Kalam was just an ordinary scientist: A Q Khan

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Deepak Mandal, Star Live 24
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Published On: 15:02:51 PM

NEW DELHI: The death of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam led to an outpouring of grief across the country with tributes flowing in from across all quarters.

However, there was one person who didn't think much of the former President's accomplishments as a scientist. 

Pakistan nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan in an interview to BBC said Abdul Kalam was an ordinary scientist. 

A Q Khan, considered the father of Pakistan's nuclear programme said, "Kalam used to prefer simplicity in all walks of life but he was an ordinary scientist."

In a telephonic interview, Khan said he could not remember anything noteworthy that Kalam had achieved. He claimed India's missile programme was developed with Russia's help. 

The Pakistani scientist also claimed that there was politics involved in the appointment of Abdul Kalam as President in 2002. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and the NDA was in power at the time. "He (Kalam) was made the President because the BJP wanted to garner Muslim votes," Khan said.

In 2004, A Q Khan was accused of supplying crucial secrets on nuclear weapons to foreign countries. He was dismissed from his job and was put under house arrest. However, Islamabad high court in 2009 declared him a free citizen of Pakistan. 

For lakhs of Indians, Kalam embodied the new India story, born into a poor Muslim family in Tamil Nadu, he rose by sheer force of education to become a missile scientist, the "missile man of India" becoming chief scientific adviser to the Prime Minister, then secretary of the DRDO, and then President of India. 

Kalam collapsed on July 27 at 6.30pm while delivering a lecture at IIM-Shillong and was declared dead soon after.

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