Authorities Seek to Restrict Free Movement of A Q Khan

Rezaul H Laskar | Islamabad
Authorities Seek to Restrict Free Movement of A Q Khan
Pakistani authorities today approached a court seeking restrictions on the free movement of disgraced nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who had earlier been placed under house arrest after confessing to running a clandestine proliferation ring.

Col Muhammad Faheem, the Chief Security Coordinator for Khan, submitted a petition in the Islamabad High Court regarding the implementation of the court's order of February 2009 imposing certain restrictions on the scientist's movements.

Chief Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-rehman will take up the issue tomorrow.

Faheem raised serious objections to the frequent travel and meetings of Khan, saying he feared they could put him in an "awkward position and cause risk to his life".

He referred to the issue of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was arrested in Lahore earlier this year, and indicated foreign elements could cause harm to Khan.

"The security situation in the country is extremely serious. The Raymond Davis episode has shown that there are covert foreign operators inside Pakistan and given Dr Khan's profile, one cannot rule out that he would be a focus of their attention," Faheem said.

The petition said 75-year-old Khan has "carried out some unauthorized communication which is being assessed and the same is in violation of specific court orders whereby the court had directed him not to communicate on sensitive matters".

Though Khan was placed under house arrest soon after he confessed to running a proliferation network in 2004, some of the restrictions imposed on him were eased following a secret understanding between the government and the scientist in 2008.
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