Who is the father of Pakistan’s Nuclear Program? Exposing Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s fraud



By Yasser Latif Hamdani

We champion Baba-e-Bum Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, a fraud and a quack scientist, as the father of the nuclear bomb.

Can he really be called the “father of the Islamic Bomb” as some wish to call him?  In order to be the metaphorical father or mother of some idea or achievement, one should be deemed to play a central role in it so much so that if the said “father” or “mother” was removed from the scene, the achievement of the same would become impossible.   Can the same be said of Dr. A Q Khan?  Was there no nuclear program before Dr. A Q Khan? If A Q Khan had not emerged on the scene would Pakistan not have made the atomic bomb?  The answer is no.  A Q Khan’s sole contribution to the whole thing is to introduce uranium enrichment as an alternative to plutonium enrichment.  What does that mean exactly?  It means that A Q Khan is as much the father of the bomb as the fellow who came up with the idea of using CNG as alternative fuel can be called the “father of the automobile”. The whole idea is preposterous to say the least but it also whitewashes over the real contributions of Pakistan’s true heroes.

Dr. Abdus Salam

In order to determine the real father of Pakistan’s “Islamic” bomb, one must consider whose role in the whole enterprise was the most indispensible?   Consider for example the role of Dr. Abdus Salam – the man Dr. A Q Khan routinely abuses in his columns.  Dr. Salam started campaigning for a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in the 1950s.  In 1965, Dr. Salam established the Pakistan Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology and helped get the plutonium reactor off the ground.   In 1971 he brought from the US, all available scientific literature on the Manhattan project including the critical calculations required for the bomb, during the 1971 war.  It was Salam who in 1972 arranged the Multan Meeting which essentially kickstarted the Pakistani effort to get the bomb.   Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, a metallurgist of little renown or competence, was at the time not even on the scene.  Salam also organized the theoretical physics division and the mathematical physics division which was to serve as the nursery for the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.  Even after his fall out with Bhutto over the 1974 amendment, Salam continued to advise nuclear scientists in Pakistan. It was Salam who in 1978 laid the foundations of Sino-Pak industrial nuclear cooperation.  Given that each of these efforts was a pillar on which the nuclear program was built, one would say that Dr. Salam’s role was as central to Pakistan’s efforts in acquiring nuclear technology as Jinnah’s role was to the creation of the country.

Three other gentlemen who were integral to Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions were Munir Ahmad Khan, Riazuddin Ahmad and Masood Ahmad.  It was they who executed the plan that Dr. Abdus Salam had so carefully laid for Pakistan.  Dr. Salam was motivated by his staunch Pakistani nationalism and not for glory.   His nationalism however was not one of isolation.  He wanted to see Pakistan as the leader in scientific community and not just a mere nuclear power.  It is for this reason that Abdus Salam recruited as many Pakistani scientists for CERN and International Center of Theoretical Physics by starting a special Pakistani associateship program.

Meanwhile Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who was early on employed as an inspector for weights and measures, was trained as a metallurgist and not a nuclear physicist.  Yet it does not stop him from claiming credit for things he was only an incidental part of.  His god awful columns in Jang Media Group which is in the news for all the wrong reasons are indicative of “scholarship” and “scientific credentials”. One could also mention that the Urdu versions of his articles are far more incendiary than his English ones. Most recently he has gone out of his way to brand Dr. Salam, Dr Munir Ahmad Khan and every other physicist linked to the nuclear program as “CIA agents”.  This coming from a self-confessed nuclear proliferator who sold Pakistan’s nuclear secrets to North Korea, Libya and Iran and then later unjustifiably accused the Chief of Pakistan Army of being involved in it is just rich.

