ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Saturday that it would not allow any foreign country to interrogate Dr A Q Khan, a clear rebuff to a top US diplomat who unveiled a fresh demand for access to the nuclear scientist.
“AQ Khan is a closed chapter,” Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit told The Express Tribune on Saturday.
His remarks came after US Ambassador-designate for Pakistan, Cameron Munter, told a congressional hearing that Washington would renew its demand for direct access to Dr Khan.
“I intend to raise the question again of our repeated requests to have our people be able to interview Khan,” Munter said in his testimony before the Senate foreign relations committee.
Washigton accuses Dr Khan of supplying nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea. Basit made it clear that there was nothing left to be shared with the international community. “There is nothing left to talk about [regarding this case] anymore except for those who are stuck in the past and refuse to move on.”
Ambassador Munter acknowledged that it would be difficult to receive permission to interrogate Dr Khan.
The Foreign Office spokesperson also rejected US concerns regarding the civil nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and China.
“Our civil nuclear cooperation with China is ongoing and in accordance with our respective international obligations and our cooperation is under relevant International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards. Objections, if any, are therefore incongruent,” he said.
Basit was reacting to remarks by US Ambassador to India, Timothy J Roemer, who believed the Pak-China nuclear deal might not get the approval of the 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group given Islamabad’s track record.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2010.