Ghulam Ishaq Khan (abbreviated as GIK) (Mr. Nuke) (January
20, 1915 – October 27, 2006) also known as Mr. Nuke or "Baba
Atom Bomb", was the seventh President of Pakistan from
August 17, 1988 until July 18, 1993.
Khan was born on January 20, 1915 in a small
village Ismael Khel in the suburbs of Bannu District located in
the North-West Frontier Province into
a Pashtun family. He attended Peshawar University where
he received his B.S. in chemistry, followed by
his M.S. in chemistry. He was appointed to the prestigious Civil
Service of Pakistan after independence in 1947. His son-in-law is senior
politician Anwar Saifullah Khan. A grand-daughter of his is married
to Omar Ayub Khan, who is the grandson of former Pakistani
President Ayub Khan and son of Gohar Ayub Khan.
In the 1985 elections, he won a Senate seat, shortly after
which he was elected as Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan. Immediately
after the death of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in 1988, Khan became acting
President in accordance with the Constitutional rules of succession,
and was formally elected to the position in December of that year. He held the
position of President until 1993.
Khan was one of the key players of Pakistan's
nuclear program. Khan was one of the main financial supporters of the nuclear program.
He also maintained close relationship with Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. Ghulam
Ishaq Khan, as President of Pakistan, established Ghulam Ishaq Khan
Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology to produce manpower and
to promote nuclear sciences. He also appointed Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan as the
executive member of the University. After the retirement of Pakistan
Atomic Energy Commission's chairman Munir Ahmad Khan, Ghulam Ishaq
Khan eventually becomes the head of Pakistan's atomic program. Under
his leadership, the program periodically progressed.
When Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali
Bhutto (late) started the Pakistan's
nuclear weapon program; Khan, as then-defence minister of Pakistan, played an important and central role
nuclear weapon devices and the construction of nuclear test sites. He
is reported to be present at the second cold test along
with Lieutenant General Zahid Ali Akbar Khan General Khalid Mehmud
Arif and Chairman of PAEC Munir Ahmad Khan
Despite coming to an arrangement with the PPP
government to be re-elected to the presidency after
the 1993 elections, he was eventually dropped as a candidate in favour
of Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari. He subsequently retired from politics and
avoided contact with the international and national media. He died on 27
October 2006 after a bout of pneumonia.