The Full Wiki

More info on Abdul Qadeer Khan

Abdul Qadeer Khan: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Abdul Qadeer Khan or A. Q. Khan- Hilal-i-Imtiaz (HI), Nishan-i-Imtiaz (NI) (twice), ( ; born April 27, 1936 in Bhopalmarker, British India) is a Pakistanimarker 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. Khan is perhaps better known in much of the world for involvement in acquiring critical nuclear technology designs and using them to build Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, as well as selling this technology to Libyamarker, Iranmarker and North Koreamarker. Some of his critics have described him as the "Klaus Fuchs of Pakistan".

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.

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." Khan accuses the Pakistan Army and President Musharraf of proliferating nuclear arms. 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.

Islamabad High Court on February 6, 2009 declared Dr. A. Q. Khan as a free citizen of Pakistanmarker with freedom of movement inside the country. The verdict was rendered by Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Aslam.. In September 2009, expressing concerns over the Lahore High Court’s decision to end all security restrictions on Khan, the United States has warned that Dr.Khan still remains a ’serious proliferation risk’.

Early life

Khan was born in a Malik family in Bhopalmarker, Indiamarker in 1936. In 1947 the family, emigrated from Indiamarker to Pakistanmarker. Khan studied in St. Anthony's High School and then enrolled at the D. J. Science College of Karachimarker, where he studied physics and mathematics under the supervision of noted solar physicist dr. Bashir Syed. He obtained a B.Sc. degree in 1960 from the University of Karachimarker, majoring in physical metallurgy. After his graduation, he worked as an inspector of weight and measures in Karachimarker. In 1961, he resigned from his position and flew to West Germanymarker to study metallurgical engineering at a technical university there. He then obtained an engineer's degree in 1967 from Delft University of Technologymarker, the Netherlandsmarker, and a Ph.D. degree in metallurgical engineering under the supervision of dr. Martin Brabers from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgiummarker, just outside of Brussels, in 1972.

Work in the Netherlands

In 1972, the year he received his PhD, Khan joined the staff of the Physical Dynamics Research Laboratory (FDO) in Amsterdammarker, the Netherlands. FDO was a subcontractor for URENCO, the uranium enrichment facility at Almelomarker in the Netherlands, which had been established in 1970 by the United Kingdommarker, West Germanymarker, and the Netherlandsmarker 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, Indiamarker carried out its first nuclear test, codenamed Smiling Buddha, to the great alarm of the Government of Pakistan. Around this time, Khan having a distinguished career and being one of the most senior 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. Dr. A. Q. Khan believed that the Buddha had smiled in anticipation of Pakistan's death.

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 Netherlandsmarker 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 Netherlandsmarker; he returned to Pakistan in 1976..

The former Dutch Prime Minister, Ruud Lubbers, said in early August 2005 that the Government of the Netherlandsmarker 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.

Relationship with Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

Khan did have a good and mutual relationship with Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. After India’s first successful nuclear test on May 18, 1974. Khan, at this time working in a centrifuge production facility in the Netherlandsmarker, began to approach Pakistanimarker government representatives to offer help with Pakistan’s nuclear program. At first, he approached a pair of Pakistanimarker military scientists who were in the Netherlandsmarker on business. In spite of his offers, the Pakistani 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, Khan wrote a letter to Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. His letter addressed to Prime Minister Bhutto that "he 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, Khan came back to Pakistan to meet Prime Minister Bhutto and PAEC Chairman Munir Ahmad Khan, where he tried to convince Bhutto to adopt his Uranium route rather than Plutonium route. Bhutto did not agree to halt the plutonium route but decided on the spot to place Khan in charge of the uranium program as a parallel nuclear program advantage. Later that evening, Bhutto met with his close friend and PAEC Chairman Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan in his house, where he told him that "He [Abdul Qadeer Khan] seems to make sense."

Development of nuclear weapons

In 1976, Khan and Lieutenant-General Zahid Ali Akbar Khan were 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 announced in 1972 and the work itself began in 1974 by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) as Project-706 under the guidance of Munir Ahmad Khan, Khan joined the project in the spring of 1976. Khan took over the project from another Pakistanimarker nuclear engineer, Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood in the same year. 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 Kahutamarker, Rawalpindimarker, 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 Pakistanmarker's nuclear weapons development programme.

Competing Against Munir Ahmad Khan and PAEC

But Kahuta Research Laboratories led by 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 Kahuta Research Laboratories responsible for developing the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle, which comprised of uranium exploration, mining, refining and the production of yellow cake as well as the 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 Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission under Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan.

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 Khan autonomous control of the uranium enrichment project, reporting directly to the Prime Minister's office, which the arrangement has continued since 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.

