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Dr Qadeer’s confessional statement on proliferation and its repercussions

05 February, 2004

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Chairman Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL) Dr Qadeer Khan met with President Musharraf and asked for clemency from all charges against him in view of the services he rendered for the country. He said that all his actions although were in good faith but an error in judgment was made for which he is extremely sorry. Pres. Musharraf and cabinet pardoned Dr Qadeer in wider national interest.

Dr AQ Khan also publicly apologized on state TV to the public for the “anguish” and the “sorrow” his actions have caused to the Pakistani nation and the government. He also upheld that the nuclear transfer occurred on his behest and no former or present government was in anyway involved.

President Musharraf in his address to the editors and renowned journalists, blamed the media for mishandling this sensitive issue of nuclear leakage.

1. Is Dr Qadeer’s confession a result of remorse or pressure by the government?

2. Should the issue of debriefing of scientists be raised politically or put in cold storage?

3. What will be the international impact on confessional statement by Dr AQ Khan regarding proliferation?

4. How do you think Pakistani media has handled this issue ?

Reader Comments:

Qadeer still "Hero of the Nation"

A.Q. Khan still resides in the hearts of Pakistanis afterall he is the main person in providing a fool proof Nuclear Technology to the Nation. His acceptance of all the allegations,infact is also heroic activity by taking all the allegations on him and protecting the Government of Pakistan from such allegations.
His apology even increased his stature.

Afaq, Pakistan - 05 February, 2004

My views in response to your questions are:

1.Dr. Khan has not been 100% staight forward in whole of his dealings since the beginning. Though his confession is the right one and due as well, it is obviously not without pressure.
2.His apology should only be accepted if submits a sworn in statement disclosing all those who are involved and secondly he should continue supporting the programme honestly in future.
3.Debriefing of scientists should continue to clear the dubious characters from the prestigious institutions who are tarnishing the image of the whole nation.
4.Obviously some top brass military has been involved not necessarily with the full knowledge of the Government.
5.International impact could be the abonding of the programme what some quarters have been trying through and through.

N.M. ABBASI, Yugoslavia - 05 February, 2004

We are if Pakistan is.

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan is a person second to Mr. Jinnah, who benefitted the country selflessly. He made the defense of the country impregnable. He gave us a reason to feel pride in Pakistan. Behind defense of the country stand Pakistan's nuclear capability and its delivery system especially missiles (an alternative of F16 airplanes). Behind all this stands with his high stature Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. I salute him for the services he rendered for my country.

What I expect from General Musharaf, whom I gave vote in referendum to be President of Pakistan, to stand in between the criticism of the whole world and Dr. Qadeer. Our hero should not be humiliated at all. Beside General Musharaf, we all Pakistanis will stand firm.

Having said that, I believe the questions you have posed show your non-Pakistani trends. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan's statement is basically another manifestation of his greatness. He again placed Pakistanis to be indebted to him.

I understand that we know whatever we are today is because of Pakistan. What I want to stress is we are if Pakistan is. Kindly look at the issues through this angle.

Dr.Qaisar Rashid
2-B, Ashrafia park
Ferozepur Road

Dr. Qaisar Rashid, Pakistan - 05 February, 2004

What about his wealth

Why he pardoned.
Is he above the law?
what about his wealth accumulated thorough neuclear prolifiration.

Hasan, Pakistan - 06 February, 2004

Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan in his own words in a German magazine, Der Speigel

"Western journalism takes pride in false and malicious reporting, especially when it covers developing countries," he [Khan] wrote in a fascinating and wholly unexpected letter to the German magazine Der Spiegel, as he tried to
vindicate his actions to those who blackened his name - unjustly, he claimed, "The intensity is enhanced when it deals with Muslim countries. I
want to question the bloody holier-than-thou attitudes of the Americans and the British," he continued. "They think they are God-appointed guardians of the world to stockpile hundreds of thousands of nuclear warheads and have
the God-given authority of carrying out explosions every month. But if we
start a modest program, we are the Satans, the devils, and all of the journalists consider it a crusade to publish fabricated and malicious

Page 194 of The Islamic Bomb by Steve Wiessman and Herbet Krosney.

Book Published 1981

M. Idrees, Pakistan - 06 February, 2004

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan!

