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Rediff.com  » News » Benazir nevery indulged in nuke proliferation, says Pak

Benazir nevery indulged in nuke proliferation, says Pak

September 21, 2009 23:19 IST

As Pakistan remained mum on disgraced scientist A Q Khan disclosing the government and army hand in nuclear proliferation, its High Commissioner to UK said on  former premier Benazir Bhutto never "indulged in that sort ofthing." Wajid Shamsul Hasan also said the publication of Khan's letter in this regard in a British daily was timed to "embarass" President Asif Ali Zardari who is visiting the US.

"I think it (publication) is not appropriate at this time because that chapter has been closed," Hasan said. "A Q Khan is a thing of the past and all that proliferation thing has also gone down," he said but did not elaborate. "Benazir never supported proliferation. She never indulged into that sort of thing," Hasan told a TV channel. There was no official reaction yet from the Pakistan government after the letter was published on Sunday ostensibly because of the three-day Eid holiday in the country.

Khan, who is the Father of Pakistan's nuclear programme and dubbed as a key player in the global nuclear black market, in his four-page letter to his wife published in the British daily said Benazir had asked him to hand over nuclear know-how to Iran. On Iran, the letter says: "Probably with the blessings of BB [Benazir Bhutto, who became prime minister in 1988] and [a now-retired general]… General Imtiaz [Benazir's defence adviser, now dead] asked… me to give a set of drawings and some components to the Iranians… The names and addresses of suppliers were also given to the Iranians."

Hasan said that as a matter of fact Benazir is opposed to nuclear proliferation "tooth and nail" and during her two tenures no proliferation took place. "There were suggestions (for proliferation) during her time...she had not allowed anything of that sort to happen and Dr Khan knows it well," he added.

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