CIVIL SOCIETY PAKISTAN

May 31, 2008

Dr Khan speaks -(EDITORIAL)

Filed under: NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 1:35 am
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THE NEWS

MAY 31, 2008

EDITORIAL

DURING his interviews with Waqt TV and another private channel, Dr AQ Khan has made a number of highly significant observations. He said the confession he read out on the TV “was my mistake”. In other words he was made to say things about his being responsible for proliferation which were incorrect. With hindsight he thinks he should have spoken in his own words and changed things. Those who made him read out the statement wanted to turn him into a “scapegoat”, which in plain language implies that he was made to take responsibility for acts actually committed by others. Dr Khan is, however, reluctant to identify them at this stage though he has promised to make further revelations at an appropriate time. Despite maintaining silence over the issue, Dr Khan has made an incriminating hint. He says he was not a party to any illegal or unauthorized deal. According to him “this one sentence covers all”. Does it mean he had been authorized to do whatever he has been accused of, apparently by some higher individual or body controlling the KRL? That a highly respectable scientist, considered widely as the father of Pakistan’s atom bomb, should be made to suffer humiliation and kept in detention for more than four years to cover up the indiscretions of others, is regrettable. This needs an enquiry by the ruling coalition to fix the responsibility and find the motives behind the cover-up.
Dr Khan has no complaints against the present government. He is even willing to wait for justice “till the government solves other problems and then comes to my problems.” He does not aspire for any high political office or an administrative position, even if it is connected with the nuclear programme. His dream is to devote himself to the improvement of educational standards, and projects aimed at social welfare. The government should set Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan free at the earliest so that the highly dynamic scientist can make an equally vital contribution in the educational sector, setting up first-class schools and colleges that can produce eminent scientists capable of continuing his work.
Dr Khan thinks that once Pakistan was in possession of the ultimate nuclear deterrent, all attention should have been directed by the policy makers to the economic development of the country. Many would readily agree with him for, as the example of the Soviet Union indicates, even a country possessing thousands of nuclear bombs and ICBMs has the potential to implode if its economy fails. Dr Khan rightly puts all the blame for Pakistan’s economic shortcomings on President Musharraf and his team, who wasted nine years without adding a megawatt of power to the national grid or creating a single water reservoir capable of producing electricity or storing water for lean periods.

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