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Pakistan Says Nuclear Proliferation Chapter Is Closed

'everyone got what they wanted'
by Staff Writers
Islamabad (AFP) May 03, 2006
Pakistan said Tuesday it would not allow any country or foreign agency to interrogate its recently freed nuclear scientists involved in a proliferation scandal as Islamabad considered it a "closed" chapter.

The authorities last week released Mohammed Farooq who had been associated with the disgraced father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, Abdul Qadeer Khan, in an illegal proliferation racket dismantled more than two years ago.

"We have conducted thorough investigations in this affair," foreign ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said at a weekly briefing here.

"We have shared our information with IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and other countries, including the United States," she said.

"As far we are concerned this chapter is closed."

She repeated Pakistan's stance that it would not give the IAEA or the US access to those who were interrogated over the scandal. "I presume with Dr Farooq's release there is a closure to that case."

Aslam said if any country or agency wanted any further information, they should contact the Pakistani government.

"We would get the answers, we will do the investigations and transmit this information. There is no question of direct access."

Farooq was detained along with 10 other scientists and administrators of Khan Research Laboratories in late 2003.

Khan, who is considered father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, shocked the Islamic nation when he appeared on state television in February 2004 and confessed to passing the nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

President Pervez Musharraf pardoned Khan because of public sensitivity but put him under virtual house arrest in the capital Islamabad.

Pakistan said Khan sold parts of centrifuges to Iran through his clandestine network.

Pakistan has developed its nuclear arsenal amid a half-century standoff with its historic rival India.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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