Munir Ahmad Khan (Urdu: منير احمد خان; May 20, 1926 – April 22, 1999), HI, was a Pakistani nuclear engineer and a scientist who served as the Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) from 1972 to 1991. Along with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (former Prime minister), Munir Ahmad Khan on the technical side, is often called as the “father of the Pakistan’s atomic bomb project”, for his role in Pakistan’s integrated nuclear technology project— the clandestine Cold war project that developed the nuclear weapons. The first atomic bomb tests were conducted on May 1998 (see Chagai-I and Chagai-II) in Chagai Weapon-testing Laboratories; these tests are considered one of few milestones in Pakistan’s history in which, the devices were developed and produced under a projective programme of which Khan served its technical director.
Since 1958, Munir Ahmad Khan served as the technical adviser to the newly created Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, and used that position for lobbying for his country’s nuclear power expansion, and furthermore, an arm race with India, and remained associated with his country’s various strategic science projects for more than four decades until his death in 1999. Khan also served as the Chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors from 1986 to 1987 where he lobbied for Pakistan’s peaceful development on nuclear energy. His notable achievements include the establishments of the nuclear weapons design, development and testing infrastructure; New Laboratories; Parr-II; the Khushab-I; the Chemical Plants Complex, Dera Ghazi Khan; the Kundian Nuclear Fuel Complex; the 1986 Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with China and the 300 MW CHASNUPP-1 at the Chashma Nuclear Power Complex; as well as the indigenous development of the nuclear fuel cycle–which produced nuclear fuel for the Kanupp-Iafter an embargo was placed on Pakistan after 1974–and also uranium hexafluoride gas for the uranium enrichment programme.
He has received following awards for his works.
- Academic Roll of Honor, Government College, Lahore, (1946)
- An elected fellow of Pakistan Nuclear Society (1992)
- Hilal-e-Imtiaz (1989)
- An elected member of Sigma-Xi Research Society of America (1953–1956)
- Fulbright Award (1951)
- Rotary International Fellowship (1951)
- Munirite-Naturally occurring Sodium Vanadium Oxide Hydrate (1983)
- Fellow American Nuclear Society (1993)
- Fellow, Pakistan Institute of Electrical Engineers (1992)
- Gold Medal, Pakistan Nuclear Society (1999)
- Minister of State, Government of Pakistan (1990–1991)
- Founder President and Life Member, Pakistan Nuclear Society (1991)
- Fellow International Nuclear Academy
- Member International Consultative Group on Nuclear Energy
he died on April 22, 1999 (aged 72).