Pakistan says curbs on Khan not lifted

July 3, 2007 at 12:49 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 2 (UPI) -- Pakistan says there's been no change in the status of its disgraced nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan, who has been under virtual house arrest since 2004.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam Monday rejected some media reports that Khan's travel restrictions have been relaxed, the Voice of America reported. "There is no change in (Khan's) status," she said. "He continues to lead a quiet life with his family."

Khan, who remains popular in Pakistan for helping the country become a nuclear power, was placed under house arrest after confessing to selling nuclear technology to countries such as Iran and North Korea.

Some local media reports, citing government sources, recently said Khan is now allowed to attend dinner parties and visit friends around the capital of Islamabad, VOA reported.

After Khan's confession, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf placed him under virtual house arrest. Musharraf has not permitted international experts to question Khan about the scope of his nuclear smuggling network.

The VOA report said the latest developments come in the wake of new demands from U.S. lawmakers for direct access to Khan because of concerns among some of them that smuggling network may still be active. But Pakistan already has rejected these concerns.

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