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sam0001
03 Feb 04,, 19:10
Musharraf Named in Nuclear Probe

Senior Pakistani Army Officers Were Aware of Technology Transfers, Scientist Says

By John Lancaster and Kamran Khan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, February 3, 2004; Page A13


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Feb. 2 -- Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, has told investigators that he helped North Korea design and equip facilities for making weapons-grade uranium with the knowledge of senior military commanders, including Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president, according to a friend of Khan's and a senior Pakistani investigator.



Khan also has told investigators that Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg, the Pakistani army chief of staff from 1988 to 1991, was aware of assistance Khan was providing to Iran's nuclear program and that two other army chiefs, in addition to Musharraf, knew and approved of his efforts on behalf of North Korea, the same individuals said Monday.

Khan's assertions of high-level army involvement came in the course of a two-month probe into allegations that he and other Pakistani nuclear scientists made millions of dollars from the sale of equipment and expertise to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

They contradict repeated contentions by Musharraf and other senior officials that Khan and at least one other scientist, Mohammed Farooq, acted out of greed and in violation of long-standing government policy that bars the export of nuclear weapons technology to any foreign country.

In conversations with investigators, Khan urged them to question the former army commanders and Musharraf, asserting that "no debriefing is complete unless you bring every one of them here and debrief us together," according to the friend, who has met with the accused scientist twice during the past two months.

On the basis of Khan's claims, Beg and another former army chief of staff, Gen. Jehangir Karamat, who occupied the post from 1996 to 1998, have been questioned by investigators in recent days, but both have denied any knowledge of the transactions, according to a senior Pakistani military officer who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Gen. Shaukat Sultan, Pakistan's chief military spokesman, declined to comment on the specifics of the allegations but asserted that "General Pervez Musharraf neither authorized such transfers nor was involved in any way with such deeds, even before he was president." Beg and Karamat could not be reached for comment Monday night.

Khan and other senior scientists and officials at the Khan Research Laboratories, the uranium-enrichment facility Khan founded in 1976, have been under investigation since November, when the International Atomic Energy Agency presented Pakistan with evidence that its centrifuge designs had turned up in Iran. The flamboyant European-trained metallurgist, who is 67, became a national hero in Pakistan after the country detonated its first nuclear device in 1998.

In a briefing for Pakistani journalists late Sunday night, a senior Pakistani military officer said that Khan had signed a 12-page confession on Friday in which he admitted to providing Iran, Libya and North Korea with technical assistance and components for making high-speed centrifuges used to produce enriched uranium, a key ingredient for a nuclear bomb.

Lt. Gen. Khalid Kidwai, commander of Pakistan's Strategic Planning and Development Cell, described Khan as the mastermind of an elaborate and wholly unauthorized smuggling network involving chartered cargo flights, clandestine overseas meetings and a Malaysian factory that reconditioned centrifuge parts discarded from Pakistan's nuclear program for sale to foreign clients, according to a journalist who attended Kidwai's 21/2-hour briefing.

The technology transfers began in 1989 and were brokered by a network of middlemen, including three German businessmen and a Sri Lankan, identified only as Tahir, who is in custody in Malaysia, Kidwai told the journalists.

According to Kidwai's account, Khan told investigators that he supplied materials and assistance to Iran, Libya and North Korea not to make money but to deflect attention from Pakistan's nuclear program and -- in the case of Iran and Libya -- as a gesture of support to other Muslim countries.

The senior Pakistani investigator and a senior intelligence official said Monday that Khan also said he supplied Iran and Libya with surplus, outmoded equipment from the laboratory that he knew would not provide either country with any near-term capability to enrich uranium.

"Dr. Khan is basically contesting the merit of the nuclear proliferation charges," the investigator said. "Throughout his debriefing, Dr. Khan kept challenging the perception that material found from the Libyan or Iranian programs would allow them to enrich uranium."

Investigators contend that Khan accumulated millions of dollars in the course of a 30-year career as a government scientist, investing some of it in real estate in Pakistan and abroad. Kidwai told Pakistani journalists that investigators had reached no conclusions about the source of Khan's wealth, but he acknowledged that Khan's lavish lifestyle was "the worst-kept secret in town" and should have triggered suspicions among those responsible for protecting Pakistan's nuclear secrets, according to a journalist who attended the briefing.



Kidwai "admitted to oversight and intelligence failure," the journalist said.

Kidwai avoided any suggestion of complicity on the part of senior military commanders, including Musharraf, who has maintained throughout the investigation that any transfer of nuclear technology abroad was the work of individuals driven by greed.

By all accounts, Khan ran the laboratory at Kahuta, about 20 miles from Islamabad, with scant oversight from either civilian or military-led governments eager to achieve nuclear parity with arch rival India.

The military was ultimately responsible for the facility, where security was overseen by two army brigadiers and a special detachment from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI. And Khan is said to have insisted during his sessions with investigators that senior military commanders were well aware of his efforts to help other countries with their nuclear programs.

The senior Pakistani investigator said that Beg was "in the picture" regarding Khan's assistance to Iran, but said the former army chief of staff was "probably . . . under the impression that material and knowledge being transferred to Iran would not enable them to produced enriched uranium" because of Khan's claim that he was withholding top-of-the-line equipment. Investigators have found evidence that Khan informed Beg of the transfer of outdated hardware from his laboratory to Iran in early 1991, the official said.

Khan told two generals who jointly questioned him last month that three army chiefs of staff, including Musharraf, had known of his dealings with North Korea, according to the friend of the scientist. "Throughout his debriefing, Dr. Khan kept asking the generals why he was not being asked specific questions about the material he passed on to the North Koreans," the friend said.

