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BRIEF LIFE SKETCH OF DR. A. Q. KHAN
Dr. Abdul Quadeer Khan, who was born in Bhopal on April 1, 1936, which corresponds to the Hijri era 1355, Thursday 15th Rajab. As the time has unfolded itself, the Godly qualities enshrined in the words "Quadeer" and "Ghafoor", symbolized in the names of Dr. Abdul Quadeer Khan and his father, Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Khan, have raised the Pakistani nation to new heights in high technology.
After receiving his early education in Bhopal, Dr. Abdul Quadeer Khan obtained the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1960 from the University of Karachi. This was the beginning of the unfolding of his intellectual power. Subsequently, he studied in Berlin, West Germany and achieved high competence through attending several courses in metallurgical engineering. He obtained the degree of Master of Science (Technology) in 1967 from Delft Technological University, Holland, and Doctor of Engineering Degree in 1972 form the University of Leuven, Belgium. The restless soul of Dr. Abdul Quadeer Khan took him to several laboratories in Europe including Uranium Enrichment Plant in Holland.
It was the essence of his being sharpened by high scholastic achievements in metallurgical and nuclear science that his will and essence at all times remained directed towards the welfare of Pakistan. In 1976, he joined the Engineering Research Laboratories (ERL) in Pakistan and set up an uranium enrichment industrial plant. As a tribute to his services for the security of Pakistan on May 1, 1981, the then President of Pakistan, General Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq renamed the Engineering Research Laboratories, Kahuta, as, Dr. Abdul Quadeer Khan Research Laboratories (KRL). These laboratories were equipped from nothing to something focusing on enrichment of Uranium for peaceful application of nuclear technology. Over the years, the laboratories became a focal point for a large number of scientists, engineers and technologists which Dr. Abdul Quadeer Khan gathered around himself and guided them to the tasks which have led to unparallel advances in science and technology. This was done under very challenging and difficult circumstances. It was only his courage, devotion, determination and persistence, which earned success for him, his colleagues and indeed for the nation.
The scientific contributions of Dr. Khan have been recognized in several ways. As an active scientist and technologist, he has published more than 188 scientific research papers in international journals of high repute. He has been editor of a large number of books on metallurgy, advanced materials and phase transformation. His academic and scholastic activities have attracted the attention of number of western countries where he has delivered more than 100 lectures. His work on Industrial Uranium Enrichment Plant for peaceful application of nuclear technology has resulted in a breakthrough in the field of metallurgy & materials science.
It is entirely due to his efforts that the process of enrichment of Uranium was successfully completed in Pakistan. This breakthrough ultimately resulted in the historic explosion of six nuclear bombs on May 28 and May 30, 1998. Not only this but a significant development was also made with the successful test firing of Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles, Ghauri I, on April 6, 1998 and Ghauri II on April 14, 1999.
There are numerous contributions of Dr. Khan which have strengthened the defence capability of Pakistan. Those, among others, include: manufacturing of sophisticated equipment like Surface-to-Air shoulder-fired anti-aircraft ANZA (MK-I & MK-II) and Baktar Shikan anti tank guided missiles for the Armed Forces.
Dr. Khan has received honorary degrees of Doctor of Science from the University of Karachi in 1993, Doctor of Science from Baqai Medical University on December 11, 1998, Doctor of Science from Hamdard University, Karachi, in March 6, 1999, Doctor of Science from Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, N.W.F.P. on April 16,1999, Doctor of Science from the University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore on December 9, 2000 and Doctor of Science from the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi on March 25, 2001. Apart from his eminent contribution in the filed of Science and Technology, Dr. Khan is an avid supporter of Science and Technology education in Pakistan. As the Project Director of GIK Institute of Science and Technology, he has invested his energies in developing the Institute into an exemplary high technology institution. For his important and eminent contributions in the field of science and technology, the President, Islamic Republic of Pakistan conferred upon Dr. Khan the award of Nishan-i-Imtiaz on 14 August, 1996 and 14 August, 1998. He is also a recipient of Hilal-i-Imtiaz. Dr. Khan is the only Pakistani to have received the highest civil award of "Nishan-i-Imtiaz" twice.
The list of his contribution and achievement is far too long to be mentioned in this short citation. He is a person imbued with the spirit of serving the cause of Pakistan and Muslim Ummah through his able researches, high acumen, intellectual robustness and unwavering devotion. So numerous are his activities that every segment of society has praised him in different forms. He has been awarded 42 gold medals by various national institutions and organizations. He was also presented with 3 gold crowns Dr. Khan is a Fellow of Kazakh National Academy of Sciences, the first Asian scientist with this honour, Elected Fellow of the Islamic Academy of Sciences and Honorary Member of the Korean Academy of Science & Technology. He has also been elected as the Chairman of the Islamic Development Bank's Advisory Panel on Science and Technology in the Panel's first ever meeting, held at the IDB's headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on October 17, 2000. Being a Fellow of Pakistan Academy of Sciences, he was elected unopposed the President of the Academy's in 1997- the position that he still occupies. Besides, he is a member of a large number of national and international professional organizations, which include Pakistan Institute of Metallurgical Engineers; Pakistan Institute of Engineers; and Institute of Central and West Asian Studies. He is a Member of the Institute of Materials, London; American Society of Metal (ASM); The Metallurgical Society of the American Institute of Metallurgical Mining and Petroleum Engineers (TMS); Canadian Institute of Metals (CIM) and Japan Institute of Metals (JIM).
As an ardent supporter of higher education, he sits on the Boards of Governors and Syndicates of numerous universities and institutes. He is a Member of the Executive Committee GIK Institute of Engineering and Technology, Topi; Member, Board of Governors, Hamdard University; Member, Board of Governors, Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology; Member Syndicate, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad; and Member, Board of Governors, International Islamic University, Islamabad, among others.
He has contributed immensely to the establishment of educational and research institutes in Pakistan. These include several colleges, schools, Institutes and academies. So wide are the applications of his activities that his contributions extend to the construction of 11 mosques, 1 tomb, a number of dispensaries and community health centers.
It is rare that a person in single life time accomplishes so much. This is done only by men who are endowed with special abilities by God and who prepare themselves through hard work and devotion to fulfill the mission of serving mankind.