WikiLeaks: Zardari would have handed over AQ Khan if 'he had his way'

Cable reveals Musharraf, Zardari had assured the US Dr AQ Khan would not be released.


Express May 25, 2011

Co-chariman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Asif Ali Zardari, had told the United States (US) that he would hand over Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if “he had his way”.

A cable, sent by former US ambassador Anne Patterson on April 18, 2008 from Islamabad (reference no. 150415, reveals that the US had raised the issue of restrictions being lifted from AQ Khan. Zardari “alleged that false information was being leaked to embarrass the PPP”.

Zardari had also informed the US that former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had no decision making role on the AQ Khan issue and he had been told to stop making statements.

In a separate meeting, former President Pervez Musharraf had also assured the US ambassador that Pakistan had no plans to release AQ Khan.
”He knows what he did and accepted the consequences,” said Musharraf.  Musharraf noted that he had taken the opportunity of briefing Foreign Minister Qureshi during their recent trip to China on the A.Q. Khan issue.  At most, said Musharraf, Khan may for humanitarian purposes be allowed additional family visitations.  But he will not be released.

Strategic Plans Divison (SDP) Khalid Kidwai also spoke to Patterson and said that he understood the concerns in case Khan was release, and also added that Khan remained a national hero and there was domestic political pressure coming from statements given by political parties.
The facts, said Kidwai, were clear — Khan had admitted his guilt and received a presidential pardon.  Therefore, his legal status was that he was a free man.  The GOP had been providing security for “”personal and national security”" reasons, but Khan had accepted this agreement voluntarily and had not challenged his restrictions to date.  If he tried to walk out today, however, the GOP had no legal grounds to stop him.

Cable Referenced: WikiLeaks no. 150415

The full text of the cables can be read on Dawn.com, The HinduandNDTV. WikiLeaks has previously released cables to other media organisations including Guardian and the New York Times.

Correction: May 27, 2011

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the release date of the cable as April 18, 2011. The date has been corrected to April 18, 2008.

COMMENTS (20)

Naumaan | 10 years ago | Reply @ehabs: He never sold any secret. He confessed only to save the dignity of this homeland, where people like you reside. I know very well how Pakistani Intelligence agencies are very much aware of every movement to and from every sensitive organization so how can he solely be responsible to leak info to any other country. Use common sense, please. Even US knows very well but its "Crusaders" plan to bare him to develop any further technology like laser based etc. @Siraj Ahsan: Pakistan was not the first country to develop any WMD. It was "Big B" who first made and even used in Japan. Why we feel shame on it although our purpose was for only deterrence and balance of power. This is international politics but even you only know office politics then its enough for you to understand about its necessity. But Yes, you are right that "Development and competition is what we should stand for" but it can only happen when we would only be sincere to ourselves only. Jinnah's principles of "Emaan, Ittehad aur Tanzeem" is very meaningful. This is the main theme of Islam as well.
Siraj Ahsan | 10 years ago | Reply I am not in favour of weapons of mass destruction.... so if he stopped him I would support it. There is no need to foster the ideology of kill... this is not what muslims should stand for. Development and competition is what we should stand for.
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