AQ KHAN – The Rogue Nuclear Scientist? Curbs lifted

A court in Pakistan has lifted the final restrictions on controversial nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, allowing him total freedom of movement.

Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan at his home in Islamabad after a court verdict on Feb 6, 2009

Abdul Qadeer Khan has been under house arrest since 2004

Dr Khan, whose work helped Pakistan become a nuclear state, spent years under house arrest after he admitted selling off nuclear weapons secrets.

In February 2009 most restrictions on him were lifted, but he still had to notify authorities of his movements.

He subsequently filed a petition arguing for further freedoms.

Dr Khan confessed to transferring nuclear weapons technology to Libya, North Korea and Iran in 2004 but was later pardoned by former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

He has since said that the charges against him were false and that his confession was “forced”.

The BBC’s Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says that despite his confession and detention, Dr Khan remains very popular among many Pakistanis who regard him as a national hero. Continue reading