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Merchant of N-menace walks free
Afzal Khan writes from Islamabad

The allegations of nuclear proliferation against him have not been substantiated. — Islamabad High Court

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday declared father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan a free citizen and quashed orders of his house arrest.

Chief Justice of IHC Sardar Muhammad Aslam, while announcing a verdict on several petitions filed against curbs on Dr Khan’s free movement, declared: “He is a free citizen and there will be no restriction on him to move anywhere in the country.”

Khan was disgraced and put under house arrest by former military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf in 2003 after he confessed on TV networks that he was involved in nuclear proliferation. After Musharraf’s ouster, Khan said he gave that statement under duress.

On Thursday the government told the court that the question of Khan’s freedom of movement was being negotiated by the two sides.

The court further ruled: “The allegations of nuclear proliferation against him have not been substantiated.”

It, however, directed that due to security reasons, Dr Khan should inform the government about his movement in advance.

The verdict has directed the government to provide “VVIP” security to Dr Khan immediately.

The court also rescinded its previous gag order against Dr Khan and ruled that he was free to express his views, talk to media and carry out research and get treatment of doctor of his own choice.

Reacting to the court verdict, Dr Khan said he was satisfied with the decision. He pointed that his freedom was a matter between him and the Pakistan government and had nothing to do with the US.

Talking to media at his residence, he said he did not want to delve in the past. He only wanted development of the country. “I pray that God save the country,” he said.

When quizzed, he said he would not take action against anybody for keeping him in detention. He said he would focus on education and setting up of welfare organisations would be his top priority. He told reporters that he couldn’t go to Karachi after the deaths of his sister-in-law and niece because of curbs on him. Therefore, he would firstly go to Karachi and might go to Saudi Arabia to perform Umra.




Another deception by Pak: India
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News service

New Delhi, February 6
India tonight condemned the acquittal of disgraced nuclear scientist AQ Khan by the Islamabad High Court, saying Islamabad had always allowed individuals to act in a fashion detrimental to global security. Talking to The Tribune, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma termed Khan’s release as yet another example of “Pakistan’s deception”.

Sharma said it should be clear to the world community how clean chits were being given in Pakistan to those who trample upon international conventions and understandings on nuclear non-proliferation.

“Pakistan as a state has allowed individuals and organisations to act in a manner which is detrimental to regional and world peace. If these were non-state actors, why deny their act?” Sharma said.

Meanwhile, official sources said the release of Khan, whose role in spreading nuclear technology for military use is well known, proved beyond doubt that Islamabad was not serious about nuclear non-proliferation.

On 26/11, Sharma asked Pakistan to stop pointing to “red herrings” and trying to deflect attention from the central issue of action against perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks. Commenting on reports about Pakistan pointing a finger at Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jehad-i-Islami (HUJI) for being involved in the Mumbai terror attacks, Sharma said: “Pakistan must stop deflections and pointing to red herrings.”



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