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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 3, 2007
Gen. Zia and Pak Army Chiefs after him knew of A. Q Khan's nuke proliferation network
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Gen. Zia and Pak Army Chiefs after him knew of A. Q Khan's nuke proliferation network

Pakistan's former military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq and the army chiefs that followed him, including current chief President General Pervez Musharraf, were aware and not ignorant of the nuclear proliferation activities of scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan.

London, May 3 : Pakistan's former military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq and the army chiefs that followed him, including current chief President General Pervez Musharraf, were aware and not ignorant of the nuclear proliferation activities of scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan.

According to a research dossier prepared by International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) scholar Mark Fitzpatrick "every Army chief since General Zia-ul-Haq knew of his activities".

"Khan probably had some signal, if not explicit permission, from his 'superiors' for nuclear cooperation with Iran," The News quotes Fitzpatrick as mentioning in his dossier.

The dossier also claims that at one stage the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was given the task of investigating Khan, but the idea was dropped over concerns that it might expose foreign parties, and may also "implicate" past or current governments and military officials.

It says that Dr. A.Q. Khan had also threatened to reveal national secrets and expose all those involved if he was indicted.

It said the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) started investigations into the nuclear scams after the Americans handed over solid evidence to President Musharraf during his Camp David visit in 2003. Two former Army chiefs, General Aslam Beg and General Jahangir Karamat, were also questioned.

According to the dossier, the ISI, which previously had been tasked to protect Khan's procurement network, became the eyes and ears of the Strategic Planning Directorate (SPD) in so far as investigating nuclear proliferation allegations based on fresh U.S. revelations provided by former CIA chief George Tenet.

The dossier pointed out that details of the investigations, the charges and laws under which Khan associates were detained, the grounds for their release, and the identities of those who were put under a form of continued "house arrest" have not been made public. None were prosecuted as far as it is known.

This investigative effort, according to the dossier, resulted in a secret 120 pages report dealing Khan's irregular financial practices, his eight million dollars in various bank accounts and his 10 million dollar hotel in Timbuktu.

In 2000, US intelligence information was passed on to Pakistan, which reportedly included photographic evidence of centrifuge transfers to North Korea.

Given the accumulation of so many questionable incidents, along with his growing resistance to military authority and oversight, Khan outright refusal to discuss Zahedan (the closest Iranian city to Pakistan) trip plans was the last straw that convinced Musharraf to remove him.

ANI

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