Kahuta Research Laboratories, led by Khan and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, which was led by Munir Ahmad Khan created a tough institutional rivalry against each other. Khan was also a staunch critic of Munir Ahmad Khan's work. The Monthly Atlantic described Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan and Abdul Qadeer Khan as a "mortal enemy" of each other. According to the The Monthly Atlantic, A.Q. Khan tried to convince Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that Uranium route would be faster than Munir Ahmad Khan's pursuit of plutonium reprocessing, then under way. However, Munir Ahmad Khan and his team of nuclear engineers and nuclear physicists at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission 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 A.Q. Khan in charge.

In the early 1980s, Khan's Kahuta Research Laboratories also sought to develop nuclear weapons in competition with the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and claimed to have carried out at least one cold test in 1983, but it seems that this effort did not prove to be successful since the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission 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 the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission also conducted the 1998 nuclear tests for Pakistan at Chagai and Kharan.

Missile Program Competition

Kahuta Research Laboratories also launched other weapons development projects in competition with the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission such as the development of the nuclear weapons-capable Ghauri missile. In early 1980s, the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission was developing the solid-fuelled Shaheen ballistic missile. In competition with the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, A.Q. Khan's Kahuta Lab. sought develop the liquid-fuelled Ghauri ballistic missile. Kahuta also set up its own laboratories and produced its both Low-Enriched Uranium [LEU] and Highly Enriched Uranium [HEU] in competition with the PAEC.

1998 Nuclear Weapon Testing

The competition between KRL and PAEC became highly intense when Indiamarker tested its nuclear bombs, Pokhran-IImarker in 1998. India's second nuclear test caused a great alarm in Pakistanmarker 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 reply to Indiamarker by conducting its own nuclear tests. Abdul Qadeer Khan repeatedly met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in which he tried to get Prime Minister's permission to test Pakistan's nuclear weapons in Chagai. Despite his efforts, Nawaz Sharif instead granted permission to PAEC, under Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad to test country's first nuclear test.

The decision made by Nawaz Sharif was questioned by the Pakistani civil society. However, Nawaz Sharif avoided an intense rivalry between PAEC and KRL and asked A.Q. Khan to provide KRL's enriched uranium to the PAEC to test Pakistan's first nuclear tests in 1998. Nawaz Sharif also urged both KRL and PAEC to work together in the national interest of country. It was the enriched uranium in KRL that ultimately led to the successful detonation of Pakistan's first nuclear device on 28 May 1998. Two days later, on May 30, 1998, PAEC tested a Plutonium-based nuclear device, according to a Pakistani defense analyst, the plutonium-based device was much powerful than Uranium device.

Relationships with the Pakistan Armed Forces

According to the media reports, it said that A.Q. Khan had an extremely close relationship with President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq and the Military of Pakistan. Khan had also maintained an extremely close relationships with the Pakistan Air Force.

Khan Research Laboratories, as it was now known as, occupied a unique role in Pakistan Defense Industry, reporting directly to the office of the Prime Minister of Pakistan and having extremely close relations with the Military of Pakistan. The former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto (late) once mentioned that during her term of office, even she was not allowed to visit Khan Research Laboratories. After President Zia-ul-Haq death, Khan sought to develop a close and friendly relationship with Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General (r) Mirza Aslam Beg. According to Khan, General Mirza Aslam Beg was aware of the selling of nuclear technology to Iranmarker and North Koreamarker and one of his top-trusted general was supervising it.

Khan has praised President Zia ul-Haq in his columns and numerous conferences. In an interview with Jang Group of Newspapers, Khan paid a tribute to General Zia-ul-Haq, in which he said "President General Zia-ul-Haq (late) is responsible in helping Pakistan acquire sensitive nuclear technology. He also said that he made significant contributions towards the country's nuclear program.

Heading Kahuta Research Laboratories and Khan Labs

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 Chinesemarker 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."

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". 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.

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 Koreamarker. 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".

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 Koreamarker. In May 1998, Newsweek magazine published an article alleging that Khan had offered to sell nuclear know-how to Iraqmarker, 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. A few weeks later, both India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests (Pokhran-IImarker 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 Khan sought to re-organize and revitalize the Pakistani's national space agency, SUPARCO. In the late of 1990s, 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 scientists in development and construction of Pakistan's first indigenously constructed launch facility and space port, Tilla Satellite Launch Centermarker at Tilla District.

In 1999, 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 Pervez Musharraf.

He also suggested that Pakistan should launch a satellite from its own space centers and satellite launch centers. But General Musharraf seemed not to agree with him and did not grant him permission to develop his satellite. He was highly disappointed and he wrote about it in his column.

