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Sell Pakistan Nuclear Secrets, Benazir Bhutto

AQ Khan, Pakistan’s renegade nuclear scientist, claims he was ordered to
sell nuclear secrets by Benazir Bhutto, the country’s former prime
minister.

Bhutto’s allies have rubbished the claim but, if true, his revelations
raises fresh questions about Pakistan’s role in the spread of nuclear
weapons and brings the threat of sanctions.

Khan is known as the father of Pakistan’s atom bomb but was also at the
center of a proliferation network that sold secret technology to rogue
states around the world, including Libya and Iran.
In 2004 he signed a confession claiming that he acted without the
consent of the government and was pardoned the following day, an account
he has now contradicted.

“The then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto summoned me and named the two
countries which were to be assisted,” Khan said in an interview with the
Jang media group, without naming the two nations.
He said he had no option but to obey Bhutto, who was prime minister from
1988 until 1990 and 1993 to 1996. She died in a suicide attack in 2007.

“The Prime Minister would have certainly known about the role and
co-operation of the two countries, mentioned by her, in our national
interest,” he claimed, adding that the transfer of nuclear technology
was a complex procedure which needed the help of hundreds of people.

He declined to discuss the issue with The Daily Telegraph or explain Bhutto’s motivation and when their conversation took place.

Khan, 76, who was released from house arrest in 2009, remains a national
hero for his role in helping develop a nuclear warhead, which was
successfully tested in May 1998 – the first in the Islamic World.

The US has repeatedly asked to question him about his role in selling nuclear secrets but has been rebuffed.

He has admitted supplying centrifuge technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya, in return for cash.
He is also suspected of offering secrets to Iraq, as part of a covert operation that ran for about 10 years until 1999.

Members of Bhutto’s political party and government officials all denied
that she – or her government – was involved in nuclear proliferation and
criticized Khan for making allegations against a woman who could not
defend herself.

A government statement said the matter had been investigated thoroughly.
“It had been clearly established that the proliferation activity was an
individual act, and did not carry authorization of any Pakistani
Government, at any stage,” it said.

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