Dr A Q Khan, far from being the “Muhsin-e-Pakistan”, is a traitor not just because he sold Pakistan’s nuclear secrets but also because he routinely attacks the creation of Pakistan from the Ahrari angle.  His anti-Pakistan rants as embodied by his promotion of a forged interview of Maulana Azad are part of the record and I have referred to it in my columns in Daily Times and else where.   On October 28, 2013, Abdul Qadeer Khan wrote an article in which he first produced an inaccurate quotation from Lord Macaulay and then proceeded to quote the forgery by Shorish Kashmiri. The quote from Macaulay that he produced was as under:

“I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such aliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”

This is a well known forgery but enough for a liar and a crook like Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan to reproduce.  Here is the original speech by Macaulay.  Subsequently he serialized the entire interview that Azad is supposed to have given to Shorish Kashmiri which is nothing but shameless slander against Quaid-e-Azam and the Pakistan Movement, asking rhetorically if what Maulana Azad had said was not true.  I have already written in some detail about the forgery here.

And who can forget that the great “Muhsin-e-Pakistan” endorsed the Water Car which magically challenges the laws of Physics as we know it.   Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy recalls:

For his part, Hamid Mir asked Dr AQ Khan if there was any chance of this (the water car)  being a fraud. The response was clear: “Main nay apnay level per investigate kiya hai aur koi fraud waraud nahi kiya hai” (I have investigated the matter and there is no fraud involved).


In his Urdu version of the article “Unsung Heroes” titled “Faqeed-ul-misal Atomi hero”   this joker – Dr A Q Khan- slanders Munir Ahmad Khan and says that Munir Ahmad Khan went to a third rate school in North Carolina and was under-qualified to lead the Nuclear Program having passed only an “electrical course”.  This is a lie that is easily proven false.  Wikipedia has a well sourced account of Munir Ahmad Khan’s academic qualifications as well as his work experience:

Studies in United States

In 1953, Munir Ahmad Khan began post-graduate research work at the Illinois Institute of Technology which continued until 1956 during which time he also received preliminary training in atomic energy. In 1956, he was selected for the Atoms for Peace Program and participated in the Nuclear Engineering training program of the International School of Nuclear Science and Engineering (ISNSE), at the North Carolina State University and the Argonne National LaboratoryIllinois where he earned a M.Sc. in Nuclear engineering.[8][9]

In 1957, he was part of the third batch of ISNSE’s graduates who had specialized in reactor physics and nuclear engineering.[8] The Argonne National Laboratory were operated by the United States Atomic Energy Commission and the University of Chicago where, on 2 December 1942 a team of scientists achieved the first self-sustaining chain reaction in a nuclear reactor, which is considered to be a crucial step in the development of the first Atomic bomb.[5][8]

Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed, not to be confused with Ishtiaq Ahmed of Stockholm who like Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan suffers from his own demons, writes:

It was Munir Ahmad Khan who initiated the Kahuta Enrichment Project, as Project-706, under Bashiruddin Mahmud, in 1974. He completed the feasibility study, site selection for the plant, construction of its civil works, recruitment of the staff, and procurement of the necessary materials by 1976. PAEC under Munir remained in charge of the overall bomb programme, of all the 23 out of 24 difficult steps before and after uranium enrichment, and he continued to provide technical support to the enrichment program all along.

PAEC under him went on to develop the first generation of nuclear weapons in the 1980s. Munir started work on the bomb itself in a meeting called in March 1974, in which the secret ‘Wah Group’ was assigned the task of initiating work on it. The Chaghi tunnels were constructed under him and were ready by 1980. Munir successfully conducted the first ‘cold’ tests in March 1983, and the 1998 ‘hot’ tests were their confirmation. Perhaps his greatest contribution is enabling Pakistan to acquire complete mastery over the nuclear fuel cycle, which is critical to the development and success of any nuclear programme.

When in 1976 Canada suspended the supply of heavy water fuel and spare parts for the Karachi nuclear power plant, he took up the challenge and using indigenous resources produced the Feed for KANUPP, which is why the Muslim world’s first nuclear power plant is still running successfully. He also upgraded the research reactor at PINSTECH and laid the groundwork in the 1980s for the 300 MW nuclear power plant at Chashma.

