Obituary: A.Q. Khan was the world’s biggest nuclear proliferator

Written by on October 14, 2021

Oct 16th 2021

WHEN INDIA set off a nuclear bomb in the desert of Rajasthan in 1974, describing it implausibly as a “peaceful nuclear explosion”, a young Pakistani metallurgist in the Netherlands was ready to volunteer his services to his country. A few months later Abdul Qadeer (A.Q.) Khan was explaining to the prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, how uranium could be spun in centrifuges so it could be used in bombs. Within a decade, Pakistan had the ability to build and test a nuclear device; in . . .

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