In this episode of the Monsoon Podcast, Maxwell Lowe looks at the life and legacy of AQ Khan, the man behind Pakistan’s nuclear bomb and its nuclear black market.

In 2004, Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer (AQ) Khan appeared on state television and confessed to illegally supplying nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea for over three decades.

Famous for his role in developing Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, AQ Khan revealed himself to be the largest black market exporter of nuclear technology in history. Today, part of Khan’s legacy can be seen through the world’s most volatile nuclear hot spots which continue to threaten the lives of millions.

In Pakistan, Khan is seen as a national hero. And despite the scale and consequences of his actions, he has largely been forgotten outside his home state.

How did AQ Khan transform himself into the world’s most powerful nuclear smuggler and why was he able to continue for so long? In this Monsoon Podcast, Maxwell Lowe looks at Pakistan’s nuclear bomb and the life and legacy of AQ Khan.

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Hassan Abbas is a professor of International Security at the National Defence University in Washington D.C and senior adviser at the Asia Society. Previously, he was the distinguished Quaid-i-Azam Chair Professor at Columbia University and fellow at Harvard University. Before his academic career, he worked in the governments of Benazir Bhutto and Pervez Musharraf. His latest book Pakistan’s Nuclear Bomb: a Story of Defiance, Deterrence and Deviance chronicles the story of AQ Khan and nuclear developments in South Asia.

Feature image source: rabedirkwennigsen

Music: Man Down and Master Disorder by Kevin McLeod
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Posted by Guest Contributor

Monsoon's contributors are all students in the Asia-Pacific region. Interested? Contact us at contact [at] themonsoonproject [dot] org!