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AQ Khan offered carrot to keep quiet

Disgraced Pakistani scientist A Q Khan, has been told to stop his rant against Pervez Musharraf by the President's aides on the assurance that his case might be reviewed and the restrictions lifted.

world Updated: Jun 08, 2008 23:00 IST

Disgraced Pakistani scientist A Q Khan, who is accused of nuclear proliferation activities, has been told to stop his rant against Pervez Musharraf by the President's aides on the assurance that his case might be reviewed and the restrictions lifted.

Musharraf's aides yesterday met Khan, under house arrest for the past four years, in the backdrop of the scientist's recent media interviews in which he denied any involvement in proliferation and said he had made a confession in this regard "under pressure" from Musharraf.

Khan had also said that Pakistan had "gone to the dogs" during Musharraf's rule.

The President's aides told Khan that his case could be reviewed and restrictions on his movement could be lifted if he promised not to harm Musharraf's image in the media, the Dawn newspaper quoted sources as saying.

Khan gave a positive response to the offer, the sources said. The scientist had also said he had made his televised confessional statement in 2004 in the larger interest of the country and that promises made to him by Musharraf for doing so had never been fulfilled.

Meanwhile, Khan's daughter Dina has criticised Musharraf for "falsely repeating" his statement that her father was involved in proliferation.

"Musharraf should in fact be cringing with shame," she said in a statement issued to the Pakistani media.

During an interaction with journalists yesterday, Musharraf had denied that Khan had made his confession under duress. Musharraf also said that Pakistan had faced embarrassment because of Khan's actions.

But Dina said: "I find it quite amusing and ironic that a man who is clinging to power for dear life, having dragged the country down into its worst economic state ever, should presume to make statements about anyone else."