Abdul Qadeer Khan, NI, HI, FPAS (born 1 April 1936), also known by some in Pakistan as Mohsin-e-Pakistan ("Benefactor of Pakistan"), more popularly known as A. Q. Khan, is a Pakistani nuclear physicist and a metallurgical engineer, colloquially regarded as the founder of HEU based Gas-centrifuge uranium enrichment program for Pakistan's integrated atomic bomb project. He founded and established the Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL) in 1976, being both its senior scientist and the Director-General until his retirement in 2001, and he was an early and vital figure in other science projects. Apart from participating in Pakistan's atomic bomb project, he made major contributions in molecular morphology, physical martensite, and its integrated applications in condensed and material physics.
Abdul Qadeer Khan was one of Pakistan's top scientists, and was involved in the country's various scientific programs until his dismissal. In January 2004, Khan was officially summoned for a debriefing on his suspicious activities in other countries after the United States provided evidence to the Pakistan Government, and confessed it a month later. He transferred nuclear technology and offered both training and material support to Iran and Libya to fight against Israel and neutralize its power. Some have alleged that these activities were sanctioned by the authorities, though the Pakistan government sharply dismissed the claims. After years of official house arrest, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on 6 February 2009 declared Abdul Qadeer Khan to be a free citizen of Pakistan, allowing him free movement inside the country. The verdict was rendered by Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Aslam. In September 2009, expressing concerns over the Islamabad High Court's decision to end all security restrictions on Khan, the United States warned that Khan still remains a "serious proliferation risk".
Khan was born in 1936 in Bhopal, a princely state of the British Indian Empire, into an Urdu-speaking Pathan family. His father Abdul Ghafoor Khan was an academic who served in the Education ministry of the British Indian Government and after retirement in 1935, settled permanently in Bhopal State. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the family emigrated from India to Pakistan, and settled in Karachi, West Pakistan. Khan studied in Saint Anthony's High School of Lahore, and then enrolled at the D.J. Science College of Karachi to study physics and mathematics. After making a transfer in 1956, he attended Karachi University, obtained BSc in Metallurgy in 1960; subsequently he got the internship at the Siemens Engineering.
After the internship, he was employed by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and worked as an city inspector of weights and measures in Karachi. In 1961, he went to West Berlin to study Metallurgical engineering at the Technical University Berlin. Qadeer Khan obtained an engineer's degree in technology from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and a doctorate engineering in Metallurgical engineering under the supervision of Martin Brabers from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, in 1972. Qadeer Khan's doctoral dissertations were written in German. His doctoral thesis dealt and contained fundamental work on martensite, and its extended industrial applications to the field of morphology, a field that studies the shape, size, texture and phase distribution of physical objects.