Munir Ahmad Khan Memorial Reference

Following were the words of the speeches delivered by the speakers at the Memorial Reference held in the memory of Munir Ahmed on 28-04-2007 in Islamabad.

Dr. Inam-ur-Rahman, S.I., Scientist Emeritus, PIEAS.

I am working as Scientist Emeritus in PAEC. Today the sixth chairman of PAEC is in office, and I have served under almost all of them. So I have seen the PAEC from day one since it came into being. I spent 19 long years with Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan in PAEC. My active service in the PAEC has been 38 years. During those 19 years, I was stationed at PINSTECH, at Reactor School/CNS/PIEAS and I had a direct association with Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan. As a teacher my work was related to Human Resource Development. There are many other shining activities of PAEC, such as classified projects, but my work was of a basic nature i.e. training of manpower. I will give an overview of the conditions in which Mr. Munir Ahmed Khan took over PAEC. In December 1971, Mr. Bhutto became President of Pakistan soon after the fall of Dhaka. The country was in a state of shock and utter confusion. The morale of the people was at the lowest ebb. In the backdrop of this situation, Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan in, who had served in the IAEA for about 13 years where he held a very senior position as Head of Nuclear Power and Reactor Division, in December 1971 visited various establishments of PAEC/PINSTECH and held detailed discussions with the scientists and engineers. At that time we did not know him and what was the purpose of his visit to PAEC establishments. After a few days of this, President Bhutto convened the Multan Conference on Jan. 20, 1972. Here many senior scientists and engineers from PAEC and other organizations were invited to give their views about the future role of PAEC. We were all wondering why the President who had so much on his hands in those trying days was paying so much attention to the scientists and engineers in the nuclear field. There were numerous emotional addresses and Mr. Bhutto listened to what everyone had to says very calmly Dr. IH Usmani spoke first. Mr. Bhutto in his speech spoke of the low morale of the people. He vowed that he would vindicate the country’s honor. He mentioned that he always wanted Pakistan to go “nuclear” but no body listened to him. I had several detailed discussions with Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan over this issue. Bhutto in his speech said that now fate had placed him in a position to take decisions. He then announced that Pakistan will make nuclear weapons and the scientists and engineers present in Multan will do it. He also announced the Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan would replace Dr. IH Usmani as chairman of PAEC. Therefore, on that day, January 20, 1972, the Defence orientation of the peaceful nuclear programme started.  When the decision was taken by President Bhutto to make nuclear weapons, then we understood why Mr. Munir Khan had arrived in Pakistan from IAEA in December 1971 and why he was called and why he was holding discussions with all of us.

When Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan took over as chairman PAEC in 1972, Reactor School, which was set up in 1967 by Dr., Usmani, was housed in a very small space in PINSTECH having only 625 sq.feet and the training program was limited in its scope. He realized this and said that “you cannot expand this in PINSTECH anymore, and we should acquire 200 acres of space outside to build a new building with hostels, laboratories and make it a world class nuclear training institute. Therefore, a new building was constructed and Reactor School was transformed into a full-fledged Centre for Nuclear Studies in 1976, which became a Centre of excellence in post-graduate research in nuclear science and technology, not only in Pakistan, but the entire Muslim world. By 1976, an M.Sc program in Nuclear Engineering had been initiated. Since then, over 750 scientists and engineers have graduated under this program over the past three decades and today they form the backbone of various projects of PAEC. 

As soon as Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan took over as chairman in 1972, he launched a fellowship program to encourage competition in which engineering graduates and M.Sc degree holders in Physical sciences were invited to compete directly for award of Fellowships on a national level, based purely on merit. This Fellowship program extended for the full duration of their studies and has been continuing for the last 30 years.

In all the projects and working plants of PAEC, and indeed in all modern industrial undertaking, computers, instrumentation and control systems play a central role. To train manpower requirements in this vital area, the M.Sc. (Systems Engineering) programme was initiated here in 1988. and in 1989 an M.Sc program in Nuclear Medicine was launched. CNS/PIEAS has been awarding various degrees and certificates to scientists, engineers and technicians in a broad spectrum of disciplines including lasers, Systems Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Materials and Process Engineering, Electronics and Computers.

Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan used to take personal interest in the progress and development of all these programs. No such inauguration class ever took place in which he himself never turned up, and would also join the students in each graduating class of CNS where he would freely mix up with the students.

As a result of the immense strengthening of CNS as a centre of excellence in HRD in nuclear science and technology, Munir Ahmad Khan’s lifelong dream came true when CNS became a full-fledged University called Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS) in 1997. PIEAS was given degree awarding status given to  in 2000. Prior to this, CNS was affiliated with Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad for award of degrees.

CNS/PIEAS has the distinction of being the backbone of Pakistan’s nuclear program by providing thousands of trained scientists, engineers and technicians in a vast spectrum of disciplines to all projects of Pakistan’s nuclear program and meeting the needs of PAEC as well. So far CNS has produced over 2000 graduates in various disciplines who have been  contributing in various projects of national importance for over three decades.

Today PIEAS has over 30 laboratories where post graduate and doctoral research programs are underway. In addition, PIEAS offers degrees and courses in Computer and Control Systems, Applied Electronics, Applied Mathematics & Numerical Analysis, Analytical Chemistry, Nuclear Engineering, Materials Science & Materials Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Radiation Physics, Optics & Laser Physics, and Nuclear Medicine.

In the end Dr. Inam-ur-Rahman said, “Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan was one person who contributed so much in the field of human resource development for Pakistan’s nuclear program. PIEAS will always remain a testimony to his vision, as he himself used to say that in the end it is only the trained human resource that will matter and will eventually be the foundation on which our nuclear program will survive and prosper”. 

Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, Chairman NESCOM, NI, HI, SI.

”I would like to speak on various aspects of Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan’s personality, my association with him, my fond memories of him. I spent 19 years of my service in the Atomic Energy Commission under Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan, which is half of my active service in PAEC.”

“There are two different aspects of the person that I know as Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan. One aspect his academic, his technical profile, his engineering profile, what he achieved technically for Pakistan and for PAEC. That canvas is a very wide canvas, it’s a very very wide canvas. For one man to have done so much for the country in such a short time, is a truly remarkable feat.”

”He was responsible for setting up Pakistan’s nuclear fuel cycle program, which culminated in providing indigenously manufactured fuel for the Karachi nuclear power plant. There was a time when Canada stopped the supply of fuel and spare parts for Kanupp and it was said that the streets of Karachi would go dark, but the indigenous fuel produced as a result of his efforts enabled Kanupp to successfully run despite sanctions. In developing the nuclear fuel cycle program, Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan established various nuclear facilities throughout the country. The offshoot of this nuclear fuel cycle program half way down the line gave us the uranium gas for Kahuta which we enriched and which was used in our nuclear weapons program”

”The Kahuta enrichment project itself was envisaged by PAEC, it was a project on which we did a lot of exploratory and research work for separating U-235 and U-238. Various techniques for enrichment including laser, centrifuge and diffusion were explored and groups formed by him to study these methods. I was responsible for one of these groups. Then finally a group was formed to study the gas-centrifuge method for uranium enrichment. This was a very big project for which he laid solid foundations for which credit must be attributed to Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan”

”Then he established the entire infrastructure for the designing, manufacturing and testing of nuclear weapons for the air force, for the missiles, for tactical weapons. He also set up explosive plants, high-speed electronics facilities, precision and mechanical plants for the nuclear weapons program.”

”The Chaghi tunnels were also selected, built and made ready during his time. The Chaghi test site was selected by him in 1975/76 and was ready by 1980. He was a great manager of men and he pushed the people to do all this work and he brought out the best in the scientists and engineers of PAEC.”

”Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructure was the result of his hard work and his vision. On the plutonium side, the New Labs reprocessing project was also completed under his leadership. He also began work on the Khushab plutonium production reactor, which is also an example of his vision.”