PAEC under Munir was also actively developing the plutonium programme, in spite of the cancellation of the French reprocessing contract, and went ahead with developing an indigenous pilot reprocessing plant, which was completed by 1981, known as the ‘New Labs’ in PINSTECH. PAEC did not forego the plutonium route, and was successful at developing the indigenous plutonium production reactor at Khushab. This was driven during Munir Khan’s 19-year tenure at PAEC.

Unlike Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the metallurgist,  Munir Ahmad Khan was a true man of science.



Then there is the great Riazuddin.   Dr. Hoodbhoy writing in the Newsweek on the “Man who designed Pakistan’s Bomb” wrote:

When Riazuddin—that was his full name—died in September at age 82 in Islamabad, international science organizations extolled his contributions to high-energy physics. But in Pakistan, except for a few newspaper lines and a small reference held a month later at Quaid-e-Azam University, where he had taught for decades, his passing was little noticed. In fact, very few Pakistanis have heard of the self-effacing and modest scientist who drove the early design and development of Pakistan’s nuclear program. Riazuddin never laid any claim to fathering the bomb—a job that requires the efforts of many—and after setting the nuclear ball rolling, he stepped aside. But without his theoretical work, Pakistan’s much celebrated bomb makers, who knew little of the sophisticated physics critically needed to understand a fission explosion, would have been shooting in the dark. A bomb maker and peacenik, conformist and rebel, quiet but firm, religious yet liberal, Riazuddin was one of a kind. Mentored by Dr. Abdus Salam, his seminal role in designing the bomb is known to none except a select few.

Unlike Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan,  Salam, Munir Ahmad Khan and Raziuddin Ahmad never promoted themselves even when their contributions to Pakistan’s cause were far greater.   It is a shame therefore that this fraud and liar A Q Khan, smuggler extraordinaire and nuclear fuel blackmarketer, a traitor to the nation,  is now attempting to distort the facts and slander their memories.

UPDATE: One thing I failed to mention earlier was that this “baba-e-bum” and “Mohsin-e-Pakistan” A Q Khan was the person who at the height of the “Brasstacks Crisis” decided to give Pakistan’s game plan away by telling Kuldip Nayyar that Pakistan would retaliate with Nuclear Weapons, leading to sanctions.  Was A Q Khan just being stupid or was he the agent of some other power working against the interest of Pakistan, it is hard to say.

  • Hussain

    The real hero of the program was a professor of physics named Dr. Abdul Qadir. He was a professor of Physics in Urdu university. He was the first one in the world to introduce the formula of liquid fuel. He later registered a case against the US govt. for using his formula. The case was registered through a lawyers’ firm named Velani & Velani. Dr. A.Q. Khan is a very good administrator. He worked very hard to establish this project and take out a desirable output. His services are no doubt very praiseworthy.

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  • This sounds much like a Thomas Edison vs Nikola Tesla game. The truth comes out eventually no matter how hard you try to bury it.

  • Syed Zohaib Bukhari

    empty tins always sounds ,,
    smelling hater’s fire dust
    Dr. A.Q khan , will always be loved by Nation .

  • ASD

    I’ve always known Abdus Salam to be the target of great slander by an ungrateful bunch of four year olds otherwise known as Pakistanis but this is downright disgusting.

  • Qadyani/Ahmedi people are now again active to pretend that they are the savior of Pakistan … it is all false information regarding Dr AQ Khan, i request every one to kindly be aware of this Qadyani Lobby as Dr Abdul Salam was Qadyani , Qadyani are always here to kill Pakistan’s assets just like Kashmir & Junagadh state issue ( Sir Zafar Ullah Khan was Foreign Minsiter on that time and he was failed to deliver his key role, instead of his guiltiness Qadyani media started to pretending him as hero) Remember one thing Dr Qadir khan is one and last hero of Our Atomic Islamic Bomb .. no matter what these idiots are barking.. Pakistan Zindabad. ~~ ( IsI and M.I arent that much idiot since last 40 years who didn’t stooped to Dr AQ Khan , even to lay down the foundation of AQ Khan Laboratories)

  • shaheryar

    If i may suggest a slight correction to the fact that Dr AQ was not the only person involved in nuclear proliferation. It was the joint venture involving some very sensitive institutions of the state of Pakistan

  • timely

    Every muslim who increases muslims’ arrogance, hate and violence against the non-muslims is a hero in muslim societies and especially in Pakistan.
    Some muslims’ responses to this article confirm this.

