London, June 4 : Dr AQ Khan, the founder of Pakistan's nuclear programme, has denied that he ever transferred nuclear technology to other countries, and said that he had confessed to this in 2004 in "national interest" and under huge pressure from Washington.
In a telephonic interview with The Independent from Islamabad, he described the allegations against him as "bullshit and concoctions", and said: "Now I have become the black sheep."
He said the confession (in 2004) had been made "in the national interest", but denied its contents were true. "Mysteriously, others got away scot-free as a result of him taking all the blame," the paper quoted him as saying.
Experts believe that Dr Khan worked in collaboration with the Pakistan Army, and he stands accused of helping Iran, Libya and North Korea establish secret nuclear weapons programmes, a legacy the world community is still struggling to deal with today in the case of Iran and North Korea.
Flatly denying providing any assistance to Pyongyang, he said Pakistan had acquired missile technology, for nuclear bombs, from North Korea. He added that he had been to North Korea twice and insisted that the reclusive communist state did not need any help from Pakistan, which has a nuclear programme based on uranium enrichment rather than the alternative plutonium technology.
"The North Korean programme is totally based on reactor reprocessing plutonium. They had mastered this technology even before we started. When Iran and Libya wanted to do their programme, they asked our advice. We said 'okay, these are the suppliers, who provide all'. This was very small advice. I advised them. What's wrong with it? I became the 'ringleader' of the network. But, the suppliers were there already for 20 years," said Dr Khan.
However, Dr Khan's clarifications of innocence do not impress the experts in the West,. David Albright, a former UN weapons inspector, who now heads the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, said: "He's just lying, the facts are established."