END OF AN ERA: Nation bids goodbye to Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan

Burial takes place in Islamabad's H-8 graveyard with full state honour after family's request: Military police pays guard of honour: Thousand attend funeral at Faisal Mosque amid rain

By: News Desk      Published: 09:48 AM, 10 Oct, 2021
END OF AN ERA: Nation bids goodbye to Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan
File photo.

National hero Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan was laid to rest with full state honour amid slogans of Allaho Akbar in Islamabad on Sunday afternoon, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Personnel of military police presented guard of honour before the coffin carrying the national hero’s body was lowered into the graveyard at H8 Sector of the federal capital. Floral wreaths from all the services chiefs were also laid on the grave of Dr AQ Khan.

Thousands of people including civil and military leaders were in attendance as Namaz-i-Janaza of the founder of Pakistan's nuclear programme was offered at Faisal Mosque earlier and later he was laid to rest at the H8 graveyard in the federal capital as was decided by the AQ Khan's family.

As it was raining, the participants used umbrellas as the mosque was full to its capacity with people standing on the roads outside as they paid their last respect to the national hero, whose body wrapped in a national flag, was slowly taken to the mosque by Army soldiers. Prof Dr Ahmad Al-Ghazali led the Namaz-i-Janaza.

According to a notification of the Interior Ministry, the government has decided to accord full state honours to the national hero and the national flag will also be hoisted at half-mast on Sunday.

The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, senior military officials, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, Senate Chairman, Speaker Nation Assembly and all federal ministers attended the funeral of Dr AQ Khan’s.

According to a notification of the Interior Ministry, a state funeral was held in his honour. The national flag would also be hoisted at half-mast to mourn the national hero’s death.

Earlier, the founder of Pakistan's nuclear programme Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan passed away at KRL Hospital in Islamabad on Sunday morning. He was 85.

The atomic scientist was hailed as a national hero for transforming Pakistan into the world's first Islamic nuclear power. AQ Khan was lauded for bringing the nation up to par with arch-rival India in the atomic field and making its defences "impregnable".

He died after being transferred to the KRL Hospital in Islamabad with lung problems. Dr AQ Khan will be buried at H8 graveyard of the federal capital with full state honours.

Dr AQ Khan's health started deteriorating Saturday night, after which he was brought to the KRL Hospital Sunday morning in an ambulance at around 6:00am.

Sources said doctors tried to save the nuclear scientist but he breathed his last at 7:00am. AQ Khan left behind a wife and two daughters to mourn his death.

A few days ago, the founder of Kahuta Research Laboratories, Dr AQ Khan contracted coronavirus. He had been taking treatment from the Al-Shifa and Combined Military Hospital.

Dr AQ Khan’s spokesman confirmed on Aug 26, that the scientist was admitted to the KRL Hospital after he was tested positive for Covid-19. But later, he was shifted to the Covid-19 ward of the military hospital when his health got worsened on Aug 28. After being permitted to return home several weeks ago, he was transferred back after his condition deteriorated.

But after a few days, his health showed signs of improvement and doctors allowed him to go to his house. But last night, his health worsened and he was brought to the KRL Hospital where he lost his battle for life.

In 2006 AQ Khan was struck with prostate cancer, but recovered after surgery.

Family's request

The venue for the burial of national hero Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan was changed and he was laid to rest at the graveyard in Sector H8 of Islamabad.

It was earlier announced that Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, who breathed his last Sunday morning, will be buried in the courtyard of Islamabad’s Faisal Mosque.

However, the daughter of the founder of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, later contacted Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad on phone and informed him about the family’s decision to bury AQ Khan at the H8 graveyard.

The father of Pakistan's atomic programme was suffering from chronic ailments for quite some time. In Sept 2019, news of his passing away started doing rounds on social media. But he refuted these news reports saying he was alive and absolutely well and healthy by the grace of God.

In a video message, he said: “Nation is worried after the reports about me. However, I’m fine and by the grace of Allah, I am healthy as well.”

After his retirement from the country’s nuclear programme, Dr AQ Khan started writing columns in different national dailies. He was loved and adored by millions of Pakistanis who revered him for making Pakistan’s defence impregnable. In response to India’s nuclear explosion, Pakistan tested its nuclear bombs on May 28, 1998.