Saturday, Nov 27, 2004
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By B. Muralidhar Reddy
ISLAMABAD, NOV. 26. Pakistan has categorically denied a report in New York Times that its nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, had provided designs of nuclear weapons to Iran.
A Foreign Office spokesman, Masood Khan said there was no truth in the news report attributed to the Central Intelligence Agency. After a thorough study of the recent CIA report, the Foreign Ministry was convinced that there was no mention of [knowledge of] weapons and bomb making that the scientist might have passed on to Iran.
"Yes, we have read the CIA report thoroughly and are surprised at the absolutely flimsy evidence that is the basis of the recent report in the New York Times. All I can say is that these allegations are the writer's own creative insertions. The writer of the report has spun a strange web, based on flimsy evidence, hear say, and snippets of conversations," Mr. Khan said.
The CIA report does not mention any "designs for weapons or bomb making components." Mr. Khan said excerpts of the CIA report that "the AQ Khan network provided Iran with designs for Pakistan's older centrifuges, as well as designs for more advanced and efficient models, and components" were unrelated statements attributed to unnamed officials or to the former CIA Director, George Tenet, which did prove the writer's unsubstantiated claims about the supply of a weapon's design to Iran.
Mr. Khan said in the past year, Pakistan had conducted an inquiry to unearth a network of international blackmarketeers, dismantled it, and shared the results of the inquiry with the people of Pakistan. He claimed that Pakistan had cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the international community to thwart international blackmarketeers from proliferating sensitive nuclear technology. "We would continue to do so. In any case, our investigations are continuing and we pay full attention to formal communications," he added.
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