Mohsin-e-Pakistan, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan has passed away many days ago but people continue to visit his grave, including from ordinary citizens to his office-mates and security forces officers to civil society members. Undoubtedly, Dr. Sahib was one of the few undisputed personalities in national history whom every Pakistani loves dearly. He was an innocent man who fell in love with the country and the nation, who kept his promise to the state on the issue of nuclear secrets till his last breath, although it is no longer a secret that the confession made to him was also a matter of national security.
An acquaintance has told me the whole story about it, but here we will not talk because the secret that Dr. Sahib himself guarded till his last age, it does not befit us to talk about it, but it is also a fact that the nation has never acknowledged the stain on his feet.
After Pervez Musharraf’s government in 2009, he went to the Islamabad High Court against the sanctions imposed on him. The government, after negotiating with Dr. Sahib on a court order, allowed him to be partially mobilized under an agreement, but he was obliged not to talk about nuclear matters or related confessions at all. Later, the then Islamabad High Court was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, but Dr. Sahib stood by the agreement till his last breath while the government backtracked.
According to sources close to him, he now intended to challenge the agreement, but life did not work out. A case related to his detention and sanctions is still pending in the Supreme Court.
What a pity that a person who left no stone unturned in making the freedom and sovereignty of his beloved homeland invincible, spent the last 22 years of his life fighting for his basic rights and freedom.
We could not even bid him farewell in a dignified manner, Funeral prayer and burial were held in a hurry, not even waiting for the rain to stop. The Chairman Senate attended the funeral prayer in the capacity of Acting President but the Prime Minister and the Army Chief did not attend. When Abdul Sattar Edhi passed away in 2016, his funeral prayer was offered at the National Stadium. Apart from the President, the three Chiefs of the Armed Forces were also present. Didn’t Mohsin-e-Pakistan deserve the same respect as Abdul Sattar Edhi?
An eyewitness sent me a picture of his grave showing that the bricks at the foot-side were old and dilapidated, although Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid himself was overseeing the whole affair. He intends to build a tomb on his grave now, but he may not know that the canopy over Dr. Sahib’s grave has been removed on the fourth day of his death, even though a large number of people are still coming for the Fatiha. Cemetery staff said that the tent belonged to a tent service owner who took it off when the payment was uncertain.
Some people assume that Dr. Sahib’s will was that he should be buried in the premises of Faisal Mosque which is wrong, he did not make any such will. A close friend of his said he wanted to be buried in Kahuta but had given up due to security concerns and family travel problems. He has great services for H8 cemetery anyway. Once he visited a friend’s mother’s funeral here, it was raining. The funeral home was under the open sky. The rain disrupted the whole arrangement of the funeral. Dr. Sahib then built a wide, strong iron roof over the funeral home, at his own expense, which is still as strong today as it was three decades before. Dr. Sahib’s last resting place is a short distance from that funeral home in H8 graveyard.
Dr. Sahib was a simple-minded and innocent man, his name was used by many people for their purposes and worldly benefits, but he remained silent knowingly, many people built schools in his name, a “chain” that has even more than ninety branches across the country. Another large school and college named after him have also been set up in Bahria Town, Rawalpindi, but Dr. Sahib never took anything from these institutions in terms of profit or royalty. On the contrary, he continues to give scholarships to deserving children out of his pocket. However, those who use his name have kept the fees in their educational institutions so high that the child of the poor cannot even be entered.
Nowadays, those who study modern science usually consider religion as an outdated practice, Dr. Sahib’s case was completely different. He was a nuclear scientist and had a deep knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah as well. His columns testify to the fact that the man who did not seem to have a beard on his face was more knowledgeable than many religious scholars. Sometimes, seeing him reminded me of the medieval Muslim scientists who had access to science, medicine, geography as well as the Qur’an and Hadith, jurisprudence, and other religious sciences.
May Allah accept Dr. Sahib’s efforts for this country and grant him a high position in Paradise, Amen.
Tahir Mahmood Awan is a working journalist from Islamabad who writes on political and social issues. He Can be contacted at https://twitter.com/Tahirmawan