AQ Khan Issue Settled: Jamali

Four days ago, Pakistani President Musharraf pardoned nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, called him a national hero, and declared that Pakistan would not allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to inspect its nuclear sites. Several members of Musharraf's government have praised his stance on the 'AQ Khan issue' - in which the chief designer of Pakistan's atomic weapons came under international fire after he confessed to single-handedly selling nuclear information to Iran and Libya (which contradicted earlier claims of Musharraf's role in the transactions). Musharraf's supporters in Pakistan say his firm decision not to allow outside involvement in a national matter has 'maintained national prestige.' – YaleGlobal

AQ Khan Issue Settled: Jamali

Monday, February 9, 2004

SUKKUR: Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali said on Sunday that the issue involving nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan was now a settled one.

Talking to reporters at Sukkur Airport, he said there was no justification to continue playing with the issue. He said Dr AQ Khan was a Pakistani citizen and the Pakistani government would deal with his case. About the opposition’s role in politicising the issue, the prime minister said the matter had been decided and there was no need to make it a political issue.

Later, talking to journalists in Shikarpur, the prime minister said a strike call given by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal on the nuclear scientists’s issue was unjustified.

The prime minister was accompanied by Senate Chairman Muhammadmian Soomro, Sindh Chief Minister Sardar Ali Muhammad Mehr, Federal Minister Liaquat Ali Jatoi and Pakistan Muslim League President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

‘Musharraf handled nuclear issue wisely’: President General Pervez Musharraf has once again ensured the protection of the national strategic assets by acting wisely in the nuclear scientists’ issue. This was stated by Senator Waqar Ahmad Khan while talking to journalists in Islamabad on Sunday.

Senator Khan said the visionary steps taken by Pakistan had silenced all those who wanted to take undue advantage on the issue of the nuclear scientists. He said President Musharraf had not only settled the matter once and for all, but also maintained national prestige.

Senator Khan said Pakistan had handled the issue itself and unlike other countries, it had not allowed inspectors from outside to visit its nuclear installations. “This is itself a strong evidence that President Musharraf has ensured that Pakistan strategic assets are in safe hands and all threats would be thwarted with his wise policies,” he added. —NNI/APP

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