”PINSTECH was also expanded and completed during his tenure. He also set up Karachi Institute of Nuclear Power Engineering and Centre for Nuclear Studies. There were many other institutions and organizations and projects which were established by Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan which I cannot name here. “

”All this work was envisaged and implemented by one man, who is Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan. This was a colossal work that was done by him from scratch. This is why today Pakistan is a nuclear state and we cannot be blackmailed or threatened by our enemies. He has a tremendous contribution in making Pakistan a nuclear power.”

”As a human being, I would describe him in one line; he was a person who could disarm you. I would like to narrate an incident from 1990 he was chairman, and I was a Director in PAEC. One evening I had a knock at my door, and there was Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan, the chairman of PAEC. He told me that he was passing near my house and he asked his driver if any one from PAEC lived nearby and he said that the driver told him that I lived in the next street, so he asked the driver to take him to my house. He had come unannounced and when he came in my kids were doing their homework and my wife was in the kitchen, and we all had become quite nervous and he could see that.

So to relax the atmosphere, he asked my wife to make some tea and put my kids in his lap one by one and asked them about their studies and homework. He then made a phone call to his Principal Staff Officer and then he left. But this gave us a lot of confidence and he tried to reach out to his team personally. He knew how to get the best out of people”

”After he had retired from the PAEC, shortly before his death in 1999, I went to see him at his house. He told his wife to make some coffee and leave us alone since he had to discuss some classified things with me. He said, ‘I had deliberately kept a very low profile all my life as I believed it to be necessary for the success of PAEC and our nuclear program. But as result, our program was hijacked’. I said, what ever you did was right. It was the result of his wisdom that our program was not exposed when we were still vulnerable and developing our program.”

”After the 1998 tests, I went to see him and told him that Chaghi was the result of his vision and that we looked up to him for guidance and inspiration. The limit of misperceptions in the general public and the media regarding our nuclear program can be seen from the fact that soon after the Chaghi tests, I gave an interview and the next day "The News" published my photograph with my granddaughter in my lap and under the photograph was written Dr. A.Q. Khan".

”In the end, I would like to say that for such a great man to have achieved so much for Pakistan, and contributed so much in the nuclear program, I would strongly urge the concerned authorities that a posthumous Nishan-i-Imtiaz must be awarded to Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan.”

Mr. Parvez Butt, HI, SI, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology and PAEC chairman 2001-2006

”Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan was a great Pakistani, a great negotiator, a great scientist, engineer and a great man. He was great at decision-making. I’ll add on to what has been said about the greatness of Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan.

I’ll just give two or three examples. He was a great judge of men. And I remember when he was retiring; he called the six of us to the meeting room of the PAEC and said, ‘I would like a picture to be taken with the six of you’. And I have that picture on the wall of my living room. Out of those seven, five of us became chairmen, including Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, who became chairman of NESCOM. The other two were older, so they did not make it to chairman. The rest included myself, Dr. Samar, Anwar Ali, Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad and Hafeez Qureshi.”

”When I was made part of the nuclear weapons design and manufacture program, of course the decision was Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan’s, we were supposed to purchase equipment and machinery from abroad. Once a deal was within reach, Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan would always say, ‘ Lets buy twice this number!”.

“In the early days of our weapons program, during a discussion with Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan, I raised some doubts whether we could achieve our objectives, with the limited technological infrastructure that was available at that time, to which he replied, if the Americans could do it in the 1940s without specialized machines and equipment, we can do it as well. But he already had this in his mind and launched a massive program for the procurement and indigenous development of high-technology infrastructure, machines, facilities and equipment needed to develop and implement a self-sustaining nuclear program. One such project was HMC-3 which has been playing an important role in industry and in indigenization of various projects of the nuclear program”.

”Another example of Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan’s patriotism is that when PAEC first started producing uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6), he was abroad on an official visit. He called me on the phone and asked me ‘ That thing that I had asked you to make, has it been made?’ and when I said yes, he asked me again, ‘ Really, have we done it’, and I could feel that his voice was filled with emotion and it reflected immense joy and happiness. Munir Ahmad Khan established many organizations, and when any such organization was being founded or inaugurated, he never laid a foundation stone on any one of it with his name on it.”

