Pakistan’s nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan – the “father of the country’s atomic weapons programme” – passed away in Islamabad on Sunday at the age of 85.
His funeral prayers were offered with state honours at the Faisal Mosque. Qadeer was later buried in Sector H-8’s graveyard with cabinet members, military officers, and lawmakers in attendance.
His body was given a guard of honour prior to its burial, and Pakistan’s national flag was flown at half-mast. Qadeer, last month, had contracted Covid-19 and was initially under treatment at the Al-Shifa Hospital. He was shifted to the Military Hospital later.
On Saturday night, Qadeer’s condition worsened suddenly. He was taken to the KRL hospital where he breathed his last in the early hours of Sunday.
Condolences started to pour in as soon as the news of his passing became public.
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Dr AQ Khan was awarded the title of Mohsin-e-Pakistan as he had made Pakistan’s defence invincible – making it an atomic power regardless of unfavourable circumstances. His death, indeed, is a national tragedy as he rendered outstanding services to society.
Dr Qadeer also rendered countless social services for public welfare in the walks of education, health and religion.
Dr Qadeer, after making Pakistan a nuclear power, took social work seriously to serve humanity and established many educational institutes, mosques, and social welfare centres. His biggest welfare project was Dr AQ Khan Hospital – built in Lahore under the umbrella of Dr AQ Khan Hospital Trust. It can be said without an ounce of doubt that Dr Qadeer was a national hero, and his services won’t be forgotten for centuries.
On the special directions issued by PM Imran Khan, Dr Qadeer was bestowed with a state funeral.
Imran Khan had also directed cabinet ministers to take part in the funeral. The government had also made alternate burial arrangements at the H-8 graveyard along with the Faisal Mosque.