A.Q. Khan celebrates the end of his house arrest
Another foreign policy triumph for the new Obama Administration was recorded when Pakistan announced that, there being no big, bad Republican administration to push Pakistan around any more, the need to keep up the pretence of confining A.Q. Khan, the father of the Islamic nuclear bomb and the world’s key source of nuclear proliferation, under house arrest had passed.
Presumably now the lovable old gnome can get back to work assisting the oppressed and indignant of the Third World win the respect of the decadent and Imperialist West by brandishing brand new nuclear weapons in its face.
Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani nuclear scientist at the centre of the world’s largest proliferation scandal, has been freed from five years of house arrest by a court in Islamabad.
Khan, lionised as the “father” of Pakistan’s atomic bomb, confessed in 2004 to selling nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya. He was immediately pardoned but detained in his home.
Since then Khan has retracted his tearful televised confession. Speaking outside his house today after the high court ruling, Khan said: “It’s a matter of joy. The judgment, by the grace of Allah, is good. It is because of this judgment that I am speaking to you.”
Khan’s lawyer said the high court had declared him a free citizen. “The court has said as he was not involved in nuclear proliferation or criminal activity, there is no case against him, therefore he is a free citizen,” Ali Zafar said. …
His confinement had been progressively relaxed over the past year as he was allowed to meet friends and give selective interviews. He travelled to Karachi at least once under tight security.
Last year a UN nuclear watchdog said Khan’s network smuggled nuclear blueprints to Iran, Libya and North Korea and was active in 12 countries. Last month the US state department imposed sanctions on 13 individuals â€“ two of them British â€“ and three private companies because of their involvement in Khan’s network.
Pakistan has prevented foreign investigators from questioning Khan, insisting it has passed on all relevant information about nuclear proliferation.
Khan said he had no need to answer to any foreign government. “I will always be proud about what I did for Pakistan,” he told reporters. “I am obliged to answer only to my government, not to any foreigners.”