Musharraf, army not involved in nuke proliferation,’ says official

July 6th, 2008 - 11:29 am ICT by ANI  

Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad , July 6 (ANI): Strategic Plans Division (SPD) Director General Lt. Gen. (retired) Khalid Kidwai has rejected Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s statement that President Pervez Musharraf, as army chief, and the Pakistan Army were involved in nuclear proliferation.

“These were all individual acts. The president and the army had no role,” he told reporters here on Saturday.

The Daily Times quoted him as saying that the Dr Khan chapter had been closed but his recent statements had created suspicion about a “dead issue” which could come to life again.

Lt. Gen. (retired) Kidwai further said that Dr. Khan was not coerced into making a confession in 2004, but had chosen to voluntarily apologise to the nation instead of being tried.

“We had many sessions with him (Dr Khan) and when he finally broke down, he said ‘enough is enough’ and requested us to ask the president to pardon him,” he said.

“Everything is on record and can be shown to a court, parliamentary committee, tribunal or any other body constituted by the government,” he said.

“Dr Khan was conditionally pardoned. The conditions were that if his acts ever became a security risk for Pakistan or if any evidence about a fourth country (other than Iran , North Korea and Libya ) surfaced, the pardon would stand withdrawn.”

Lt. Gen. (retired) Kidwai said evidence regarding Dr Khan’s nuclear proliferation was based on fact and it is only for the government to decide who it should be shown to.

He said an investigation into the case had established that proliferation largely took place from 1987 to 1996. “It also continued until 2000 and as soon as we had gathered information and evidence to establish this, Dr Khan was removed from the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL),” he said, adding that all this information was shared with the US and the IAEA.

Lt. Gen. (retired) Kidwai said the restrictions on Dr Khan’s movement were gradually being lifted and he was being facilitated.

“His case is now in court and the matter is sub judice. It is for the court to decide about his security. His statements prove that he is a free citizen, can say whatever he likes and that he is not under arrest.”

Responding to the latest diatribe against him,Dr. Khan said he would not stay silent any more and hit back at his detractors.

Talking to Geo News, he, however, said the foreign media was distorting his statements and therefore, he would not talk to foreign journalists in future.

About his confession, he said he was given a paper and told that the country was facing grave crises and everything would be all right if he read the statement on television.

He rejected the claim that he was free to meet his relatives and friends. He said he was not even allowed to meet his sister. He said he was sick and stood between life and death. He said he had decided to reply to the allegations being levelled against him.

Referring to his statement about shipment of centrifuges to North Korea , he said he had not revealed anything. President Musharraf had mentioned this fact in his book “In the Line of Fire”, he said, adding that he had just explained what the president had already written on this issue. (ANI)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |