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A Q Khan is the master of nuclear proliferators: Congressmen

world Updated: May 21, 2009 15:08 IST

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A key Congressional panel on Thursday unanimously branded rogue Pakistani nuclear scientist A Q Khan "the master of nuclear proliferators", but stopped short of passing an amendment that would have made mandatory on Islamabad to allow American officials to question him.

"He is perhaps the master of nuclear proliferators," said Congressman Michael T McCaul at a markup hearing of House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement (PEACE) Act 2009.

A Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee's Intelligence Subcommittee, McCaul introduced an amendment to the PEACT Act which conditioned the US aid to Pakistan making Khan available to the US authorities.

Moving the amendment, McCaul alleged that Khan had proliferated nuclear weapons to countries like Iran, Libya and North Korea.

After his release from several years of house arrest early this year, McCaul said, there is no evidence that the network built by Khan has been completely dismantled.

"Despite that the US has provided billions of dollars to Pakistan, it has refused to allow direct access to A Q Khan for questioning to find out how extensive is his network and proliferation. The United States need to have direct access to A Q Khan," McCaul said.