Pak breeding ground for WMD: Newsweek

  • Press Trust of India, PTI, New York
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 17, 2004 11:03 IST

Pakistan, whose disgraced scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan operated a global nuclear-weapons "black market" that extended from Switzerland to Japan and Dubai, is probably the world's most dangerous breeding ground for both weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and terror, a leading American magazine said.

Khan, who was pardoned by President Pervez Musharraf, benefited from the delicate politics of the war on terror, the Newsweek said adding that his role in destabilising the 21st century could be compared with Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler's impact on the last century.

Pakistan, not Iraq, is probably the world's most dangerous breeding ground for both WMD and terror. But Pakistan is also a key US ally, the report said.

In over 30 years, Khan put together what Mohammed Elbaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, called  "a veritable Wal-mart" for nuclear-weapons buyers,  Newsweek said.

It was the IAEA, rather than the bush administration,  that first put pressure on Pakistan to force Khan to publicly reveal his central role in the network,  it said.

Noting that most of the Khan network's key operatives will likely escape punishment, the report quoting officials, said the network passed on equipment and know-how to Iran and Libya, and made offers to Iraq and most recently to Syria.

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