LAHORE: Nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has expressed his firm conviction that former military ruler Pervez Musharraf had transferred very sensitive information relating to Pakistan’s atomic programme to the US.
Dr Khan said he was ready to record the facts before the court of law.Talking to this correspondent he confirmed the contents of the recent Washington Post story and said these were drawn from the copy of his letter, which he addressed to his wife and handed over to his daughter Dr Dina Khan in 2004 as a precautionary measure when she was leaving for Dubai. The letter had ultimately landed at Musharraf’s table after being recovered from the baggage of his daughter.
Musharraf referred to the letter in his book also and now it has appeared in the press, Dr Khan said. He said on the orders of the dictator, humiliating search operations were carried out in his residence and all documents, personal diaries and family photos were confiscated. The computerised national identity cards were returned after several written requests.
He confirmed the observations of columnist Jabbar Mirza that Musharraf was hell bent upon handing him over to the US. In this connection, Dr Khan said, the then-prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali had himself confided that he was under severe pressure to sign his exit order, which he refused after taking the federal cabinet into confidence. He said Musharraf kept a C-130 plane ready to fulfil his nefarious designs.
Dr Khan questioned what type of justice it was that the truth was made secret for countrymen while it was transferred to the US. The nation must know that national secrets were handed over to Washington by the former president who was an American stooge, he said. He said the nation knew well who its well-wisher was.
He said one-sided action was taken against him during the Musharraf regime and a deliberate and well-calculated policy was implemented to brand him a culprit. It may be recalled that the letter published by the Washington Post leads to information, which proves that China helped Pakistan in the initial stages of Pakistan’s atomic programme. On the contrary, Dr Khan had started mutual cooperation by briefing the Chinese officials with regard to the European centrifuges. The letter leads to the conviction that every thing was done for the mutual interest. The letter discloses that uranium hexafluoride (UF6) was procured in return for invertors, valve flow metres, pressure gauges and other machines. After being self sufficient in 1982, Pakistan offered to return the same but the Chinese were gracious enough having asked to retain them as gift. The letter that appeared in the Washington Post is also significant because therein Dr Khan had quoted people who were alive as against accusations that he always referred to the people who were dead.
He told this correspondent that a comprehensive strategy against him and Pakistan’s atomic programme had been drawn at a secret meeting between Musharraf and former CIA director George Tenet at a hotel in New York on Sept 24, 2003. It was the meeting which both of them in their books had referred to. It is interesting that many assertions made by them are conflicting with one another.
Musharraf claimed to have recognised the Pakistani P-1 Centrifuge design shown by George and told him that it was the same manufactured under Dr Khan’s supervision. Dr Khan said these sketches were sealed in 1982-83 and at that time Musharraf had no access even up to the threshold of Kahuta plant.
Khan demanded inquiry and trial against Musharraf and his coterie. It is an open secret that Musharraf had deep-rooted contacts with Israel and God knows how many secrets he had transferred to them. He said under a planned policy the former president had transferred all responsibility over his shoulders, which he was not going to deny. But, he demanded to expose his confessional statement secured under duress or to record his statement afresh so that real facts might be revealed.
Dr Khan said he was a resident of Bhopal in India and had opted to migrate to Pakistan, dedicated his life to the country and pledged to serve Ummah. How could a person with such plans become a traitor?
It may be recalled that Dr Khan had always been a sour in the eyes of the US, India, Israel and some European countries because he had openly stated why atomic programme in Muslim world was condemned when European nations were carrying forward jointly the same. Why Pakistan was not allowed to sign atomic agreements when the US had been doing the same. He had a clear vision that atomic program should be aimed at maintaining balance of power in the world and doing away with one-sided persecutions. However, under the current circumstances he had been devoting solely to issues pertaining to health, education and other developmental projects.