The demise of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on Monday evening was mourned by one and all with tributes pouring in from all quarters.
Not endorsing the view that the “Missile Man” from India was an exemplary scientist though, is Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who also questioned the motivations in Kalam’s appointment as President.
Khan fleshed out his arguments in an interview to BBC.
“India’s missile programme was developed with the help of Russia and Dr Kalam didn’t make a big difference in developing the missiles,” said Khan, who is considered to be the father of the Pakistan nuclear programme.
In the conversation with the TV channel, Khan said that he does not remember Kalam accomplishing anything noteworthy.
“Kalam used to prefer simplicity in all walks of life but he was an ordinary scientist,” Khan said.
The 79-year-old Bhopal-born scientist also questioned the nature of Kalam’s appointment as President of India, indicating that the move was political.
Kalam’s appointment had come through in 2002, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and the NDA was in power.
“He (Kalam) was made the President because the BJP wanted to garner Muslim votes,” Khan said.
The former President’s untimely demise has resulted in a week of mourning in the country and the unfortunate event led to rich tributes by people from all walks of life.