A.Q. Khan: Spreading Nuclear Technology

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is sometimes referred to as the father of the Pakistani nuclear bomb, is now making news regarding nuclear proliferation.

From Dawn:

Last month, Dawn received a copy of the pamphlet purportedly distributed by A. Q. Khan Research Laboratories, offering vacuum technology for sale. The distributors said the technology can also be used in nuclear plants and thus the offer can be interpreted as promoting nuclear technology.

The pamphlet has a Rawalpindi address, P.O. Box 502, and has pictures of the equipment it promotes. It also has a picture of Dr Khan on the extreme right corner wearing the medals awarded by the government of Pakistan.

A message distributed with the pamphlet says: “Besides manufacturing of vacuum components and systems, our vacuum consultancy services are also available for system design, operational troubleshooting, quality assurance, maintenance, system development and human resource training.”

The distributors of the pamphlet seemed particularly concerned about the offer of “human resource training” because they claimed it was offering to train people for making a key component of a nuclear plant.

From the Los Angeles Times,

If one man sits at the nuclear fulcrum of the three countries President Bush calls the “axis of evil,” it may well be Abdul Qadeer Khan.

The 66-year-old metallurgist is considered the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb. He is a national hero at home, where hospitals bear his name and children sing his praises. U.S. and other Western officials do not. They say Khan is the only scientist known to be linked to the alleged efforts of North Korea, Iraq and Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

“If the international community had a proliferation most-wanted list, A. Q. Khan would be most wanted on the list,” said Robert J. Einhorn, who was assistant secretary of State for nonproliferation in the Clinton administration.

U.S. intelligence long has known of Khan’s activities. But the extent of his ties to all three “axis” nations became public only recently as North Korea admitted resuming its nuclear weapons effort, satellite photos showed that Iran may be conducting clandestine nuclear work and Khan’s name appeared in a letter offering to “manufacture a nuclear weapon” for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Pakistan denies giving nuclear assistance to other countries and insists that Khan has done no wrong. But under intense U.S. pressure, President Pervez Musharraf abruptly removed Khan as head of nuclear weapons development two years ago. Bush administration officials, wary of undermining a partner in the U.S.-declared war on terrorism, publicly downplay concerns about Islamabad’s possible role in spreading nuclear knowledge.

[…]Khan, with graying wavy hair and a salt-and-pepper mustache, has shrugged off charges that he is a nuclear Johnny Appleseed. Instead, he portrays himself as a scientist, a patriot — and a pacifist.

“Some people have the impression that because I built a nuclear bomb, I’m some sort of cruel person,” he told a Pakistani journalist in 2001. “That’s not the case. I built a weapon of peace, which seems hard to understand until you realize Pakistan’s nuclear capability is a deterrent to aggressors. There has not been a war in the last 30 years, and I don’t expect one in the future. The stakes are too high.”

Unlike two other senior Pakistani nuclear scientists who were questioned by U.S. and Pakistani authorities in 2001 after meetings with the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, Khan is not an Islamic radical.

“He is not a fundamentalist, though he is nationalist — and sometimes nationalism and religion get mixed up in Pakistan,” said Pervez Hoodbhoy, an anti-nuclear activist and MIT-trained physicist who teaches at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital. “He has been in it for the power, the money and the glory.”

Khan has received all three. When he ran Pakistan’s bomb-building program, he reported directly to the nation’s leader and had free-flowing funds at his disposal. U.S. officials say Khan owns several palatial residences. And he is revered not only at home, where he is hailed for putting Pakistan on an equal nuclear footing with rival India, but also in much of the Muslim world, where he is lionized as the man who built the “Islamic bomb.”

I hope the Pakistani government and A.Q. Khan have more sense than that. But I am not exactly sure what to think of the LA Times report.

