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AQ Khan banned from giving interviews

world Updated: Mar 30, 2010 00:20 IST

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In a setback to disgraced atomic scientist A.Q. Khan, 74, a Pakistani court on Monday restrained him from talking to the media on the country’s nuclear programme and leaking sensitive information.

In its judgement in response to a petition filed by Khan seeking the removal of restrictions on his movement, the Lahore High Court ruled that Khan was not allowed to talk about nuclear weapons technology.

However, the court lifted restrictions on Khan’s free movement and directed the federal government to provide him security so they can accompany him wherever he goes.

Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry gave the judgment during in-camera proceedings. He had earlier deferred his verdict three times and asked Khan and the government to settle the matter out of court.

During the hearing, the government filed two petitions — one seeking restrictions on the free movement of the scientist and restraining him from giving interviews and another seeking permission to probe claims attributed to Khan by The Washington Post about the transfer of nuclear secrets to Iran and Iraq.

Khan also submitted an affidavit in which he claimed he had not given any interview to The Washington Post or other publications regarding Pakistan’s nuclear programme.

During Monday’s proceedings, the Attorney General said the government will ensure the “free movement” of Khan and provide him foolproof security. He said Khan will have to inform the government 30 minutes in advance if he travels within Islamabad and a day before his movements outside the capital.