U.S. officials have long suspected that Pakistan supplied uranium enrichment technology to North Korea in exchange for help with its ballistic missile program, and that Khan acted as the principal agent of the arrangement. After stating in 2002 that it had a program for enriching uranium for use in weapons, North Korea more recently has denied it.

A retired Pakistani army corps commander said Monday that the barter arrangement dates to December 1994, when then-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto traveled to North Korea at the request of Gen. Abdul Waheed, the army chief of staff at the time. A few months later, Khan led a delegation of scientists and military officers to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, according to the retired general and a senior active duty officer, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity. Musharraf was serving at the time as Waheed's director general for military operations.

In January 1996, Waheed was replaced as chief of staff by Karamat, who secretly visited North Korea in December 1997, according to the retired corps commander. Four months after the trip, in April 1998, Karamat presided over the successful test-firing of a medium-range missile the Pakistanis called a Ghauri. According to U.S. intelligence officials and a former Pakistani nuclear scientist, the Ghauri was simply a renamed North Korean-supplied Nodong missile. Pakistani officials maintain publicly that the Ghauri missile is indigenous to Pakistan.

The senior investigator said Khan claimed that Karamat was privy to the details of the barter arrangement through which Pakistan received the missile, and that Khan had insisted that Karamat's role also be examined.

Khan also has asserted that Musharraf had to have been aware of the agreement with North Korea because Musharraf took over responsibility for the Ghauri missile program when he became army chief of staff in October 1998, according to the scientist's friend and the senior investigator.

According to Kidwai's account to journalists, senior military commanders did not get wind of Khan's nuclear dealings with North Korea until 2000, when the ISI conducted a raid on an aircraft that the laboratory had chartered for a planned flight to North Korea. Although a search of the aircraft turned up no evidence, authorities were sufficiently concerned that they warned Khan against pursuing any clandestine trade with North Korea, Kidwai told the journalists.

That concern deepened, according to Kidwai's account, after U.S. officials in 2002 and early 2003 presented evidence that Pakistani nuclear technology may indeed have found its way to North Korea.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6884-2004Feb2.html

Ray
04 Feb 04,, 06:59
He may have been involved. However, if he atones, whats the harm?

The man is running the gaunlet.

Give him a chance.

Interestingly, he is actualy proving to the West that he is sincerely wanting to make Pakistan modern. Killing two birds with one stone?

I still think he is the best bet for the world, like it or not.

visioninthedark
13 Feb 04,, 18:58
the funny thing about this report in the "Washington Post" is how come a couple of reporters sitting far away got all thi information about what Khan said??

I mean, did Khan just pick up the phone and dial their number and tell them all that?

Because his debriefing is quite a secret matter; and the info he will be giving will be strictly controlled!

so how come a couple of reporters can so boldly calim to write what he is telling his interrogators; its not like he is sitting in a public square and giving a lecture, you know!!!

and then, lets assume that's true for a moment; the Pak army was involved;

then,

realistically speaking,

what INFACT can the US do about it??

lets be realistic and not emotional, what can the US actually do?

Ray
14 Feb 04,, 02:10
Pakistani papers have much on the subject.

Try DAWN which can be obtained on line.

Ironduke
16 Feb 04,, 06:20
Originally posted by visioninthedark
the funny thing about this report in the "Washington Post" is how come a couple of reporters sitting far away got all thi information about what Khan said??

I mean, did Khan just pick up the phone and dial their number and tell them all that?

Because his debriefing is quite a secret matter; and the info he will be giving will be strictly controlled!

so how come a couple of reporters can so boldly calim to write what he is telling his interrogators; its not like he is sitting in a public square and giving a lecture, you know!!!

and then, lets assume that's true for a moment; the Pak army was involved;

then,

realistically speaking,

what INFACT can the US do about it??

lets be realistic and not emotional, what can the US actually do?

The United States is not going to do anything, because it is not politically prudent.

Ray
16 Feb 04,, 12:59
US can do much. But. they won't do.

Ironman has hit the nail on the head.

Ray
23 Feb 04,, 16:02
I have just watched Asia Today on BBC.

They interviewed Benazir Bhutto, the ex Prime Minister of Pakistan. She said that the Army tried to keep her out of the Nuclear export loop.

The Question is: How can a democratic elected head of government be kept out of the loop and the Army is supreme?


The current minister of Information and Boradcasting was assinine in justifying that QA Khan who gave away the nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea could keep his ill gotten money and at the same time continue to be a 'hero' of the Islamic Bomb.

Is this a country or a circus?

Is their demiocracy just a sham? Musharraf had said it is a 'sham democracy'.

It scares me.

When will democracy triumph? And not something that appears a democracy but is under the control opf the Army.

Thank heavens our Armed Forces believe in the supremacy of the civil govt.

jimmy22
25 Feb 05,, 13:43
Its hard to imagine that army and ISI being so well established in Pakistan did not know of this. Everyone is involved and they have put the blame of A.Q. khan as he was alone and a weak person. And then army cheif (Musharraf) pardoned him.

lulldapull
25 Feb 05,, 16:18
Some ppl behave as if the world has come to an end now that Iran or N.K have a nuclear weapon perhaps! :biggrin: ..Comeon now its not the end of the world.

But its the beginning of the end for the world Federalist thugs :)

Confed999
26 Feb 05,, 22:39
But its the beginning of the end for the world Federalist thugs :)
And is the beginning of thocracy and dictatorships? Sounds like a world ending situation to me.