    Islam’s long-term goal is the extermination of non-muslims. That is undeniable. Your “hero” A Q Khan will confirm this.

  • It is a downright disgusting column written out of pure hatred most probably by a Qadyani lobby who are Islamic Enemies.
    Dr AQ Khan is and will be the our National Hero and no misinformation can misguide us.
    Pakistan Zindabad

  • Usman

    Yes a disgusting article..probably written with the known “keywords” to get some hits..Dr Khan was the hero and will always be our hero

  • hassan cut

    I am gay..

  • observer

    hassan cut says:
    June 22, 2015 at 9:05 pm
    I am gay..

    contact timely

  • Bilal Hussain

    Why a 35 years old Lawyer (Most probably an Ahamadi, who is being paranoid by Blasphemy Law and Pakistan being an Islamic Country) writing on Pakistan’s nuclear program. I doubt if he is even allowed to visit KRL. Yes, some of the information is correct as Dr. A Q khan can not be called the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program but his contributions can not be ignored as Uranium Enrichment is the vital process that makes every thing happen. Where are the contribution of Dr. Samar Mubarak Mand and many others.

  • khalid

    Article is Written by a punjabi

    Totally One-Sided

  • Ajmal

    Deobandi mindset

  • Abdul Majid Qureshi

    Due to my limited knowledge I am unable to pass a verdict on who’s a traitor and who’s not, but I am indeed sad to see this kind of debate in media whereby scientists malign each other, squabble over who is to get credit, tarnish each others work instead of glorifying it and inspiring future generations.
    On my recent trip to Italy, I saw first hand of how Salam contributed to the image of Pakistan. Indeed he was a visionary which we could not utilise to a fair potential. He was a man we call Qaidiani in a derogatory way while the world respects as a patriot and intellectual. Similarly what A.Q.Khan did for the country like countless other scientists like Ishfaq Ahmed, Munir, Samar, Riazzuddin, Fiazzuddin, Kamaluddin and many big names of our glorious scientific past need no testimony from any popular article or cheap fame from a sycophant. A walk in the Academy of Sciences puts all the due credit rightly so. I wish we learnt from all these men and engaged in futuristic debate devoting our energies not to conspiracy or blame game but to bringing relief to our people. I hope Scientists start playing a more important role in sensitizing people using their impeccable services to the country instead of pouring mud over each other.
    This comes from a young scientist/concerned citizen and not a lobbiest with all due respect.

  • I do not forget silent heroes, who gave their lives during physical experiments while trying to enrich Uranium.

  • Zak

    Qaidiani Hamdani hates Pakistan’s national hero Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan because Dr Khan loves Islam and despises fraudia frofet Mirza Ahmad, laanat on the imposter.

    He is also a Punjabi. Can’t stand anyone else challenging Punjabis after Quaid-e-Azam who is dead and no more a challenge to Punjabi hegemony.

  • SIR

    I totally agree with the writer. This bastard is no hero rather he has put this nation in a grave danger by blackmarketing the the nuclear technology. He is a traitor and all the stupids defending him above are just ignorant fools.