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan!
The person who brought the most brutal and bellicose Brahman Hindus in senses, taught them the etiquette, tamed them and accustomed them with life on one hand: and brought about the badly injured ego and head of the nation up, as the first Muslim and the Seventh World Nuclear Power in the face of all odds and heartbreaking compulsions of assortment on the other - is Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. Ergo he is a true national hero and deserves all the highest tributes and the heartiest salutes. The president-ship in bharat has no real worth but a symbolic notion simply - but yet the Hindus, to acknowledge his efforts has awarded the same to their Abdul Kalam Khan by appointing him as president of the Bharat. So far AQ Khan is concerned he is the king in real sense of the word.
President Musharraf deserves every honor for he pardoned the great Khan. This is also greatness of the great Khan that without mincing words he made a stat forward confession. There was not a single iota of pressure – rather he did confess his guilt, which he committed under the undue influence of the two so-called Muslims states viz Iran & Libya. A Q Khan has been the king and he will be the king on the hearts of Pakistanis forever. AQ Khan has accomplished the unbelievable mission for the nation. So far his involvement is concerned all that was simply a filthy dust given the conspiracy of the Indian's extension viz Iran & Libya.
So far international effects are concerned it will be directly proportional to our national worth – if a person like president Musharraf would be in the helm of affairs then he would be able to handle the affairs successfully but if people like 'Bandit Queen' - Bandit Babu or religious demagogues would be in the helm of affairs then what will happen would be every body guess.
Pakistan media proved once again that with a little exception it is composed of illiterate columnists and fifth columnists, they handled the issue very brazenly and bizarrely.
The belligerent Hindus had never thought for 10 minutes to unleash the onslaught on us before - but this time they kept thinking for 10 months but done nothing more than thinking.

aftab alam khankhel advocate, Swat, Pakistan - 06 February, 2004

i am just in state of shock

May Allah swt bless pakistan.i am just amazed with the things moving soooo fast n swift.may Allah swt save sarzameen-e-pakistan from all the evils.may Allah swt be with my beloved homeland.PAKISTAN PAAINDAABAD.
Ameen ya RabulAalameen

fasih khan, Pakistan - 06 February, 2004

1.International policies are not dependent on AQ's statements.

2.I dont know why this newspaper(PakTribune) is commenting again and again on the way media is handling this all investigations or debrefings?? Is this news paper(paktribune) belongs to governmental hide and seeks?

SPP, Pakistan - 06 February, 2004

The recent happenings in our contry pains me. So much disgrace to someone we hold in such high esteem. Why do your leaders fall to such depths? Take the example of Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and now Dr. Khan. In our paranoia about India, we have started a process of our own downfall.

Abdus Tariq, Pakistan - 06 February, 2004

he is my hero till the end of my life even after it

sehar, Pakistan - 07 February, 2004

We are a nation of grateful people.

If any one could convey Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan that we Pakistanis are not concerned whether he is any more adviser to any post or a head of a laboratory or not. He lives in our hearts.We Pakistanis are ready to embrace him.

If any one could convey him not to feel alone or disgraced. Just come to us and find how much we love him. In our difficult time you strived for us and now it is our turn to reciprocate. We are not a nation who forget our hero.We are a nation of grateful people.We are ready to sacrifice our honour, money, and blood for this country: Pakistan, selflessly. We are even ready to swallow disgrace in return. Honour of our country comes first and ours later.

Personally speaking I am indebted to Muhammad Ali Jinnah who gave us pride. Today, I am also grateful to Dr.Abdul Qadeer Khan who has enabled us to preserve that pride: Pakistan. Long live Pakistan!

Dr.Qaisar Rashid
2-B, Ashrafia Park Ferozepur Road,

Qaisar Rashid, Pakistan - 08 February, 2004

Dr. A Q Khan is our hero, and after what has happened his position has been elevated more in the eyes of every Pakistani. Firstly, he confessed what he has done (I think everybody know what was happening at the back stage and what was the core motives to bring him in the lime light) as compare to our so called patriotic politicians and generals, who plundered and even lost one wing of the country and secondly he sacrificed his honor in the name for the safeguard of Pakistan and for the nation.

We all know if the government would come as the main actor then our economy and nuclear facilities would not have sustained the embargos or sanctions.

Long Live A.Q. Khan, Long Live Pakistan.

