Pak Lifts Curbs on AQ Khan

Pakistan government on Saturday withdrew all restrictions on the movement of nuclear scientist Dr AQ Khan, a day after it was ordered to do so by the Lahore High Court on Friday.

“Visitors on Saturday faced no restrictions in reaching the residence of Dr Khan,” Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, Dr Khan’s counsel, was quoted as saying by the local Daily Times.

Barrister Zafar said the authorities followed the court’s order “and now he needs no prior approval from the authorities for his movement”.

He said, “Dr Khan is now an absolutely free man. There is no security protocol in place for him and he can freely move and go anywhere he wants to.”

The Bhopal born nuclear scientist, was detained in 2003 after the US confronted, then Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf, with evidence of his role in the nuclear black market.

He admitted on television the following year that he had sole responsibility for operating a network that had spread nuclear weapons technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

Despite being pardoned by Musharraf, Khan was held for several years under effective house arrest.

After a shift in power in Pakistan last year, Khan retracted his 2004 confession, saying he only took the blame in return for assurances from Musharraf.

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