  • adeel ahmad

    Like always when u cannot negate the facts of hiatory start saying its a qadiani plan to disgrace Dr A Q Khan. I theif a lier dont deserve the title of mohsin e pakistan.my salute to dr salam munir ahmad and riazuddin sb

  • Naukhaiz

    I feel hamdani is being biased here. AQ khan is obviously a dubious guy but he did add alot to the nuclear program with the design of centrifuges that he stole. Its just like school. Though your teachers in kindergarden help u grow, you always give credit to professors at university level for your academics. Same is the case here. Though all these scientists have attributed alot to nuclear program, AQ khan’s iput was the major breakthrough in getting the bomb. More details can also be read in the book “delusion” written by Adrian Levy. Lot of respect for Hamdani but obvious biases like these do put a question on the objectivity of his posts

  • Abdul Haseeb

    Brother, There is a difference B/w atomic power and nuclear power without A.Q. Khan you would only become nuclear power not atomic power. With atomic power countries can change maps of world it bad luck of A.Q. Khan works for pakistan. if he gave same thing to Germany than i ask who is father of Germany atomic bomb? and you would praise Dr. Abdus Salam at that time!

  • M. Ali

    PAEC initiated the programme back in early sixties .FM Ayub Knan was President of Pakistan, Dr. Abdus Salam was Scientific Adviser and Dr. IH Usmani was Chairman Atomic Energy Commission. They formulated the policy and training programme for required manpower.

  • Usman

    Kindly first of all check the reputation of writer on GOOGLE in ahmadi by sect. How can you imagine that Dr. A.Q Khan was alone in Nuclear Proliferation?? Where was our beloved army and Govt while A.Q khan was sending our secrets and hardware’s to Iran Libya and Korea etc. He was sole of our Nuclear program and haters will create all this fuss, don’t ever listen to them..
    Hateeeerrrrrrrrrssssss.. 😛

  • Taha Tahir

    Well as expected, people just start mindlessly accusing the author of the blog as a traitor or ahmadi and God know what else. I doubt if any of you even read all of it. He has provided some evidence. At least retaliate with some of your own. I am not so sure about it myself but some of the facts are indeed true.

    If you think otherwise, then counter it with some evidence!

    At least this much is obvious that the Nuclear Program is not the feat of a single man. At least acknowledge the other heroes who worked for it.

  • tajender


    13000 crores found in THAKUR GROUP officemodiji ki jai ho.

  • zeeshan

    Complete article is full of hypocrisy at its worst.some one has recently tried to re invent the wheel by telling abdus salam has anything to do with pakistans atomic bomb.Isnt it a fact that bhutto convinced dr Abdul qadeer to work for pakistan nuclear programme. calling dr salam a doctor while calling dr AQ khan an ordinary metallurgist sums it up. Dr A Q khan may have many issues otherwise, but as an organiser and administrator he was best of the lot while faggots like salam opted to run away to US and india under disguise of non equal treatment of qadianis.calling salam qadiani an equivalent of quaideazam in atomic bomb is pure crap and reflects the mental level of writer

  • Asher Ali

    What an eye opener…. THANK YOU!

  • Pakistan

    Bakwas ker raha hay ye.

  • BJK

    Given the fact that the nuclear capability hangs around the neck of the country like an albatross (without giving anything in return — except for that fiasco of false overconfidence followed by a rapid climb-down in Kargil), one can always make the point of whether one should be talking about giving credit or instead be assigning blame to all the parties concerned! 🙂

  • Muhammad Mujahid

    i am neither an atomic scientist nor a physicist still am aware of the fact that enrichment is a most critical part in developing an atomic bomb which was impossible with out the great Dr. A Q khan stop calling him a quack …i believe that other men also have contributions but Dr. A Q khan has critical contribution …i would like to ask two question
    1) if Dr. A Q khan has no contribution then why our program was gained acceleration only on his arrival.
    2) who was the only Ph.D in metallurgy of south Asia during that time.
    3)who has enough knowledge and qualification to install maintain and run the gas centrifuge machines to enrich the uranium …Plutonium…

  • Muhammad Mujahid

    and i think you are very found of wikipedia so have a look @ it as well
    wikipedia state as following…
    “After all, according to Houston Wood, Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA in his article on gas centrifuges, “The most difficult step in building a nuclear weapon is the production of fissile material”.[14][15] There would have been no need to bring A.Q. Khan if Pakistan had the capability to produce fissile plutonium in the early 70s. Pakistan had to bring Dr. A.Q. Khan from Europe to develop fissile uranium after PAEC failed to produce fissile plutonium by the 1976 deadline.[12]”
    it speak the valum of contributions that Dr.A Q khan has made in build an atomic boom for pakistan.plz dnt distort the facts…

  • RHR

    it is fond, not found!

