Disgraced Pakistan nuclear scientist AQ Khan will not be handed over to Washington for questioning despite an American bill, which could force Islamabad to do so.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam told reporters here that Islamabad is hoping that the Bush administration will intervene to make the final legislation more balanced, and added that US queries should be forwarded to the Pakistan Government, which would investigate and then respond.
The proposed law called the Nuclear Black Market Counter Terrorism Act, recently passed by the US House of Representatives, requires President Bush to submit a report identifying any country or person connected with transactions with the nuclear proliferation network that supplied Libya, Iran, North Korea within 90 days of its enactment.
Another provision of the proposed law, which if enacted, could force Pakistan to hand over Khan, says the President will send to Congressional committees a description of the extent a country is cooperating with the US to stop proliferation, including the degree to which the it has satisfied requests for information and grant of access to key persons involved in proliferation.
Emphasising that Pakistan was a 'nuclear state,' Aslam said, "The Senate is yet to come up with its own version. The two versions will be discussed in the conference stage."
Khan is currently held under house arrest in Islamabad after he confessed of proliferating nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.
The bill was adopted along with another which required President Bush to certify that Pakistan was doing all it could to counter the Taliban and Al-Qaeda before financial aid was released.