In March 2001, 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. Khan also cited the fact that Indiamarker had made rapid strides in the fields of SLV and satellite manufacture as another motivation for developing an indigenous launch capabilities. He tried to convinced then-President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf to launch the satellite from Pakistan. On December 10, 2001, despite his efforts, Pakistan launched its second Low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite from Baikonur Cosmodromemarker, Kazakhstanmarker aboard a Russianmarker Zenit-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 Statesmarker government became increasingly convinced that Pakistanmarker was trading nuclear weapons technology to North Koreamarker 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 Kahuta Research Laboratories, a move that drew strong criticism from the religious and nationalist opposition to Pervez Musharraf. Perhaps in response to this, the Government of Pakistan appointed 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 Afghanistanmarker. 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 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 Iranmarker; 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 Statesmarker 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 Agencymarker. 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 Pakistanmarker and, specifically, to Dr. Khan, who was said to have visited Iranmarker 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 Iraniansmarker.

Also in December 2003, Libyamarker made a surprise announcement that it had weapons of mass destruction programmes which it would now abandon. Libyanmarker government officials were quoted as saying that Libya had bought nuclear components from various black market dealers, including Pakistanimarker 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 Interpolmarker police also arrested three Swissmarker 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.

2004 Debriefing

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.. 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.

Forced Confession

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. 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.

Information coming from the investigation

The full scope of the Khan network is not fully known. Centrifuge components were apparently manufactured in Malaysiamarker with the aid of South Asian and German middlemen, and used a Dubaimarker 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. In Malaysia, Khan was helped by Sri Lankamarker-born Buhary Sayed Abu Tahir, who shuttled between Kuala Lumpurmarker and Dubai to arrange for the manufacture of centrifuge components. 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.

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.

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. 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 Agencymarker: "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." 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.

Renewed calls for IAEA access

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

Reaction in Pakistani Parliament

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 Senate of Pakistan, subcommittee hearing, issued a unanimous resolution criticizing the U.S 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. In December 2006, the Swedish Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (SWMDC) headed by Hans Blix, a former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEAmarker) 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".

Opposition and Government Support to Khan

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. 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 Karachimarker. 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.

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.


On March 5, 2008, Khan was admitted to an Islamabadmarker hospital with low blood pressure and fever , 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.

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.

In an article published on September 20, 2009 in the Sunday Times, the journalist Simon Henderson reveals of a letter written to him by Dr.Khan dated December 10, 2003, in which he alleges that he was acting precisely under the orders of the Pakistani government when he sold the designs of nuclear weapons to North Korea, Iran and Libya. He also alleges that Pakistan built a centrifuge plant for China in Hanzhong province.

Writing Columns

On November 12, 2008, he started writing weekly columns in The News International and Daily Jang . His columns heavily emphasis on the education and engineering disciplines. He advocated for the importance of engineering disciplines 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, Khan severely criticized Pervez Musharraf 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 the establishment of engineering universities in Pakistanmarker. 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 Technologymarker, 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 Universitymarker. Khan introduces metallurgical engineering courses in many newly-founded universities and sciences colleges in Pakistanmarker.


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 Kahutamarker 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, Khan's debriefing heavily effected ex-President Pervez Musharraf's popularity. It also increased Anti-American feelings among some Pakistanis. Many people in Pakistan blamed the United States for Khan's house-arrest. Many journalists and the mainstream media supported Khan and expressed their sympathies to him. Opposition parties in Pakistan as well as the government coalition parties rose their voices for Khan. This created a tough position for President Musharraf 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 and expressed his support for 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 Khan did is wrong, but he was only walking in the footsteps of the pioneers of nuclear proliferation before him such as Klaus Fuchs. Also 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".

On August 14, 1989, 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 Muhammad Rafiq Tarar. Khan is the only Pakistani citizen who has been twice awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz. Many Pakistanimarker nuclear analysts and nuclear experts have concluded that Khan is a clear example of a Russian scientist of the "Sputnik Space Program", and 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.

Khan has been awarded various honorary doctorates from many universities in Pakistan. In 1989, Khan was awarded the honorary degree of Doctorate of Science by the University of Karachimarker. In 1993, an honorary degree of Doctorate of Science by the Baqai Medical University, Karachimarker. In 1998, a D.Sc from the Hamdard University in Karachimarker. In 1999 he was awarded a D.Sc from Gomal University. In 2000, he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctorate of Science by the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore.Lahoremarker.

Despite his international image, Khan remains widely popular among in Pakistanis and he is considered domestically to be one of the most-influential and respected scientists in Pakistan. In an interview with Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, a known political analyst, Dr. Salim Farookhi described Khan as, " the most influential and talented scientist that Pakistan has produced."

Institutes named after Khan


  • 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


External links


Online Books

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address