  • Muhammad Mujahid

    I know my English is not that good thank you for your correction am not fond of writing much English but its not the answer of what i have posted if you really have capability then answer what i have asked or have courage enough to admit the fact that writer is trying to distort the facts and misleading the people…

  • FY

    Oh Mr. Hamdani! Your ignorance is so ubiquitous – be it film censorship or matters of statecraft – it never ceases to baffle me. You’re a living example of why intellect, intelligence and knowledge don’t compare to being friends with editors and publishers.
    Good luck!

  • Desi epicurian

    Why is it that Pakistanis are not able to honour their preferred heroes without feeling compelled to de-value the good work of others.
    All of the people that you have honoured rightfully deserve to be recognized for their respective input, but surely, they themselves have been reliant on their contemporaries, those that have come before them and those that will take their work forward.

    This of course is a symptom of the much bigger problem, that Pakistan puts its stock in heroes as apposed to systems. Pakistan must realize that in order to progress it must put its faith in systems, which have the advantage of not only being able to produce great figures again and again but is also pure of any human weakness.

  • HN Tariq

    Science and technology in Pakistan
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Science and technology is a growing field in Pakistan and has played an important role in the country’s development since its founding. Pakistan has a large pool of scientists, engineers, doctors, and technicians assuming an active role in science and technology. Liaquat Ali Khan the first Prime Minister of Pakistan (in office 15 August 1947 – 16 October 1951), made various reforms to initiate improvement in higher education and scientific research.

    Physics (theoretical, nuclear, particle, laser, and quantum physics), material science, metallurgy (engineering), biology, chemistry (organic), and mathematics, are some of the fields in which Pakistani scientists have contributed. From the 1960s and onwards, the Pakistani government made the development and advancement of science a national priority and showered top scientists with honours. While the government has made efforts to make science a part of national development, there have been criticisms of federal policies, such as the government’s dissolution of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC)— an administrative body that supervised research in science — in 2011. Pakistani scientists have won acclaim in mathematics and in several branches of physical science, notably theoretical and nuclear physics, chemistry, and astronomy. Professor Abdus Salam, a theoretical physicist, was the first and (as of 3 November 2013) the only Pakistani to have won the Nobel Prize in Physics (1979).

  • HN Tariq

    Introduction History

    12 July 2016

    In 1961, on the advice of Prof. Abdus Salam, the then Scientific Adviser to the President of Pakistan, it was decided to set up a Committee dealing with space sciences. Consequently, a Space Sciences Research Wing of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) was established through an Executive Order of the President of Pakistan dated 16 September 1961, which was addressed to Dr I H Usmani, the then Chairman PAEC. The programme of rocket firings was entrusted to Chairman PAEC. Initially the Space Sciences Research Wing had the following members:

    Prof Abdus Salam, FRS – Chairman

    Dr I H Usmani, Chairman PAEC – Vice-Chairman

    Mr Sibte Nabi Naqvi, Director, Pakistan Meteorological Department – Member

    Dr Innas Ali, Member PAEC – Member

    In September 1961, Mr Tariq Mustafa, Principal Engineer , PAEC ; Mr Salim Mehmud, Scientific Officer PAEC; Mr Sikandar Zaman, Assistant Engineer PAEC; Mr A Z Farooqi, Scientific Officer PAEC; and Mr M Rehmatullah, Regional Director, Pakistan Meteorological Department were sent to NASA for training in rocket launching.

