A strong wave of excitement was noticed among the Pakistanis after the life-enhancing news of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s acquittal erupted. Pakistanis in and out of the Pakistan were so enthusiastic about their hero and the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program; they became so irrational and imprudent while commenting on his release. I do not dare to disagree with the people and their opinions in this regard; because after all odds and accusations he has played a key role in Pakistan Nuclear program and ultimately in acquiring Pakistan a status of Nuclear State. This is not these people but media that has eulogized him as National Hero and people started revering him so.
Demand of IAEA’s access to Dr. ASbdul Qadeer Khan:
However the apprehensions started hovering over; proved to be true; with the immediate reaction came after the court decided to release him from five years House arrest- it was from Britain [reference to the statement of a spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office] who demanded Pakistani Government that International Atomic Energy Agency’s should be given access to him in order to seek information about nuclear proliferation activities, in particular the smuggling of nuclear secrets to Iran and North Korea.
His release irked west and Britain, America and France took it as a matter of serious concern. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday voiced concern about his release who operated an alleged nuclear proliferation network.
“I am very much concerned and will have more to say about that,”
She was visiting Philippine President Gloria Arroyo.
State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid told reporters that Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan remained a “serious proliferation risk”. He said the United States was still trying to confirm Dr Khan’s official status.
French Foreign ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier said :
“We are obviously a little concerned by this decision,We hope that the proliferation activities of Mr Khan and his network in the past are absolutely over, We know what role Mr Khan and his network played in the spread worldwide of nuclear technology for military use. We hope that this release will not lead to the pursuit of these activities which are illegal, dangerous and very worrying for international security.”
Last month The U.S. State Department said it had imposed sanctions on 13 individuals and three private companies because of their involvement in Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s network. Reuters has quoted the names of The sanctioned individuals and companies listed by the State Department as:
Selim Alguadis, Kursad Zafer Cire, Muhammad Nasim ud Din, EKA Elektronik Kontrol Aletleri Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., ETI Elektroteknik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., Tradefin Engineering, Muhammad Farooq, Daniel Geiges, Paul Griffin, Peter Griffin, Abdul Qadeer Khan, Shamsul Bahrin bin Rukiban, Buhary Seyed Abu Tahir, Gotthard Lerch, Gerhard Wisser and Shah Hakim Shahnazim Zain.
Despite the fact Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gilani has ruled out the idea of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s network recent activity in Nuclear proliferation; he said
the network of Khan had been demolished, and there was no need of any further information in the matter
American concerns observed when The State Department said it did not believe the network was currently operating but that countries must remain vigilant that it or similar entities did not become a a future source for sensitive nuclear information or equipment.
Questions about Pakistan’s nuclear Program:
Whole world has been criticizing the Pakistan’s nuclear program and the fear remains with the world that al-Qaeda or other jihadis will somehow gain control of one of the weapons, some of the highly enriched uranium that forms the core of a bomb or the technology to make a bomb. It is not that easy to take control of highly sensitive atomic arsenals in a country where all fingers are pointed towards it. Pakistan has been facing mounting concerns over the issue of security of Nuclear program and Pakistani governments kept on saying that Pakistan is capable enough to thwart all types of threats from inside or outside.
However while Pakistan is tagged as politically unstable, safe heavens for terrorists coupled with increased insurgency by the notorious terrorist organization Al-Qaeda in its tribal areas and freeing of Nuclear Scientist who have admitted his involvement in the Nuclear smuggling to other countries, suicide bombers destructing the peace in country, when seepage of extremist elements can not be stopped from a vulnerable neighbor Afghanistan; leaves an impression to the world that Pakistan is unable to protect its Nuclear assets.
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s release will aggravate the concerns regarding the Nuclear proliferation in world. Defence analysts in Pakistan have been saying that United States wants to disarm Pakistan from its Nuclear weaponry thus started assisting India. The recent treaty between US and India will leave India exporting Nuclear technology to other countries for civil purposes and many Nuclear Suppliers Group [NSG] members will approve nuclear trade with India, further legitimize nuclear weapons.