Mr. Abdul Sattar, Ex- Foreign Minister of Pakistan

”One gets a feeling of greatness by associating oneself with the memory of great men, and Munir Ahmad Khan was indeed a very great man. I also understand and realize that when it comes to apportioning credit for the nuclear program, the PAEC has not been given its due share and the place it deserves.”

”The worthy speakers have shed light on the multidimensional personality of Mr. Munir Ahmed Khan, as a scientist, nuclear engineer, as an administrator, as a man of integrity, man of vision. But I will share with you a very important event that occurred in South Asia and how Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan’s negotiating and communication skills averted the threat to our nuclear installations that could have led to catastrophic consequences”

During the early 1980s, there was an imminent threat of an Indian and Israeli attack on Kahuta and PINSTECH. Hectic discussions used to take place in the Foreign Office in Islamabad over this issue each day. This was during 1983-84 and the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had ordered to prepare contingency plans for an attack on the uranium enrichment plant at Kahuta and the reprocessing plant at PINSTECH. She had also ordered a file to be prepared with the title ‘Attack on Kahuta”.

”In the fall of 1983, Munir Ahmed Khan met with Raja Ramanna , the chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission at the Imperial Hotel in Vienna, where both were attending an IAEA meeting. Concerned by an imminent attack on Pakistan’s nuclear facilities, Munir Ahmed Khan told Ramanna ‘ if such an attack took place against Kahuta or PINSTECH, it would release very little radioactivity because we had only a small enrichment plant and a small research reactor at these places. However, Pakistan would assume that such an attack came from India and would be forced to respond".

”Munir Khan told his Indian counterpart that he was simply making technical points and was not speaking in an official capacity, but went on to remind Ramanna that  a Pakistani counter attack on Trombay would be huge and could release massive amounts of radiation to a large populated area causing a disaster. Under the circumstances, it would be better that India and Pakistan should not attack each other’s facilities."

”Ramanna told Munir Ahmad Khan that he would discuss the matter with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Soon after this discussion, the file named ‘Attack on Kahuta’ went missing and Indian plans to attack were shelved.”

”Two years later, the Indian and Pakistani governments initiated an agreement not to attack each other’s nuclear facilities. Munir Ahmad Khan knew the art of international nuclear diplomacy very well. He had vast international contacts and experience, which was derived from his 13 years stay in the IAEA. He knew more people on the Board of Governors of IAEA than any one else. Munir Ahmad Khan was a very secretive man, and he introduced this culture of secrecy in PAEC. He had developed a habit of talking in whispers, and sometimes when he would be talking to us, we had to tell him, ‘ Munir Sahib, we can't hear what you are saying, please raise your voice’.

Dr. Shaukat Hameed Khan. Director Optic Labs PAEC (1985-2001), Founding Head, Laser Group PAEC 1969-1981.

”I am glad that I have been provided an opportunity to say a few words about Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan. I will share with you my first encounter with Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan. We were in Quetta for a conference in December 1971 to try to figure out what was ailing the Atomic Energy Commission and how it could be transformed into a vibrant and target oriented organization. It was here that I first met Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan who had just arrived from Vienna at the invitation of President Bhutto. Dr. Usmani was also there. The day the conference was scheduled, the President was unable to come, so we kept waiting, but then Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan himself took the initiative and said that why don’t we make use of this time and discuss amongst ourselves what is wrong with the Commission and what can be done to improve it. He told Dr. Usmani that perhaps the morale of the men in the Commission could be improved if he would stop frequent transfers of Directors and other scientists in the Commission. Then came the Multan Conference where President Bhutto appointed Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan as chairman PAEC. Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood who is sitting here was there, Dr. Ishfaq was there and many others were there.”

