Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Pakistani nuke dealer A. Q. "Xerox" Khan a free man

A. Q. Khan, known as "Xerox Khan" in Pakistan for having photo-copied nuclear secrets from the West to make Pakistan's "Islamic Bomb", was exposed a few years ago as the leader of a international gang that sold dangerous nuclear technology to rogue nations like North Korea, Iran, and Libya, and to international terrorist groups like Al Qaeda. Indian intelligence agencies had reported this gang's activities for several years since the early 1990's, while the Pakistan-loving West had turned a blind eye. The smuggling of missiles and nuclear centrifuges between North Korea and Iran with Puke-i-stan acting as middleman, was mostly done on land through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (which linked Iran through Pakistan to China, which provided access to North Korea) in order to avoid getting caught by US warships on international waters. The involvement of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir in this smuggling ring was how Indian intelligence agencies came to know about this nefarious gang: from Pakistani terrorists caught by Indian Army in Kashmir. [Puke-i-stan = land of puke (vomit)]

The Pakistan-loving gullible morons in the US Government finally had to acknowledge this gang's activities after the pressure on them to recognize Puke-is-stan for what it is -- nerve-centre of international Islamic terrorism -- got too great after 9/11.

However, instead of interrogating A. Q. Khan to find other members of this Radical Islamic nuclear-smuggling terrorist gang, the gullible Puke-loving Americans let Puke-i-stan keep A. Q. Khan "in custody". Now, it is revealed that A. Q. Khan lives in five-star comfort and luxury in Pakistan, and is for all practical purposes a free man. He is being richly rewarded by Pakistan for endangering the future of Humanity by selling weapons of mass destruction for cash.

New York Times reports:

July 2, 2007, 10:58 am
Pakistan Loosens Reins on A.Q. Khan

By Mike Nizza

A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani scientist who ran an arms bazaar that spread nuclear technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea, is starting to feel freedom again after three and a half years of what amounted to house arrest. The Associated Press quoted two unnamed Pakistani officials on the details:

‘’He is virtually a free citizen,'’ said one of the officials, who is attached to the nuclear program.

However, the second official said Khan was only allowed to meet associates and relatives on a list approved by authorities, who would continue to provide him with a security detail that will restrict his movements.

The news emerged two days after a Pakistani newspaper reported that one of Dr. Khan’s lawyers “appealed to the nation to come on the streets and voice protest against the detention of Dr A.Q. Khan just like it has shown solidarity with the chief justice.” That chief justice says he was driven from office by the country’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, on trumped-up corruption charges, and is waging an intense challenge to Gen. Musharraf’s leadership.

Many Pakistanis revere Dr. Khan as a national hero for creating the country’s nuclear weapons, and have long viewed his detention at home, after a presidential pardon, as punishment enough. (Another recent home detention case in Los Angeles was, by contrast, not seen as “punishment enough”, to say the least.)

‘’Who has not proliferated?'’ said Tasnim Aslam of Pakistan’s foreign ministry. ‘’What about all those U.S. scientists who proliferated? Where do you think the Manhattan Project comes from?'’

Another sign of the Pakistani desire to put this whole saga behind them were the articles in local newspapers last week highlighting a State Department spokesman’s boilerplate statement that A.Q. Khan’s nuclear network was closed for good.

Congressman Gary Ackerman, a Democrat from the New York City borough of Queens whose district is home to many Asian immigrants, emphatically disagreed during a subcommittee hearing he led, entitled “A.Q. Khan’s Nuclear Wal-Mart: Out of Business or Under New Management?”

“The Administration can believe whatever convenient fiction it likes,” he said in opening remarks. But “the Khan network is more likely to be open under new management rather than truly out of business.”

The hedging is due to the small amount of information that is actually known about Dr. Khan’s network. Pakistan has refused to allow American officials to interview him, and has released few details otherwise.

Apparently, the A.P. is still on the list, though. A reporter’s call to Dr. Khan’s home in a wealthy part of Islamabad may be “his first public comment in about three years,” the wire service said. Unfortunately, he would only break the sort of news that comes from Aunt Millie, not international nuclear villains.

‘’I am feeling much better, though I can’t say I am 100 percent fit,'’ he said.

The Bush administration has not yet formally responded to the easing of restrictions on Dr. Khan. It will be interesting to see how the administration balances the stability of a crucial ally, Gen. Musharraf, with the desire to see someone who has provided crucial help to the nuclear ambitions of at least two members of the president’s “axis of evil” held to greater account.


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