Questions on integrity of Pakistan:
Another apprehension hat calls for preponderances is its ally status would be questioned with Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s release. I deem it not wise to agree with the San Fransisco’s Chronicle that says:
Pakistan’s reputation needs shoring up. Its fitful efforts to eradicate Taliban strongholds have led the American military to send missile-equipped drone planes to do the job. The Mumbai attacks in November that killed 179 people were launched from Pakistan and have left relations with India at the brink of war. The assassination of presidential contender Benazir Bhutto last year was an additional low point.
Washington must take stock of its erratic and undependable ally. During his campaign, President Obama said he wouldn’t hesitate to attack terrorists on Pakistan’s soil, and in his first week in office, he followed through by permitting a drone attack on terrorist camps despite Pakistani protests. Even “smart power” and gentle diplomacy have their limits.
Pakistan has been close ally in war on terror after 9/11 and sacrificed in the name of war alot. Serious resurgence has started in its tribal areas and US Drones are attacking even in Pakistani territory. Pakistan’s position against terrorism and extremism of any kind is unflinching despite heavy cost it is paying today in terms of loss of precious civilian military lives and setback to the economy. That has resulted in antagonistic and hostile feeling within messes that government is involved in killing its own people. Special envoys to Pakistan from US has been asking for “Do more”. And the military aids and assistance have been associated with the Do More policy. A democratic government is answerable but still has its limits thus Dr. Qadeer’s release would be a great question mark on the Pakistan’s role as a faithful ally in war on terror.
In scenario where he has been allegedly involve in Nuclear proliferation; even he admitted in front of world on National TV [regardless of the fact he later said he was pressurized and forced to say that by Musharraf regime] his movement is not easy as free citizen therefore Foreign Office spokesman said that the Government will provide all requisite security to Dr. A.Q. Khan. Pakistani government would hardly be able to bear any incident; for me his House arrest was for his security.
Pakistan is committed to Non-Proliferation:
Pakistan as a responsible nuclear state has reiterated its commitment to the objective of non-proliferation. The foreign office spokesman said:
Pakistan has dismantled the nuclear black market network and no individual associated with it enjoys any official status nor has access to any strategic facility. “We have investigated the matter and shared relevant findings with the IAEA, which has appreciated our cooperation”
This bears a clear message to international community that his acquittal has no serious connections in nuclear proliferation anymore.
Furthermore Senate Election are going to be held on March 4, 2009. It is foreseen that the long March announced by the Lawyers as a part of their movement for the restoration of judiciary can forge serious influence upon the results of upcoming Senate elections. While Pakistan Muslim League-N, a coalition party with PPP government has decided to mobilize its workers for the support of lawyers’ long march. PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is also expected to address some of the gatherings. Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Imran Khan has said:
“Around 50,000 members of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf will take part in the long march and stay with lawyers to stage a sit-in on the Constitution Avenue till the restoration of all deposed judges, including Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry,”
The support for the lawyers movement within messes is increased with the few of failed policies of Government of not controlling inflation, corruption, terrorism in tribal areas last but not the least its promise of removing 17th amendment. Government has strenuous pressures from lawyers, a center province floundering and its coalition parties. In such circumstances governments takes decisions that help them to regain popularity among public.
Thus t was ripe time for the government of Pakistan to release Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan to win support and divert the attention of masses towards Dr. Abdul Qadeer. According to the sources the of Pakistan had reached a secret deal after which Islamabad High Court (IHC) declared nuclear scientist a free citizen of Pakistan. Ahmed Mukhtar has said that International community should not have concern over his release because his release was a result of deal and he would not be addressing issues like Nuclear proliferation.
Dr. Abdul Qadeer’s release has serious threats within Pakistan and outside. However As a responsible nuclear State, Pakistan took all necessary measures to promote the goals of non-proliferation, Pakistan has also extended its fullest cooperation to the international community in this regard. However it is weighed that access to Dr. Qadeer for interrogation by IAEA would be rising demand in coming days.