Categorized as Pakistan

By Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer


  1. I think thess all stories about Dr. Qadir Khan are nothing but the pile of lies, reason and causes behind are just to take over Pakistan’s neuclear capability and to punish the country in world community so no muslim country can get the courage to get the WMDs. How can you trust those CIA/FBI reports. Look at their fake reports about Iraq which are under investigations from in USA. World don’t know the fact so in this world of media you can hire anyone pay him/her some $$$ to publish the fake findings and here you go.

  2. In my opinion a single nuclear scientist like Abdul Qadeer Khan can not be blamed for suc act if something like nuclear proliferation has ever happened it is the responsibility of the government and afterall A.Q Khan has given Pakistan its nuclearbomb

  3. Arain: all stories about Dr. Qadir Khan are nothing but the pile of lies

    What makes you think so? It seems the Pakistan government is acknowledging the proliferation charges.

    no muslim country can get the courage to get the WMDs.

    I don’t think tinfoil hat anti-Muslim theories have any role to play.

    Look at their fake reports about Iraq

    Those were indeed a problem and hopefully will be thoroughly investigated here in the US.

    wali: A single scientist probably can be a scapegoat. The stories coming out of Islamabad right now are somewhat contradictory, so I am not sure exactly what happened. It is possible that one or a few people sold the technology for personal gain. It is also possible that government complicity was involved.

  4. If Pakistan creditizes its Nuclear assets, then those who illegally penetrate into it, are the most deserving to be penalized. Those who oppose the prosecution of Dr. Qadeer Khan, must also possess one opinion against the nuclear assets of the country, so to say that a good person did the right to a bad technology.

  5. All this report is to promote the anti muslims US agenda. It has nothing to do with truth. IT was only USA whom dropped atomic bombs over Japan. No other nation can even of this foolish action. All these blames r perfect for the US nuclear scientists.

    Get lost US Press

  6. tasnim: It’s not just the US press. Dr. Khan admitted giving nuclear technology to other countries on national TV. There also lots of other sources confirming his nefarious activities.


  8. abdul q khan is the greatest man on the planet. Everyone should be grateful a great muslim has saved the nation from the kafer of india. The usa is jealous because it knows pakistan can kick there arse in a one on one. The jews are pissed because pakistan sold its nuclear secrets to iran which hates zionist state of israel. [Edited by Siteowner to remove hateful statement]

  9. lala: I have removed some of your hateful comment. The rest doesn’t make any sense either, but we’ll let that slide.

  10. Unlike other countries in the world, Pakistan is the sole country, in which the rule of military remains for a long time but unfortunately, elected governments have never been let to complete their legal tenure, while it seems that the army is not for the country rather the country is created for army. One thing is more hurting, that which one had offered some sacrifice for it, he had received plight in return. There are many examples in the history of this country. Like Dr Abdul Qadir, the hero of Pakistan nuclear programme, who has been facing problems and lives the life of a disloyal citizen. Why, becuase he had rendered sacrifice for the country. India awarded presidency to their nuclear hero while we gave him just degradation.
    This country can never be succeeded in every spare of life because the mindset of the runners of this country is no more trustable for any one. Our old friends like Saudi, Libya, China, Iran etc, have no more trust on us. They are right because we are able to be a friend of any one. It is the outcome of our foreign policy, a reactionary policy.
    If a war was imposed on us by either side, our army will take off their uniform and will join civilians like what happened in Iraq, we will say that our army, just jawans, not officers, would fight to save frontiers, but they would be in lap of their wives.

  11. Qadir is hero, he is equil to the quid-e-azam

    the jinnaqh made pakistan as largest islamic nation


    tne A Q Khan made pakistan as first islamic nuclar nation.

    no nationlist has rite to say a single word against the Dr.Khan, (but the people who are working as agents)

  12. Ali, Ibrahim: While Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan had an important role to play in the Pakistani nuclear bomb, his proliferation activities on the international stage caused a lot of problems. However, I am not sure that he did all that at an individual level without at least tacit consent from the powers that be in Pakistan.

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