Maqsood Ahmed, Pakistan - 09 February, 2004

Every one makes mistakes - even good people. A.Q. Khan is a good scientist. It does not mean he is above the law. If he has made money by selling technology to other countries, he has truely decieved Pakistanis. An unbiased investigation should take place. If Khan is guilty, he should be pay the price. If he is not guilty, he will emerge as one of the great personalities of this century. Pardoning him without investigation just shows the world that Pakistan is covering up a scandal.

V. Khan, United Kingdom - 09 February, 2004


It is so unfortunate to see a criminal being pardoned. I am not a muslim, but I have read that Prophet Mohammad had said that if his Daughter would steal something, he would have her hands cut off. So why Dr. Khan is above law. He sold secrets of Pakistan to nations that support terrorism. Iran could have sold this technology to Hizbollah and we all know that human life means very little to Hizbollah and other organizations in that part of the world. Dr. Khan should have been send to jail. He survived his crimes in Holland and yet he survives again. He is a known criminal in International community for stealing Nuclear Technology from Holland. Thanks to him Pakistani students are unable to get admission in nuclear sciences because no one trust us. Its shame to see him being pardoned.

Sammy Jabareen, Canada - 09 February, 2004

It is not possible that Khan had been prolifirating with out the knowledge of military bosses. He is made a scapegoat.

Irfan Qureshi, Canada - 09 February, 2004


AQ Khan is just a greedy and egoistic old man. He has done more harm than good for the country and should be punished for his crimes starting with confiscating all his assests and changing the name of KRL to Kahuta research lab. He should be asked to return all the honors and awards since he does not deserve any.

Nadeem Mirza, United Kingdom - 09 February, 2004

'preservation' is difficult than an 'achievement'.

This is in response to the comments of Mr. Nadeem Mirza.

It is quite easy to give sweeping statements as you have given. AQ Khan is not in a position to defend his position. I try to reply.
Kindly look at the services of Dr. Qadeer.
1) He made the defence of the country impregnable.
2) He trained a team of scientists who can redevelop nuclear capability even if it is attacked and destroyed by any enemy.
3) He established various institutes for young Pakistani potential.

What I am afraid of is: if he is discouraged, selfless people like him may stop working for the country. Secondly, if Dr. Qadeer decides to return all the honors and awards that were bestowed on him as a symbol of recognition of his unmatched services for Pakistan, it would be a Black-day in the history of Pakistan.
What we forget is: name of KRL is not after the name of Dr. Qadeer Khan. His stature is quite high than that. Dr. Qadeer is not dependent on KRL like laboratories but these laboratories are dependent on him.

We have to show Dr. Qadeer Khan and the whole world that we (Pakistani) are grateful people. We are grateful to Dr. Qadeer who strived and enabled us to preserve our pride: Pakistan. We all know that 'preservation' is difficult than an 'achievement'.

Dr.Qaisar Rahsid
2-B,Ashrafia Park
Ferozepur Road,Lahore

Dr.Qaisar Rashid, Pakistan - 10 February, 2004


Jewish scientist under seized by USA, passed on the Atom bomb formula to Russia, Israel got the copy and explored A nuke test in Africa, a US ship of uranium(pure) was kidnapped by Israelis, made lot of nukes.
What we are talking about the fuss, is nothing? Read the history, please.

aabshaarayPakistan, United Kingdom - 10 February, 2004

i am just in state of shock

the msg to all my fellow pakistanis is that plz plz plz pakistan is really in grave situatioin. lets all realize it and get united behind our president give him the confiedence that his nation is with him fully and then impress upon him the will of people of the situatiion we are now any one can (god forbit) take his life and point at the ''muslim fanatics'' of pakistan and then 'bring them to justice'......what not khuda kae liae lets all think about our beloved pakistan and lets all leave our differences behind atleast for now and only serve pakistan.pakistan paaindabad
wasllam o alikum
dua goe, fasih ali khan

fasih khan, Pakistan - 11 February, 2004

Dr. Khan was, is and will always be a hero in the hearts and minds of a vast majority of Pakistanis. He has given so much to the nation that nothing can justify his humiliation. Pakistani nation will loose enormously if it failed to protect and honour one of its most dedicated sons.

Munsif Khan, Aruba - 11 February, 2004

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