Abdul Qadeer Khan born April 1, 1936 in Bhopal, British India) is a Pakistani nuclear scientist and metallurgical engineer, widely regarded as the founder of Pakistan's nuclear program. His middle name is occasionally rendered as Quadeer, Qadir or Qadeer, and his given names are usually abbreviated to A.Q..
In January 2004, Khan confessed to having been involved in a clandestine international network of nuclear weapons technology proliferation from Pakistan to Libya, Iran and North Korea. On February 5, 2004, the President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, announced that he had pardoned Khan, who is widely seen as a national hero.
In an August 23, 2005 interview with Kyodo News General Pervez Musharraf confirmed that Khan had supplied gas centrifuges and gas centrifuge parts to North Korea and, possibly, an amount of uranium hexa fluoride.
In interviews from May through July of 2008, Khan recanted his previous confession of his involvement with Iran and North Korea. He said President Pervez Musharraf forced him to be a "scapegoat" for the "national interest." Khan accuses the Pakistan Army and President Musharraf of proliferating nuclear arms. He said centrifuges were sent from Pakistan in a North Korean plane loaded under the supervision of Pakistani security officials. He also said that he had traveled to North Korea in 1999 with a Pakistani Army general to buy shoulder-launched missiles from the government there.
Islamabad High Court on February 6, 2009 declared Dr. A. Q. Khan as a free citizen of Pakistan and said that he is free to locomote in Pakistan; the verdict was given by Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Aslam.
In 1976, Khan was put in charge of Pakistan's uranium enrichment program with the support of the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The uranium enrichment program was originally launched in 1974 by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) as Project-706 and Khan joined it in the spring of 1976. In July of that year, he took over the project from PAEC and re-named the enrichment project as the Engineering Research Laboratories (ERL) at Kahuta, Rawalpindi, subsequently, renamed the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) by the then President of Pakistan, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. The laboratories became the focal point for developing a uranium enrichment capability for Pakistan's nuclear weapons development program.
On November 12, 2008, he started writing weekly columns in The News International and Daily Jang and Daily Jang