”I will recall another incident that reflects the personality of Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan. In 1990, PAEC was asked to build a device (Laser range-finder) by the government. Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan gave me this assignment. We built the device indigenously and when it was ready, we told the government about it. But the contract and the money went to Dr. AQ Khan.”

”Afterwards Pakistan Observer published a story of about half a page which said about me that ‘There is a scientist who claims that he is a Ph.D from Oxford and he has also claimed to have made a laser device, but in reality it is Dr. AQ Khan who has done it.
I was furious at this and I went to Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan and told him that I wanted to make a reply to it. He told me that if such a story has appeared, I need not even bother to make a reply; it did not matter. But when a similar story was published in Dawn, then I took it even more seriously and I said that this time I would give a reply.”

“I again went to Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan and told him about my intention. He said all right, write down whatever you want to say and bring it to me. I wrote a good reply, even though I was very angry, but he rejected this draft and asked me to bring another one. He rejected draft after draft and asked me to improve it further. By the time my last draft was ready, a month had passed and my anger had died down.”

“The PAEC due to Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan and other chairmen has established traditions of excellence for other organizations that can be emulated. In the end I would like to say that he gave much more than he took from all of us.”

Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood, SI. Ex- Director-General (Nuclear Power) PAEC, Founding Project-Director Uranium Enrichment Project, Project-Director Khushab Nuclear Reactor

”I would like to speak on the great achievements of Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan on the engineering side. He is a like a mountain that has many peaks. When he took over as chairman, his first priority was the commissioning of Kanupp in 1972. He made us work very hard and he himself made sure that Kanupp is commissioned on time since the Bengalis had left and we were faced with a serious manpower shortage. Had Kanupp not gone into operation as scheduled, it would have been a colossal failure and would have spelled the end of our indigenization efforts. But due to Munir Ahmad Khan's efforts, Kanupp was inaugurated on time. He also established a plant for the manufacture of indigenous nuclear fuel for Kanupp, a facility for manufacturing spare parts for Kanupp and a training centre for nuclear engineers and technicians working at Kanupp.”

“The Khushab nuclear reactor was his dream; it was his idea and his project. When it was completed in 1996, he had retired for five years then, but his joy knew no bounds at this accomplishment. The chairman of Senate and I were present with him at a local hotel for some ceremony. He never took credit for himself and always said that whatever was achieved by PAEC was the result of the collective team effort of hundreds of scientists and engineers. So when he especially called me and told the chairman Senate that ‘ he is the hero who completed this task’, to which I instantly replied, ‘No Sir! It was your vision and it was your support and guidance that enabled us to complete the project successfully’. Munir Ahmad Khan called Khushab’s successful completion as the greatest achievement of nuclear Pakistan because it was Pakistan’s and the Muslim world’s first indigenous military reactor that is the source of plutonium and tritium.”

”In October 1974, he called me to his office and asked me to prepare a detailed report on various technologies for uranium enrichment. He was so anxious to get this project started that he wanted the report the next day. In this report I discussed laser, diffusion, jet nozzle and centrifuge methods for uranium enrichment. Finally we went for centrifuge technology for uranium enrichment. We were familiar with centrifuge technology since 1967 when a small study group was formed by Dr. Naeem Ahmad Khan at Atomic Energy Centre, Lahore, which included Hafeez Qureshi, myself and Dr. Samar Mubarakmand.”

”By the end of 1975, all essential machinery and equipment for the enrichment project had been procured had arrived in Pakistan. We had also begun indigenous R & D on the project.”

“Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan also began extensive uranium exploration and he set up plants for the refining of uranium. He also established facilities for gamma irradiation of food products. The HMC-3 Project was also his dream and was the result of his vision. We began conceptual work on this project in the 1970s in order to producing spare parts and other equipment for nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities”

“In 1972-73 Munir Ahmad Khan had presented the government, which envisaged the establishment of 24 nuclear reactors for generating nuclear power by the end of the 20th century. He had the vision and foresight that Pakistan would face acute energy shortage and he had over 30 years ago presented a plan to overcome the power shortage crisis we are facing today, but no government heeded his advice. Shortage of funds and sanctions also played its part in not been able to realize his dream. But the 300 MW Chashma-1 nuclear power plant was again a project on which he had begun work in the 1970s, and had selected its site back then. He managed to secure an agreement with China in 1989 for the supply of this plant which is now operational.”

