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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Musharraf Says Pakistan Did Not Enable North Korea Test

October 12th, 2006, 04:45

Islamabad: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf denied Wednesday that proliferation by the country's disgraced nuclear supremo allowed North Korea to carry out its claimed nuclear test. He also said that Pakistan was not a "rogue state" and that neither the government nor the army had helped scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who has admitted passing nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya.

"This (North Korean) bomb is a plutonium bomb. We do not have a plutonium bomb. That should indicate to you whether we are responsible or not," Musharraf said when asked at a news conference whether Pakistan was partly to blame.

North Korea's purported test on Monday has caused shockwaves around the globe, with the US vowing that the isolated Communist regime faces "serious repercussions".

Khan confessed on television in early 2004 to running an illegal nuclear black market. Military ruler Musharraf pardoned him almost immediately but he has been living under virtual house arrest ever since.

In his recently published memoirs, Musharraf says that Khan, who is still revered here as the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, gave Pyonygang around two dozen centrifuges used for processing uranium.

Musharraf defended Pakistan's decision not to allow international investigators to question Khan, saying that Khan's illegal nuclear network had no state support.

"We are not a rogue state," he told reporters.

"The government and the army was not involved in proliferation, otherwise we are a rogue country.

"Secondly we have been able to convey to them (the international community) that our nuclear assets are under good custodial control, the best in the world maybe."

Pakistan's foreign ministry on Monday said it deplored North Korea's announcement that it had carried out the test and warned that it could cause regional instability.
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