Death of an Unsung Hero

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Salam,

It is with deep sorrow that I have to share the news of the death of Mr. Muhammad Hafeez Qureshi, S.I. former head of the Wah Group and ex-Director General, Directorate of Technical Development (DTD), Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, who died yesterday in Lahore. May Allah Bless his soul and shower His infinite mercy on him.

Mr. Hafeez Qureshi was a brilliant mechanical/nuclear engineer who was responsible for building Pakistan's nuclear weapons and had the distinction of carrying out several cold tests beginning in 1983. The DTD and Wah Group were established in March 1974 in a meeting called by PAEC chairman Munir Ahmad Khan to start work on Pakistan's nuclear weapons and Hafeez Qureshi appointed its first head. The Wah Group was tasked to develop the trigger mechanism, high-speed electronics, high-explosive lenses, ultra-high precision chemical and mechanical components used in the manufacture of atomic bombs. The Wah Group and others groups in DTD carried out Pakistan's first successful cold test of a working nuclear device on March 11,1983 at Kirana Hills and between 1983 and 1990 carried out over 24 cold tests of different atomic bomb designs. The Wah Group as part of DTD took part in carrying out the 1998 Chaghi tests.

Dr. Samar Mubarakmand at one time also worked under Hafeez Qureshi in DTD.

Yet like so many others in PAEC, he never complained about the lack of recognition that was his due by a nation who owes so much to these unsung heroes who worked silently for decades, and never asked anything in return. Till his death he was associated with Pakistan's strategic programmes.

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Posted · Report post

Salam,

It is with deep sorrow that I have to share the news of the death of Mr. Muhammad Hafeez Qureshi, S.I. former head of the Wah Group and ex-Director General, Directorate of Technical Development (DTD), Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, who died yesterday in Lahore. May Allah Bless his soul and shower His infinite mercy on him.

Mr. Hafeez Qureshi was a brilliant mechanical/nuclear engineer who was responsible for building Pakistan's nuclear weapons and had the distinction of carrying out several cold tests beginning in 1983. Yet like so many others in PAEC, he never complained about the lack of recognition that was his due by a nation who owes so much to these unsung heroes who worked silently for decades, and never asked anything in return. Till his death he was associated with Pakistan's strategic programmes.

Thanks for sharing this sad news.

May allah bless his soul.. I think your comments say it all.

ndad

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Posted · Report post

very sad news,may his soul rest in peace, amin

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Posted · Report post

Inna lillah wa inna ilaihi rajioon.

May Allah grant him a place in Jannat ul firdos!

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Posted · Report post

Inna lillah wa inna ilaihi rajioon.

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Posted · Report post

Great people like him never die . Through their work for the nation they live on in the memory of a greatful nation

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Posted · Report post

Inshallah his achievements will last as long as PAKISTAN until the day of judgement

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Inna lilla hi wa inna ilaehi rajioun.

Dr. Hafeez will always be remembered in our thoughts and prayers. May Allah shower blessings upon him and his loved those, especially those closest to him. Ameen.

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Posted · Report post

Salam,

The Post, August 15, 2007.

Obituary

HAFEEZ QURESHI, A GREAT SCIENTIST PASSES AWAY.

Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood

On the night of Miraj-un-Nabih (SAW), Mr. Muhammad Hafeez Qureshi, a great nuclear scientist of Pakistan and a great friend passed away. What other night could have been better for him to start his eternal journey.

He was an unsung hero who always preferred to work in low key and very few people in Pakistan knew him though he was the head of the famous "Wah" Group in Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, which was responsible for the development of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

Mr Hafeez Qureshi had a Masters Degree in Nuclear/Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University. He was the pioneer and founder director of "Wah" Group from its inception in 1974 till early 1990s. He also served as Director-General of Directorate of Technical Development, PAEC. He as head of the "Wah" Group had the distinction of supervising and carrying out Pakistan's cold nuclear test program.

Mr. Hafeez Qureshi was an extremely hard working, dedicated and patriotic scientist. He had a passion to work with his own hands. I remember having met him for the first time in 1963 when we joined PAEC's Lahore Centre, and Mr. Hafeez Qureshi could be seen most of the time in the workshop at the back of the Centre, developing some mechanical devices.

My first direct experience of working with him was in 1967 when Dr. Naeem Ahmad Khan, who was head of Nuclear Physics Division of Lahore Centre, and who on his own initiative began a centrifuge based uranium enrichment study group with Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, Mr. Hafeez Qureshi and myself being its members. Hafeez's enthusiasm was inspiring for all of us and he was known to be adept in the art of solving complex mechanical problems. This group however, could not continue for long at that time as we got dispersed.

Then I got a more intimate opportunity to work side by side Mr. Hafeez Qureshi when we got together again in 1974 under the dynamic leadership of late Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan, chairman PAEC, when he formed various specialized groups within PAEC to make Pakistan a nuclear power. In March 1974, Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan called a meeting and appointed Mr. Hafeez Qureshi as head of the "Wah" Group that was given the task of developing the mechanics of the nuclear device, which was indeed a Herculean task to accomplish in a developing country like Pakistan.

The "Wah" Group's tasks also included development of various high precision mechanical and chemical components, high explosives and triggering mechanisms for nuclear weapons. Mr. Hafeez Qureshi took this as a challenge with great confidence and provided a remarkable leadership in carrying out this most complex job in the shortest possible time. As of late 1974, I was heading the uranium enrichment project, so we were supposed to supplement each other and we used to have many crucial technical meetings, sometimes alone and sometimes with Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan.

Mr. Hafeez Qureshi led his team through his personal example and shared his knowledge openly and frankly with his junior colleagues at great length. His attention to detail was another one of his personality traits that enabled him to lead his team to success. He was a very humble, deeply religious and impeccably honest person who was imbued with a spirit of sacrifice and he would happily share credit with his team members for all the work that was accomplished in his guidance.

Many scientists who worked with Mr. Hafeez Qureshi as a team, emerged under his guidance as scientists of great repute and capability, prominent among them Dr. Samar Mubarakmand. Mr Hafeez Qureshi has left behind a great legacy of honesty, self-sacrifice and splendid work ethics in which he, true to the work culture of PAEC, believed and followed the principle of not working for credit, fame or money, but as a lifelong commitment to serve Pakistan.

After retirement from PAEC, Mr. Hafeez Qureshi continued to serve the country and remained associated with Pakistan's strategic programmes till his death. In his death, the nation has lost a great man and I personally a great colleague and friend. In recognition of his contribution to Pakistan's nuclear programme, he was awarded the Sitara-I-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan.

His death reminds me of another great scientist, Abdul Majid Chaudhry, who left us a few months ago. What an ungrateful nation we are that our great heroes pass away and yet they remain unsung and our younger generation continues to remain deprived of the knowledge of their contribution and service to Pakistan.

I wish him eternal happiness in the world hereafter and pray that may Almighty Allah accept his great contribution to Pakistan's nuclear programme. I also pray that the Almighty may also grant the fortitude and strength to his family to overcome his tragic loss.

The writer is former Director General (Nuclear Power) of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.

http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:LfamcpxBXY8J:www.thepost.com.pk/CityNewsT.aspx%3Fdtlid%3D112620%26catid%3D3+Muhammad+Hafeez+Qureshi&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1

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