    On 07 June 1962 at 1953 hours the two-stage rocket: Rehbar-I consisting of a Nike-Cajun combination (which was earlier developed by NASA) was successfully launched from Sonmiani Rocket Range. It carried a payload of 80 pounds of sodium and soared to about 130 km into the atmosphere. With the launching of Rehbar-I, Pakistan had the honour of becoming the third country in Asia and the tenth in the world to conduct such a launching. The other countries, which had, until then, already conducted launchings of this type were: USA, USSR, UK, France, Sweden, Italy, Canada, Japan and Israel. Rehbar-II was also successfully launched from Sonmiani Rocket Range on 09 June 1962.

    The data received from Rehbar-I and Rehbar-II gave scientists information on wind shear and structure in the layers of the upper atmosphere extending beyond the stratosphere. The data collected also helped in the study of cloud formation, cyclones and weather over the Arabian Sea.

    A high-powered meeting was held on 25 July 1964 under the Chairmanship of the then President of Pakistan. A number of decisions were taken in that meeting including the placement of SUPARCO under the direct control of the President of Pakistan. A three-tier structure was thus created consisting of (a) the Governing Body; (b) the Executive Committee; and (c) the Technical Committee to take care of and run SUPARCO’s affairs. SUPARCO started functioning independent of PAEC with effect from 16 September 1964 with Dr I H Usmani looking after its affairs as its Co-Chairman.

    The structure of SUPARCO was superseded by a Government of Pakistan Resolution dated 8 March 1966 whereby SUPARCO was constituted as a separate organisation under the administrative control of Scientific and Technological Research Division (S&TR), Government of Pakistan and a revised constitution for SUPARCO was adopted in the shape of “Rules of SUPARCO” issued by S&TR Division on 19 April 1967. Air Cdre W J M Turowicz was appointed as the first Executive Director of SUPARCO (Air Cdre Turowicz was a Polish national who served in the Royal Air Force in India in WW-II and after the war, he was among those Polish Air Force Pilots who opted for Pakistan’s nationality).

    In 1970, after the retirement of Air Cdre Turowicz, Air Cdre K M Ahmed was appointed as SUPARCO’s second Executive Director who relieved his charge in 1976 to Mr Salim Mehmud, who remained Executive Director of SUPARCO until 15 December 1979 when he resigned the service of SUPARCO. Dr M Shafi Ahmed succeeded Mr Salim Mehmud and remained in office till 15 December 1980 when the President of Pakistan appointed Mr Salim Mehmud as Chief Executive Officer of SUPARCO and asked him to submit necessary recommendations for up-gradation of SUPARCO to the status of a full-fledged Commission.

    On 22 April 1981, Mr Salim Mehmud was appointed as the first Chairman of Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO).

    The President of Pakistan signed and promulgated SUPARCO Ordinance No. XX of 1981, which was issued in the Gazette of Pakistan on 21 May 1981, to provide for the establishment of a Space Research Council (SRC), an Executive Committee of the Space Research Council (ECSRC) and the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), granting SUPARCO an autonomous status. The then Chairman SUPARCO established three Technical Wings namely; Space Technology Wing, Space Research Wing and Space Electronics Wing. The National Assembly, ratified SUPARCO Ordinance vide Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Amendment) Act, 1987-Act No. II of 1987, providing for, inter alia, the replacement of President of Pakistan with the Prime Minister of Pakistan as the President of Space Research Council.

    SUPARCO remained under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division until September 2000 for almost 20 years. During this period, only one meeting of the SRC (headed by the President of Pakistan) and 13 meetings of ECSRC (headed by the Federal Minister for Finance) were held. The last meeting of ECSRC was held on 09 September 1999. The SRC, in its first-ever meeting held on 24 December 1984, approved the Long-Term Development Programme of Space Science and Technology in Pakistan, submitted by SUPARCO, which contained projects of national importance.

    Mr Salim Mehmud retired on 13 April 1989 and Dr M Shafi Ahmed took over as the second Chairman of SUPARCO. On 16 July 1990, Pakistan launched its first experimental satellite BADR-1.

    Dr M Shafi Ahmed retired on 16 October 1990 and handed over the charge of the Office to Mr Sikandar Zaman who retired on 19 June 1997. Dr Abdul Majid was appointed Chairman with effect from 20 June 1997.

