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, on Sunday died at the age of 85 in Islamabad, days after having recovered from Covid-19.

“Dr Abdul Qadeer had vomited blood at around 6 am at home and was rushed to hospital where he could not survive and breathed his last at 6.30 am,” the scientist’s spokesperson Muhammed Farooq told EFE.

On Sep. 26, Khan had been admitted at a hospital in the Pakistani capital named after him after having contracted the new coronavirus, before being transferred to a military hospital in the neighboring city of Rawalpindi, where he was put on respiratory support.

However, he later recovered and was discharged on Oct. 1.

“He was okay and I spoke to him last night but don’t know what happened today,” Farooq said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his condolences in a statement.

“He was loved by our nation because of his critical contribution in making us a nuclear weapon state,” he tweeted.

He added that the nuclear weapon had “provided us security against an aggressive much larger nuclear neighbour,” referring to India.

Pakistan launched its nuclear program in 1974 after New Delhi started testing atomic weapons, and Abdul Qadeer Khan headed the nuclear program aimed at developing arms between 1976 and 2001.

However, the scientist – who was called a “national icon” by the prime minister – was surrounded by controversies because of his alleged role in selling nuclear secrets to other countries.

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