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Pak govt bars A Q Khan's daughter from visiting father

Written by: Staff
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Islamabad, May 13 (UNI) Pakistan's government has completely barred the family members of nuclear scientist Dr A Q Khan to see him in the ''protective custody''.

Ms Aysha Khan, Dr Khan's daughter, who lives in the Capital, was the only member in his family who had permission, to see her father in what the government called ''protective custody'', which has been withdrawn now, the Dawn newspaper today quoted Dr Khan's family sources as saying.

The paper also quoted military spokesman Maj-Gen Shaukat Sultan as confirming that Ms Khan had been stopped from visiting her father.

''She has been stopped for the time being for security reasons,'' he said.

About the possibility of shifting Dr Khan to a ''safe house'', Maj-Gen Sultan said it was a baseless allegation that the scientist was being sent to any such place.

Dr Khan was taken into custody on January 31, 2004 under the Security Act of Pakistan 1952 for allegedly transferring nuclear technology and centrifuges to foreign countries, including Libya, Iran and North Korea.

According to sources, maximum detention under the Security Act of Pakistan was two years. Dr Khan is under custody for two years and three months, said the paper.

The foreign office recently announced that the government had closed the chapter of Dr Khan. However, he has not been released.

The sources said Dr Khan, who turned 71 on April 1, was suffering from high blood pressure, cervical spondylosis, hernia, dental ailment and heart problems.

A senior official of the Khan Research Laboratories, Dr Farooq was detained in November 2003. Some of his other colleagues, Dr Nazir, Dr Mansoor, Brig (retd) Sajawal, Brig (retd) Tajwar and Maj (retd) Islam, were held on January 17, 2004 for debriefing.

UNI XC VJ DS1404

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