Pakistan’s n-programme running without break: A.Q. Khan

May 29th, 2011 - 12:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Pervez Musharraf Islamabad, May 29 (IANS) Pakistan’s nuclear programme is “running without break” for 10 years and uranium enrichment process is also in progress, disgraced nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan said in remarks published Sunday.

“Although I have not been associated with the programme for the past 10 years, I know it has been running without any break and the process of uranium enrichment is in progress,” Khan told the Dawn in an interview.

He stressed that though they were not giving “final shape to new nuclear weapons”, the material was being made. It could be assembled any time if required, he added.

Khan, who mentored Pakistan’s nuclear programme, had in January 2004 confessed to having sold the country’s nuclear secrets to Libya, Iran and North Korea.

On Feb 5, 2004, President Pervez Musharraf announced he had pardoned Khan, who is widely seen as a national hero in Pakistan.

In 2000, the US accused Pakistan of providing nuclear weapons’ technology to North Korea in exchange for ballistic missile technology.

A year later, the Pakistani government announced it had dismissed Khan as the head of Khan Research Laboratories, a move that drew strong criticism from religious forces.

To a query on the safety of nuclear assets, Khan told the Dawn that the Taliban or any external force could not seize it due to a “highly secured system which has been improved gradually”.

The nuclear scientist explained that the nuclear weapons were not stored at one place and very few people knew about its location.

“You can count these people on fingers who exactly know about the location of nuclear arsenals.

“These weapons are lying in tunnels and safe houses where no one can access them, except very few relevant people,” he was quoted as saying.

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