Washington, June 19 : The US State Department has urged Islamabad to ensure that anyone associated with the so-called Khan network of nuclear proliferators is not "free to walk the streets."
The comment assumes significance in the wake of recent reports that the new government in Islamabad had eased restrictions placed on Dr A. Q. Khan by the previous government.
A Washington-based non-proliferation group also reported that Dr Khan had allegedly distributed designs of a nuclear weapon among the so-called rogue states, a charge which the Pakistan scientist denies.
State Department's deputy spokesman Tom Casey urged Islamabad to ensure that none of its citizens indulges in proliferation activities.
"In terms of his (Dr Khan's) status, we have always expressed our belief that anyone associated with this network should not be free to be able to walk the streets and engage in either continued proliferation activities, or to try and restart anything that might be there. Certainly, that's always a concern and always something we talk with Pakistani officials about," the Dawn quoted him as saying.
"Certainly, if we have any concerns that either Khan or any Pakistani citizen is engaged in proliferation activities, we will raise that forcefully and directly with the government of Pakistan," added Casey.