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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pakistani Military Distances Itself From Khan

The Pakistani military has claimed that former top nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan ran his illicit proliferation network without the approval of Islamabad and that the only officials he implicated during interrogation were two aides to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the Press Trust of India reported Saturday (see GSN, June 8).

Khan’s nuclear black market operation was the “sole act of an individual,” Lt. Gen. Khalid Kidwai, the director general of Pakistan’s Strategic Planning Division, said in the government’s first-ever briefing to lawmakers on the country’s nuclear program.

“A disclosure was made that Khan did not name any state functionary in 10 debriefing sessions, except two dead individuals — Maj. Gen. Imtiaz Ahmed, military secretary to executed Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and defense adviser to [his] daughter exiled Premier Benazir Bhutto, and Bhutto family friend dentist Dr. Zafar Niazi — in this regard,” officials said, according to The News.

Kidwai said Khan has remained in good health but had to “undergo some restraints” for safety reasons.

Kidwai also said Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programs were in “safe hands and there is no chance of any leakages” (Press Trust of India/New Kerala, June 12).
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