“Munir Ahmad Khan also established various nuclear fuel cycle facilities, which include CPC and BC-1. He established these facilities in only two and half years, which provides all the Feed of UF6 for the enrichment plant at Kahuta. He also established a heavy water plant for the Khushab nuclear reactor. But we are a very ungrateful nation.  May Allah bless his soul.”

Mr. Salim Mahmud. S.I. Ex- Chairman SUPARCO

”The people who undermine the contributions of their predecessors are doomed and those who fail to recognize them impeded their own progress. Only those who recognize what their seniors have done, encourage and inspire the young”

”Newton very rightly said in reply to someone praising his genius, ‘If I can see further, it is only because I ride on the shoulders of giants’. The meaning of this meaningful phrase is all clear to us.”

”Late Munir A Khan graduated from the 5th Nuclear Science and Engineering Course from North Carolina State College of Engineering and then followed up at the Argonne National Laboratory, operated by the University of Chicago for the US Atomic Energy Commission. I did the same track 2 years later as a member of the 7th Course.”

”Munir joined the IAEA in 1958 and rose to the rank of Director of Reactor Division. He came to Pakistan in December 1971 to attend Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s famous brainstorming session on the nuclear programme at Multan at the property of Nawab Sadiq Hussain Qureshi in Janurary, 1972- to pick up the pieces in his words in the wake of the dismemberment of Pakistan. Some of you present here also spoke on that occasion.”

”Munir was appointed chairman PAEC through verbal orders of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto at the Multan Conference to his Cabinet Secretary. Bhutto said, ‘ I hereby appoint Munir Ahmad Khan as the new Chairman of PAEC".

”When Indian nuclear explosion took place on May 18, 1974, here Munir was the right man at the hour of crisis. He was highly focused, extremely hardworking, analytical and professionally competent, who was fired with a super spirit of patriotism.”

”Munir was a strong proponent of total, indigenous capability in full nuclear fuel cycle: Mining of Uranium, refining of uranium, production of Hydrofluoric Acid and Uranium hexafluoride gas in the upstream, and manufacturing of nuclear fuel in parallel, an example of mastery of nuclear technology was displayed in the PAEC’s production of uranium fuel bundle for the CANDU reactor of KANUPP  Moving on to midstream so to say, i.e. the enrichment of uranium, and then the downstream phase of design and development of reprocessing technology”.

”Munir Khan  launched the nuclear special project-706, the project to enrich uranium, in 1974/75, with Bashiruddin Mahmood as Director and his team members. Even before the arrival of the man (AQ Khan) who was recruited to the post of Principal Scientific Officer under Bashiruddin Mahmood, the completion of siting of the new facility, its design, and procurement of strategic materials as well as machines was done under Munir.”

”Absolute discreetness was Munir’s hallmark.”

”He joined in efforts to establish SUPARCO as an independent organization and its elevation as a Commission. Munir was present in the mini-cabinet meeting on December 13, 1979 with President of Pakistan in the chair. Munir Khan was extremely helpful and positive thinker as member of the Executive Committee of the Space Research Council”

” Munir’s greatest attribute: competence, full devotion to duty, absolute loyalty to the country and development of scientific and engineering base; Specialized machines, laboratories, strategic nuclear facilities, the developed human resource, the trained technical manpower, are all living memories of the person who can rightly be called the man who created the backbone of nuclear science and technology in Pakistan. His singular efforts should never be lost sight of by a grateful Nation.”

”Although Munir was not a Ph.D. but a nuclear engineer, yet he had unparalleled exposure, experience and technical acumen in nuclear science and technology. In this respect he could have been worthy of 3 PhDs.”

