After years of silence, The News readers finally call this treacherous swine Shakir Hussain to task. If only DAWN readers would do the same for his equally third class father.

A distortion of facts
Thursday, June 19, 2008
It is indeed a torture of the worst kind when, because of the force of habit, you are forced to read in your favourite newspaper something which is a complete distortion of facts, malicious and biased. I had to go through this unpleasant experience while reading Shakir Husain’s article titled “Our heroes” published in your newspaper on June 11. In fact this article is an affront to the sensibilities and intellect of the people of Pakistan.

The burden of the article is that Dr A Q Khan is a fake scientist who has no meaningful achievement to his credit, he is a thief and he is the “hero of the millions of Pakistanis” because of government’s propaganda. Also because of him, the authorities ignored the real hero who is Dr Abdus Salam. While normally one would ignore such garbage, but to put the record straight, I would briefly state some incontrovertible facts.

Dr A Q Khan obtained his doctorate degree (PhD) in physical metallurgy from a prestigious European university. (Oxford dictionary describes metallurgy as the science concerned with the production, purification and properties of metals). He was then employed by a leading nuclear establishment in Holland where he acquired practical knowledge in the nuclear field.

According to his own statement, when India carried its first nuclear test in 1974, he decided to come back to Pakistan and use the knowledge that he had acquired in Europe for the benefit of his country. This he did in a remarkable manner making the defence of Pakistan impregnable. Of course he was very fortunate to have mentors such as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, General Ziaul Haq and Ghulam Ishaq Khan who supported his efforts to the halt. Dr A Q Khan who is not considered by Shakir Husain as a scientist has been conferred honorary degrees by a number of universities for his scientific achievements. He has remained the president of the Academy of Sciences, the highly prestigious body of scientists, for six years (two years more than the normal tenure). He has the unique distinction of receiving the highest civil award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz, twice for his services to the country and the nation.

Regarding, his scientific achievements, apart from what he did for his country he has published hundreds of scientific articles in prestigious international journals. Now whether Dr Khan is a fake or a real scientist, should we depend on the verdict of the hundreds of scientists who elected him several times to be the president of the Academy of Sciences or accept the humbug of a little known self-styled business consultant?

Regarding the accusation that Dr Khan stole nuclear secrets and brought it to Pakistan, this is incorrect as the Dutch Parliamentary Commission exonerated him as, according to the commission, he had no access to such information and had not done any thing wrong. However, if for argument’s sake Mr Husain’s charge is accepted then indeed Dr Khan is the most fortunate person to have done something which gave his countrymen the confidence and the courage to face an enemy many times more powerful.

Regarding Mr Husain’s plea that Dr Salam has been ignored because of Dr Khan is completely off the mark. Dr Abdus Salam is venerated, loved and respected by all Pakistanis as is Dr Khan. Mr Husain has to understand that genuine veneration does not come because of government’s patronage. It is enshrined in the hearts of the people for those whom they think have given them recognition and their country a prestigious place in the comity of nations. Both Professor Salam, as the first Pakistani Nobel laureate and Dr Khan for making Pakistan the first Muslim nuclear power, have done this for their country.

Amir Usman



This refers to an article titled “Our heroes” by Shakir Husain published in your newspaper on June 11. The article was in bad taste to say the least. It ill behoves the writer to blatantly call Dr Abdul Qadir Khan a thief. Throughout his article, the writer seems to have expressed his grudge against the eminent scientist. The article asserts that Dr Khan is not a scientist but merely an engineer. Almost every Pakistani knows that Dr Khan is a metallurgist and he has never tried to hide this fact as has been alleged in the article. Also the writer while vehemently pleading the case of Dr Abdus Salam sounds totally out of context. He appears to be actively lobbying for Dr Salam as if he had been robbed of his status in Pakistan because of Dr Khan.

The writer’s accusation that Dr Khan stole secret nuclear technology from abroad is pointless. He must not forget that every nuclear power of the world acquired this technology by using similar ‘unethical’ tactics, including the smuggling of radioactive materials/equipment. Overall, the article was misleading and contained false accusations.

Tahira Farooq



It was really shocking to read the word ‘thief’ for the great Pakistani nuclear scientist, Dr Abdul Qadir Khan, in an article titled “Our heroes’ by Shakir Husain published in your newspaper on June11. I never read any article by Mr Husain condemning Israel and India for making atomic bombs then why is he maligning Dr Khan for making Pakistan a nuclear power? The writer seems ignorant of the fact that Israel stole uranium from America and made 300 bombs. Instead of being proud of being a citizen of a nuclear-armed country why unduly criticise our nuclear scientist?

Dr Anwar Ul Haque


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