Khan travel limits eased

March 30, 2010 at 1:29 AM
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LAHORE, Pakistan, March 30 (UPI) -- Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan will have more freedom of movement but may not do interviews on nuclear issues, a court said.

Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry of the Lahore High Court said Monday that Khan, regarded in his country as the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, may move freely but left in place restrictions preventing him from speaking to media on nuclear weapons and proliferation, Pakistan's Daily Times reported.

The judge, citing security concerns in his ruling on Khan's petition, said the scientist must keep the government informed a half hour before going anywhere within Islamabad and a day in advance when traveling outside the Pakistani capital, the report said.

Ali Zafar, an attorney for Khan, welcomed the ruling and claimed his client was now a "free man," the report said. Zafar was quoted as saying Khan already has submitted an affidavit assuring he will not talk about nuclear proliferation or the country's nuclear program.

Khan was detained by former President Pervez Musharraf in 2004 after he admitted operating a network that allegedly helped sell nuclear weapons technology to North Korea, Iran and Libya. Lately, Khan has been allowed greater freedom of movement.

The proliferation issues have stood in the way of Pakistan's effort to secure a civilian nuclear deal with the United States, similar to the one its archrival India has secured. Both India and Pakistan also are nuclear weapons powers.

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