    On 10 December 2000, the Cabinet Division issued an Office Order No. 564, through its Notification No. 5/11/2000-Admin.II., whereby, in pursuance of the order of the Chief Executive of Pakistan, SUPARCO Commission was transferred from Cabinet Division to the National Command Authority (NCA); the Space Research Council and Executive Committee of Space Research Council were dissolved and were replaced with Development Control Committee (DCC) of NCA.

    On his retirement on 30 April 2001, Dr Abdul Majid handed over the charge of the Office of Chairman SUPARCO to Mr Raza Hussain.

    SUPARCO launched the second experimental satellite BADR-B on 10 Dec 2001 and is continuously working towards developing indigenous capabilities in satellite development.

    Mr Raza Hussain retired on 31 August 2010 and handed over the charge to Major General Ahmed Bilal.

    On 31 August 2015, Major General (R) Ahmed Bilal handed over the charge to Major General Qaiser Anees Khurrum as Chairman SUPARCO.

  • HN Tariq

    Lets check

  • HN Tariq

    Another one

  • HN Tariq


    An aftermath of the 1971 Indo-Pakistan Winter War was that President Bhutto increased scientific funding by the Government by more than 200%, mostly dedicated to military research and development. Bhutto, with the help of his Science Adviser Dr. Salam, gathered hundreds of Pakistani scientists working abroad to develop what became Pakistan’s atom bomb. This crash programme was directed at first by Dr. Abdus Salam until 1974, and then directed and led by Dr. Munir Ahmad Khan from 1974 until 1991. For the first time an effort was made by the government when Pakistan’s citizens made advancements in nuclear physics, theoretical physics and mathematics. In the 1980s, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq radicalized science by enforcing pseudoscience – by his Muslim fundamentalists as administrators – in Pakistan’s schools and universities. One of the premiers were Mazhar Mahmood Qurashi, a physicist educated in the United Kingdom, and Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood, a nuclear engineer, also educated in the UK. They played a major role in radicalizing science in Pakistan. Zia-ul-Haq later promoted Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan to export the sensitive industrial (military) technologies to Libya, Iran, and North Korea. Because of government control, academic research in Pakistan remains highly classified and unknown to the international scientific community. There have been several failed attempts made by foreign powers to infiltrate the country’s research facilities to learn how much research has progressed and how much clandestine knowledge has been gained by Pakistan’s scientists.[9]

  • The only thing I wanna ask how come Qadeer Khan, much derogated individual in the article was the head of the Khan laboratories for close to a decade?

  • Haroon Javed Qureshi

    No body is taking away credit from the numerous eminent scientists who played a role in Pakistan’s quest for the nuclear bomb. But then discrediting AQK is not fair. He did define the path Pakistan would follow to produce fissile material for the A Bomb. While most others took the route of a breeder reactors – which was subject to much international sanctions, AQK chose the path of centrifugal enrichment which was much less susceptible to international sanctions. Not only did he chose that path, he also set course to the next stage, i.e. a delivery system, there was no Pakistani aircraft at the time that could deliver the 1 ton bomb. So he set course for Ghouri the delivery vessel for what had been produced.

    Now that you have the bomb, and you can carry out the useless debate about who is what and who did what. Then there are snitches like Dr. Hoodbhoy and a couple of more, who, perhaps due to professional rivalry or some other reasons snitched on Pak nuclear program. But then we are not the only nation debating and discrediting our famous scientists like AQK.

    Many other great scientists were discredited and even arrested and even assassinated, e.g. Robert Oppenheimer, (father of the US Nuclear Program (ex-German nuclear scientist); Gerald Bull (Long Range Artillery Gun Designer) assassinated in Iraq, Willy Messerschmitt the famous German Aircraft designer, brought to his knees in Egypt while trying to manufacture Helwan HA-300 and Failed Indian Merut HF24.

    So… lets stop taking away credit from ANY of our scientists and stand proud of the effort each one of them put in for a better Pakistan.