”Bhutto was aware of his abilities and he Bhutto supported and supplemented each other in bringing nuclear capability to Pakistan.”

”Even after retirement, he kept himself very active: encouraged his fellow scientists and engineers; defended the cause of Pakistan at the international forums.”

”Munir was an individual with great qualities of not only head but also heart: a friend indeed because he was there in need. The Nation suffered a grievous loss on his sudden departure for the heavenly abode. He had so much unfinished business on his agenda. I feel a personal sense of loss whenever I drive down in front of his Islamabad house on Margallah Road. He has left a vacuum, which cannot be filled by any one else.
May Allah bless his soul.”

Dr. Kausar Abdullah Malik, HI, SI, TI, Ex- Member (Bio-Sciences PAEC), Member Planning Commission of Pakistan.

”Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan developed the Nuclear Institute of Agriculture and Biology (NIAB) in 1972 at Faisalabad and Nuclear Institute of Food and Agriculture, (NIFA), in 1982 at Peshawar. NIAB has developed 23 different crop varieties, which are high yielding; they are disease resistant and are being cultivated throughout the country. The cotton variety NIAB-78 was has contributed Rs. 37 billion to the national exchequer since its release in 1983. Till now NIAB has contributed Rs. 52 billion to the economy till now”

”I agree with what has been said earlier about the posthumous award for Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan. In this regard, I wrote a letter to the government in which I said that Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan remained chairman of PAEC for 19 long years, and surely he must have done "something" during this time to deserve the highest civil award”.

”Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan also set up cancer hospitals throughout the country where nuclear techniques have been treating thousands of cancer patients in Pakistan. These include NORI, INMOL, LINAR, MINAR, IRNUM and CENAR.”

Dr. NM Butt, SI, Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation, Ex- Director-General, PINSTECH.

”I will talk about one aspect of Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan that no one knows about. After his retirement, he was engaged in Nuclear CBMs between India and Pakistan. He had been asked by the government to represent Pakistan's point of view in multi-lateral negotiations including India, Pakistan and the United States in which NPT and CTBT were being discussed.

Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan asked me to join him and empahsized that it was a matter of national interest. He would listen to the arguments of the Americans and Indians, and he knew his Indian counter parts, such as Iyengar. The way he put forward Pakistan's position with regard to NPT and CTBT was so logical and convincing that after he made his points, the Americans were forced to agree with Pakistan that India must also be asked to sign the NPT and CTBT and no unilateral pressure on Pakistan would work. Here I would like to point out that before this, pressure was only on Pakistan to sign these treaties, but after our meetings, India was also asked to do the same”

”In 1999, after the awards were given out to scientists and engineers, I wrote to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and pointed out that three most important contributors to Pakistan's nuclear program have been left out in the list of those who were awarded by the government. These included Dr. Rafi Chaudhri, Dr. IH Usmani and Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan. Although Dr. Chaudhri and Dr. Usmani were given the NI later, but Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan is still being ignored by the government, which was deplorable.”

Mr. Farhatullah Babar, ex-Senator, Media Spokesman PPP.

Former PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar - who had worked for four years with Munir Khan  said the late PAEC chairman was deeply perturbed over the absence of responsibility and restraint in nuclear matters and also over issues of command and control of weapons of ultimate destruction.

In communications with the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and also in newspaper articles Munir Khan pleaded, “nuclear weapons are not a plaything to be bandied publicly. They have to be treated with respect and responsibility. While they can destroy the enemy, their use can also invite self destruction” Babar said that Munir Khan wrote two letters to the Prime Minister in which he pointed towards the potentially damaging consequences for Pakistan in view of irresponsible actions and rhetoric by certain individuals.

Farhatullah Babar said it was a strange coincidence that on his death anniversary today the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London had announced that a new dossier “Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan” will be launched next week dramatizing the warnings that Munir Khan had been sounding. “We did not heed his warning then and have ended up in making Pakistan a suspect at the centre of international proliferation,” he said.

<< Back