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Investigators close in on A Q Khan
January 28, 2004 14:34 IST
Amid possibility of action against the father of Pakistan's nuclear programme, A Q Khan, for allegedly proliferating nuclear technology to Iran and Libya, Pakistan Information Minister Shiekh Rashid Ahmad met the scientist at his residence on Tuesday night.
Khan's bungalow is now guarded by military intelligence officials.
The meeting came shortly after President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali reviewed investigations into unauthorised sale of nuclear technology by some scientists.
Both Musharraf and Jamali have refuted speculation that the country's nuclear programme would be capped as a result of the international concern over the charges of proliferation of nuclear technology.
Ahmad's meeting with Khan is the first officially acknowledged contact between a minister and the nuclear scientist ever since the government instituted the inquiry and questioned him along with eight others connected with the country's premier nuclear research institution, Khan Research Laboratories.
No details were provided about the outcome of Ahmad's meeting with Khan.
Ahmad had said Monday that "one or two people" acted for personal profit in trying to sell nuclear technology.
President Musharraf has also acknowledged that some officials may have proliferated weapons technology for personal gain.
Meanwhile, Pakistan daily The News said investigators have made an independent confirmation of the International Atomic Energy Agency allegation that Khan had direct ties with international black market dealers who sold non-peaceful nuclear technology and hardware to Iran and Libya.
He is reported to have offered similar deals to Syria and former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.