Pakistan blocks quizzing of AQ Khan

Nov. 23, 2004 at 4:12 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Pakistan has turned down a request to give international experts access to nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan to explore his role in nuclear proliferation.

"That won't be possible," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Masood Khan told reporters at a briefing Monday, the New Kerala reported. Khan was referring to a suggestion made by a U.S. think tank that a team of International Atomic Energy Agency experts be permitted to interrogate Khan.

"Our own investigation process is appropriate. Therefore, there is no question of access by international experts from IAEA, either directly or indirectly," Khan said.

Pakistan, he said, had been cooperating with the world community to curb nuclear proliferation and would continue to do so.

A.Q. Khan, credited with making Pakistan a nuclear weapons state, last year confessed to leaking nuclear secrets to other states.

President Pervez Musharraf pardoned him on the recommendation of the federal Cabinet in view of his services to the nation. Since then, Khan has been confined to his home and has no access to anyone.

Commenting on the U.S. Congress approval of a military aid package for Pakistan, Khan welcomed the decision and said this was a sign of the growing relations between Pakistan and the United States.

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