Abdul Qadeer Khan, the scientist who helped Pakistan develop nuclear weapons and allegedly leaked atomic secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya, was freed from years of de facto house arrest Friday by a high court ruling.

The United States, which worries that Iran has used Pakistani know-how in pursuit of nuclear arms, said the disgraced scientist’s release would be “extremely regrettable.”

State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid said Khan remained a “serious proliferation risk.” He said the United States was still trying to confirm Khan’s official status.

On Friday, a smiling Khan emerged from his house in the Pakistani capital and addressed reporters face-to-face for the first time since 2004.


However, he indicated he would not be discussing Pakistan’s atomic bomb program or about who was involved in leaking its secrets around the world.

“We don’t want to talk about the past things,” he said as the guards who have enforced his long isolation stood aside for a throng of TV crews and journalists.

Khan, the architect of Pakistan’s nuclear program, took sole responsibility in 2004 for leaking the nuclear secrets but was immediately pardoned by former President Pervez Musharraf and placed under de facto house arrest. The government insists neither it nor the Pakistani military or Pakistani Intel, ISI, were aware of his activities, which is a blatant lie and which has been proven wrong by most of world’s leading secret services.



  1. It is a safe bet that this is a message from Pakistan’s military establishment. Interpreting that message is key. It could be that with all of the controversy surrounding the Mumbai attacks, and the entrenchment of al Qaeda and the Taliban in Northern Pakistan, the military wants to let the world know that it still has additional bargaining chips.

  2. Thanks for your comments Thomas, I feel the same way too

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