Pakistan says chapter on nuclear scientist Khan 'closed'

The court ruling ended five years of house arrest for the professor.

Pakistan says chapter on nuclear scientist Khan 'closed'
The Pakistani government reserves the right to appeal against a High Court ruling declaring nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan a free citizen, the foreign minister said.

The court ruling ended five years of house arrest for the professor.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in Europe on the weekend the government had broken up Khan's network and he no longer had any say on, or access to, any area of Pakistan's nuclear programme.

Qureshi also said the government reserved the right to appeal against last Friday's court ruling.

"That option is there," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit, referring to Qureshi's comments on a possible appeal.

"But I would hasten to add that as far as we are concerned, as we have said time and again, this chapter is closed"

Khan, hailed by most Pakistanis as the father of the country's atomic bomb, was pardoned but placed under house arrest in 2004 by then president Pervez Musharraf soon after Khan made a "televised confession" to selling nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

Khan, 72, who has been treated for prostate cancer, told reporters on Friday shortly after the ruling that he had finished his nuclear work and wanted to devote his time to education.

He said he had no plan to travel abroad apart from Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, for a pilgrimage.

Khan remains under tight security though friends have been visiting him freely, said his wife, Henny Khan.


Reuters
Last Mod: 09 Şubat 2009, 16:28
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