Islamabad, Apr 8 : If a report telecast by a Pakistani private TV channel is to be believed, the federal government has decided to soften the restrictions placed on the detained nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan.
According to the report, he would be allowed to meet his friends and close relatives at least twice a month, and have meals with them. He would be able to meet at least six close friends and relatives as nominated by him.
The list of friends provided by the eminent scientist includes two of his friends hailing from Bhopal, the secretary foreign affairs, Riaz Muhammad Khan and an additional secretary also hailing from Bhopal, The News quoted the TV report as saying.
Dr Qadeer would also be allowed limited travel, with maximum-security arrangements, to Banni Gala in Islamabad, Nathiagali, and Murree where three of his brothers live. He would also be allowed to meet his relatives there if he desires. He would also be allowed to sta. with them for 3 days. But ultimately he would be bound to return to his residence at E-8.
Sources have also reported that the relatives of Dr. Qadeer have given two-week ultimatum to the government to raise all restrictions over Dr. Qadeer, and allow him to meet his friends and relatives.
Failing otherwise, they said, they would take their own measures about which the media would also be informed. Earlier on Monday, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a TV channel he favoured lifting restrictions on Khan. "Yes, I don't want to see his movement restricted. He is a Pakistani, a respected Pakistani, I think that he should be allowed to see his friends and I think that he should be allowed to go for a drive," the paper quoted him as saying.
He added: "I think he should be allowed to go and have a meal at a restaurant, I see no reason why he should be deprived of that, on the other hand we also have to be concerned about his security and health."