Islamabad: Condolences and tributes poured in after Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, passed away in Islamabad on Sunday.
Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari expressed his sorrow at Dr Khan’s death, calling him “a great patriotic son of Pakistan” and adding that “every Pakistani is in mourning today.”
Bilawal further said that Dr Qadeer oversaw the completion of a nuclear programme whose foundation was laid by his grandfather and PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
“It was Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto at whose request Dr AQ Khan joined Pakistan’s nuclear program,” he stated, adding that “the Pakistani nation will always be indebted to Dr AQ Khan, and his services will never be forgotten.”
Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said that Dr Khan was “targeted incessantly by the West”, adding that “amid latter controversies let us not forget his critical contribution and sacrifices for making Pakistan a nuclear state.”
PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz said that “Dr Khan’s services for making Pakistan’s defence invincible were extremely great” as she prayed for his soul.
Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood remembered Dr Khan as “a pioneer of Pakistan’s nuclear program” and credited him for contributing “immensely to our security”.
PTI leader Zulfi Bukhari said that the nation was thankful for his services and contributions and “for giving our generations a sense of safety and pride”.
Cricket captain Babar Azam said Dr Khan’s contributions made the country “stand proud and strong”.
Former ambassador of Republic of Azerbaijan to Pakistan Ali Alizada called Dr Khan’s death “a huge loss for Pakistan and world science”.
Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz said that the late scientist was “a national hero” whose unparalleled contributions to the field of science, technology and defence would be always remembered.