Khan was given a state funeral at Islamabad’s Faisal Mosque on Sunday. The funeral, attended by thousands of mourners including Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, was held in pouring rain.
In the United States, Khan was best known for selling nuclear technology to nations such as North Korea and Iran. In 2004, at the urging of the US, Pakistani authorities placed Khan under house arrest.
According to the State Department, this network’s actions had “irrevocably changed the proliferation landscape and have had lasting implications for international security.”
By Sunday afternoon, tributes had started pouring in for Khan. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted he was “deeply saddened by the passing of Dr A Q Khan.”
“He was loved by our nation (because) of his critical contribution in making us a nuclear weapon state. This has provided us security against an aggressive much larger nuclear neighbor. For the people of Pakistan he was a national icon,” Khan said.
Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Choudhry said in a statement that Khan’s “services for the nation and his contributions for strengthening Pakistan’s defense will always be remembered.”