Islamabad, July 7 : In a bid to counter nuclear scientist Dr AQ Khan's "media campaign" in support of his innocence, the Pakistan government is said to be seriously considering making public some of the evidence collected during the last three years about the proliferation network and Dr Khan's alleged role in it.
According to an article in the Dawn, perhaps Dr Khan is up for a shock as he may not know that almost all the 'debriefing' or 'interrogation' sessions the Pakistani investigators had held were video-taped. And, these 60 hours of recordings contain as explosive a material about the proliferation network as a nuclear bomb could be, and a senior government official has claimed that on several occasions during the debriefing Dr Khan confessed to his involvement, at times describing them as honest mistakes, slips or oversights, it added.
The article further said that the role of a Sri Lankan shady character 'Burhary Sayed Abu Tahir' as a close associate of Dr Khan, comes quite prominently in findings over the past three years. Tahir is described as the lynchpin in the shipment racket of precision tools from Malaysia and other equipment and their components from Pakistan to their hub in Dubai for onward supply to various countries, particularly Iran and Libya.
A government official present at the briefing said details presented by the investigators showed that in most cases equipment parts of 'P-1'- and 'P-2'- type centrifuges and other material were shipped out through various companies, either as scrap or damaged parts. However, in one particular case, centrifuges were smuggled out to Libya in casings of 'Baktar Shikan' anti-tank missiles that were being exported to Libya, and which were being manufactured at KRL.
Other materials allegedly smuggled out included several documents, bomb designs, and a 15-page convergence design document.
He said this largely happened because the KRL had a blanket cover to get its consignments pass through customs and security without any check. During the height of proliferation, during 1987 to 1998, the official said, about 18 tonnes of material were smuggled out by air in small- and medium-size crates.
The shipments of centrifuges to North Korea were much later, and were separate from the earlier operation, the officials said.
Experts and analysts say in that the wake of the claims and counter-claims, and contradictory statements by Dr Khan and the SPD chief Gen Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, the only way to establish the truth could be by way of presenting documentary evidence either before parliament or in a court of law.