Lahore High Court lifts security restrictions on A Q Khan

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Lahore, Aug.28 (ANI): The Lahore High Court (LHC) has lifted security restrictions from disgraced nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan.

According to The Nation, the LHC has directed the district magistrate and DIG Islamabad to end Khan's official protocol with immediate effect.

The court has summoned both officials to appear before it on September 4 and explain the reason to keep Khan in captivity under the pretext of protocol.

On Thursday, Khan moved a petition in the Lahore Court challenging his official protocol, terming it a hindrance.

Khan's counsel SM Zafar told the court that the Islamabad High Court had directed the the government to provide official protocol to Dr. Khan, adding that the protocol restricted his freedom of movement and he felt like a prisoner.

Khan, is widely regarded as the founder of Pakistan's nuclear program.

In January 2004, Khan confessed to having been involved in a clandestine international network of nuclear weapons technology proliferation from Pakistan to Libya, Iran and North Korea. On February 5, 2004, President General Pervez Musharraf, announced that he had pardoned Dr. Khan as he was a national hero.

In an August 23, 2005 interview with Kyodo News, Musharraf confirmed that Khan had supplied gas centrifuges and gas centrifuge parts to North Korea and, possibly, an amount of uranium hexafluoride gas.

Khan came under scrutiny following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S. and the subsequent US invasion of Afghanistan to oust the fundamentalist Taliban regime in Afghanistan. It emerged that al-Qaeda had made repeated efforts to obtain nuclear weapons materials to build either a radiological bomb or a crude nuclear bomb. In late October 2001, the Pakistani government arrested three Pakistani nuclear scientists, all with close ties to Khan, for their suspected connections with the Taliban.

The Bush administration continued to investigate Pakistani nuclear weapons proliferation, ratcheting up the pressure on the Pakistani government in 2001 and 2002 and focusing on Khan's personal role. He has been under house arrest since February 2004. (ANI)

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