Thursday, August 31, 2006

"Best Medical Care" Being Provided for Peddler of Pakistani Nuclear Technology

In 1976 Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan came to Pakistan bringing "stolen uranium enrichment technologies from Europe," acquired through his position at the classified URENCO uranium enrichment plant in the Netherlands. Put in charge of building, equipping and operating Pakistan's Kahuta facility, he developed an extensive clandestine network in order to obtain the necessary materials and technology to enrich uranium preparatory to developing a nuclear bomb. As a government sponsored program this project was kept under wraps for years, but Dr. Khan would - perhaps without the knowledge of Pakistani authorities (?) - eventually peddle his nuclear expertise to other countries, notably (as far as we know so far) to Libya, North Korea, and Iran. What was a state-sponsored clandestine activity in the 1970s became a private "shadow" enterprise unmonitored by any state in the 1980s and 1990s.

Evidence of the continued respect, even affection, for Dr. A. Q. Khan, mastermind of the Pakistani nuclear weapon, is evinced in the intense interest the public has in his
health. That he is held under house arrest for contraband activities has been lost on the Pakistani public.

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